On Advertisements in School

Another overlooked aspect of IT use in schools is students’ exposure to advertisements. Many sources of online information used in schools, including mainstream media and journalism sites, the sites of professional organizations and edited periodicals, and especially social media sites (like YouTube) are funded by advertisements. When students access these sites, they are also exposed to the advertisements.  

Some educators, students, parents, and others object to this exposure for several reasons. First, this can be perceived to be the commercialization of students. Students are required to attend school, and they have little choice over the lessons and materials they use. By directing them to information sources that are advertisement-rich, teachers may be exploiting students. Second, some of the products may be unsuitable for children, especially in school. Even if the products are not unsuitable, they may lead to distractions or they may contribute to inappropriate situations. 

IT professionals may be asked to minimize students’ access to advertisements when at school, this may include installing and configuring software or web browser extensions that block advertisements. In addition, IT professionals may be asked to support faculty as they embed media in virtual classrooms or otherwise minimize expose to advertisements.