What has still not been explored is the effect of filtering on the students’ work and the experiences of students as they use filtered Internet computers. Policy makers in America’s schools could benefit from research using ethnographic qualitative methods about the experiences of students using filtered Internet computers, which this study attempts to demonstrate.
Purpose of the Study
We know that the vast majority of American youth use the Internet for their schoolwork, such as term paper research. Most schools employ filtering technology on computers in media centers to block access to “objectionable” content. These filters are more or less successful, depending on how they have been configured. The use of filters raises the possibility that students’ First Amendment rights are at risk by blocking access to constitutionally protected speech. What we still do not know is how students are actually affected when Internet filters are used to conduct term paper research. The purpose of this qualitative research is to study the experiences of high school students conducting term paper research with filtered Internet access in a suburban high school media center.