Times Blogger Praises CPS Internet Alarm Setup


Your complaints have not gone entirely unnoticed.  The infamous and
ridiculous Internet alarm system that goes off all the time is getting
slammed in the New York Times' "Freakonomics" blog (Setting

Off Alarm Bells at Work). 

But watch out -- the alarm gets praised,
not slammed, as an alternative to banning sites:

"Hats off to the folks at the Chicago Public Schools for finding a clever
solution to a tough problem.  Let's hope they teach that cleverness to
the students in the system."


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  • The blogger refers to the system as "clever", but it is far short of that praise. His description of the system is factually incorrect. When a user attempts to visit a banned site, an alarm sounds AND the content is blocked. The alarm sounds from the user's computer, and therefore can be easily defeated by not using speakers, or by muting the volume (although I am sure somewhere a line is added to a log file recording what I just tried to access). The system has become more of an office joke at this point with everybody around you exclaiming "oooooooooooooooooh", when the alarm sounds, as if you were in the 5th grade and were asked to report to the principal's office.

  • This is kinda old news isn't it? I guess NY is getting a kick out of it....(yawn)

  • The students and I always comment on how pretty much all the sites blocked are educational. Last year they spent two weeks working on a music project for Japanese and the day they were supposed to start presenting, the East Asian Media site was blocked. They told me to use Safari Montage which doesn't know that Asia exists.

    It's unfortunate that every other district tries to bring its students into the 21st century, but ours "logs" it when we try to. Later, I came into the lab and there was a crowd of kids watching a family guy episode about a "retarded horse".

    Who runs that department?

  • I tried to show a clip from the History Channel's website, and it told on me! LOL THE HISTORY CHANNEL! I couldn't believe it. Oh, well-luckily I was able to save the clip to my jump drive and play it from there. Sometimes it seems as though there is no rhyme or reason for what is blocked. Why is the Trib blocked some days?

    As for the kids watching Family Guy-don't forget, they know all the proxys. I can't stand that they are able to move so effortlessy around the blocks.

  • In reply to judgejury81:

    I believe it's the ads on the Tribune that are setting off the alarms. You can still read the Tribune content, but one or more "chunks" of the web page won't load. Since those chunks are usually on the side I figure they are probably ads for sites that CPS doesn't like

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