Most would agree that many youths are super-consumers of digital content, spending more time on digital media than any other waking activity (Uncapher et al., 2017), in some cases multitasking on up to 7 devices at one time (Grazzely, Rosen, 2018). Forty-six percent of students say they are online ‘almost constantly,’ nearly doubling the amount seen in 2015 (24%), with 43% of students aged 11-18 logging an average of 10 hours and 4 minutes daily (Pew Research Center, 2022).
K12 students have massive amounts of digital content at their fingertips 24/7 on any number of school-issued or personal devices. To gain a better understanding of the sheer volume of available online content, a review of recent internet statistics could lend perspective:
Internet web sites statistics*
The first internet site went live in 1991; by 1995, there were 23,500 websites (liveinternetstats.com)
By Sept 2022, that number had risen to over 1.98 billion websites (liveinternetstats.com)
175 new websites go live every minute of every day – that’s 252,000 new sites every day (sitefy.com)
There are 218 million video game players in the U.S., including over 51 million kids under 18 (EAS, 2022)
71% of all kids in the U.S. under the age of 18 play video games
A search on ‘How to play unblocked games on a school computer’ produces more than 5.5 million results (Google, 2022)
There are over 600 million active blog sites
3 billion blog posts are published each year; that’s 8.28 million per day or 5750 every minute
Tumblr is home to over 540 million individual blogs with 10.5 million posts per day
Social media (statusbrew.com)
From Nov 2021-Nov 2022, the number of active social media users increased by over 400 million, bringing the total to 4.55 billion.
75% of the world’s population aged 13+ uses social media, including 75% of all Americans (hootsuite.com)
There are 5.07 billion internet users worldwide; 6 out of every 10 people on the planet have at least one social network (statusbrew.com)
There are 38 million active YouTube channels with over 800 million total videos
95% of teens indicate they use YouTube, with 20% indicating they use YouTube ‘almost constantly.’
Over 150,000 new videos are uploaded every hour; that’s 3.7 million new YouTube videos every day
694,000 hours of content are streamed every minute, surpassing Netflix at 452,000 hours per minute
Launched in 2020, YouTube Shorts attracts more than 1 billion daily views
*The size, scope, and amount of information on the internet keep growing non-stop, 24/7/365. Any data presented here will most likely expire by tomorrow
Why isn’t your school’s legacy filter technology more effective?
Though there have been minor changes to legacy internet filtering technologies, their functionality's core has remained unchanged. Every online instance on a filtered device is run through a database consisting of categorized domains and searchable keywords. If the instance includes a domain or keyword that appears on the blocked list, access to the content is more than likely denied. If not, it will likely be viewed by students on school devices.
When first introduced 25+ years ago, URL and keyword blocking was an influential technology because website content, largely coherent, was almost exclusively company or organizationally owned by the likes of CNN, Macy’s, Barnes & Noble, MTV, and similar. By the mid-2000s, as social media giants like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter gained in popularity and as personal website creation became simplified, allowing anyone to build their website, the volume of new online content exploded.
The influx of user-generated content, social media, continuous scrolling pages, embedded links, and the breadth of content categories generated by a simple Google search greatly diminish the effectiveness of domain and keyword filtering technology, rendering it largely inadequate as a consistent online content management tool. This technology wasn’t designed to manage dynamic content or the exponential growth in online content that continues to occur. In fact, according to a recent Deledao study, domain and keyword-based filtering technology are only successful in blocking 63% of the inappropriate content students attempt to access.
So, what can be a solution to this? Interested in learning more?
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