Thinking of being regulated with regards to the use of technology led me to one particular place where, at least for those my age, the use of things like laptops and phones was very heavily restricted.
High School in the mid 2000’s was an interesting time for technology in the public setting. It was restrictions galore. There were no phones in class rooms, laptops were rarely in the class room, and all internet access was though a DET (Department of Education and Training) filter, preventing students from visiting sights that were not deemed educational.
Now, as I said, for me there were not many laptops in classrooms, but I was also the last school year before the introduction of that big old Digital Education Revolution – You know the thing where Rudd went all Oprah giving every High School student a laptop? Well, not for me – So we were those last lot of kids running to the computer room in the hopes that we wouldn’t have to share with someone.
The Internet in High School was always a hot topic with students. As with all filters, the DET filter had its fair share of issues some of which I personally experienced. The filter often made it difficult to research for assignments because it blocked perfectly legitimate assignments. This super useful Internet often just meant I’d wait until I was home so that I could use an actually decent connection.
The NSW government in what can only be described as a “save the children” style move put in the filter into place, and was instantly ridiculed by students and teachers alike (At least from my experience). The filter may have been put in place to shield the eyes of children from the real world, but in reality it was a hindrance that blocked legitimate websites and slowed down the already mediocre connection.
Personally I don’t think kids are going to look up anything too horrific on school time anyway. Maybe I’m just putting too much faith in teenagers.