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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WA’s poor Wi-Fi situation is in need of improvements

Wi-Fi needs to improve at Westford Academy.
Wi-Fi needs to improve at Westford Academy.

Every student, teacher, administrator, and staff member at Westford Academy uses Wi-Fi at one point or another as they go about their day. Wi-Fi has become the foundation of so much of what we do now, with technology becoming such a prominent piece of almost anything we do in school. However, the Wi-Fi at WA is inconsistent and needs to be improved. Luckily for us, there is a very simple way to achieve that goal. 

WA has two separate lines of Wi-Fi. One of these lines is used for academic purposes, supplying Wi-Fi to students’ and teachers’ school devices, while the other line is used to supply Wi-Fi to all of the personal devices in the building. The Wi-Fi for school devices is consistently speedy and effective, but the Wi-Fi for all of the personal devices is where it comes up short. 

“They are trying to separate the networks so that personal devices do not affect academics,” MIS & OTW tech specialist Brian Day said. “They have been trying to work on getting the connection for personal devices more stable so that everybody can use their own devices as they want phones to have a more reliable connection.”

WA has absolutely improved the Wi-Fi for personal devices compared to an even worse situation last year, but it is still not consistent enough around the school. Phones and other personal devices need to be able to be used at any time or place throughout the school for multiple reasons. 

First of all, students need to be able to reach their parents and parents need to be able to reach their kids during the school day. In this day and age it is not practical for students to be in one building for six or more hours per day without the ability to contact their parents. Parents need to be able to talk to their kid about things such as grades, personal home life, whether or not they can drive them home from school, whether or not they need to pick up a sibling, etc. These are all things that parents and students would not want to have to go through the office to communicate. 

Another reason why students should have access to Wi-Fi on personal devices is for contact with friends and simply just personal relaxation. It is very common for students to need to contact their friends about what lunch they have, where to meet for lunch, rides home, and even for relaying information to teachers. Teachers also might need to let their class know that they are absent or that the class is meeting in a different location. On top of this, phones are also critical for many students’ mental state throughout a school day. During down time, many students benefit from being able to wind down with scrolling on TikTok or Instagram before their next class. Being able to play music in between classes is also critical for many students in order to get in the right mindset. 

Finally, students also need Wi-Fi on their personal devices for academic purposes. The school is separating school devices from personal devices completely, when in reality personal devices are also used for academic reasons. Especially as the school continues to give more and more work online, phones are needed in class for things such as uploading images of completed work to Google Drive. The lack of Wi-Fi on personal devices can hurt students academically.

“If the school is moving towards digitizing all the work we do, then it is not going to work unless they upgrade the current Wi-Fi situation,” senior class president Devesh Khamitkar said. 

To be clear, there are many locations in the school that allow for all of these things to happen, and students recognize that. At the same time though, many students do not understand why the Wi-Fi cuts out in seemingly random locations. Sometimes the Wi-Fi will be perfect for the first 30 minutes of a class, and then all of a sudden it will vanish for the rest of class and then continue to not work in the hallway after class. 

“If the Wi-Fi is spotty in one room then tell a teacher who can send it down to Mr. Day, who is usually pretty good about fixing it within an hour,” Digital Learning Specialist Stephanie Gosselin said.

Day and Gosselin are both adamant about wanting students to communicate with the Digital Learning Department, as it is the only way for them to understand what the problem is, and how it needs to be fixed.

“We can only improve it from what we see in the complaints we have,” Day said. “If there are people still having issues, we want to know where and when there are problems.”

The reality is that having one line of Wi-Fi trying to supply speedy service to hundreds of personal devices is not an easy thing to master. There will always be problems that pop up, so it is important for students to begin reporting where the problems are to help the Digital Learning Department come up with solutions. 

I also understand the viewpoint that students technically do not need service on their personal devices. It is easy to think that because students are in school, personal devices are just a distraction and not necessary while students are in the building.

The problem with that is it completely disregards the relationship between personal devices and academics, as the school becomes more and more technologically driven. It also ignores the communication between students, parents and friends along with the need for using personal devices as an outlet during downtime. 

Overall, due to the rapidly increasing use of the internet for school work, Wi-Fi is necessary for school devices and personal devices. On top of this, the need for communication with parents and friends should not be underestimated. As students, it is our job to report any problems with the Wi-Fi to Mr. Day to allow for the Digital Learning Department to come up with a solution.

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About the Contributor
James McDermott
James McDermott, Sports Editor
Hey! My name is James McDermott, I am a senior at Westford Academy and this is my fourth year on the Ghostwriter staff. I joined the Ghostwriter because I have always loved writing and sports. In my free time I am almost always playing sports or hanging out with my family and friends. I am extremely excited to continue with the Ghostwriter and hopefully have another successful and fun year.

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