Purdue blocking access to streaming services in classes and lecture halls

Students returning to class after spring break will find access to their favorite streaming sites restricted while in while class

Posted: Feb 26, 2019 6:13 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Students returning from spring break will find access to their favorite streaming sites restricted while in class. This includes services such as Hulu, Netflix, Pandora and Steam

"Our focus has really been that so a student who is watching a movie is not interfering with a student who is trying to do homework,” said Executive Director of IT Infrastructure Mark Sonstein.

During the fall semester several tests were done in large lecture halls restricting streaming services. Sonstein saw a quick turnaround in academic service usage during the tests. "Blackboard, which is our number one consumer on campus for academic activities was around 78 or 79 in the top 100 places visited. In the large lecture halls after implementation it was in the top ten,” said Sonstein.

Now the university is taking the action too all academic areas, campus-wide.

But how do students feel about such websites being blocked?

Freshman Brett Weyer says the block could be beneficial to students. "It'll keep students more focused in class in the classroom. Either a, they will just stay off their phones and take better notes or b, they just won't show up to class because they prefer Netflix,” said Wyer.

Others like Tony Giron think it's a good idea, but fear it could create some issues. "As far as focusing in class it'll definitely help out, but if you're just having a break in between classes and want to watch some Netflix then blocking that wouldn't really be great,” said Giron.

While the block will prevent streaming in classrooms, Sonstein says not all of campus will be affected. "We're not filtering in non-academic spaces so the students can still go to a common area and watch their Netflix movies,” said Sonstein.

The block will be in effect by the time students return to class on March 18th. It will only affected devices connected to Purdue's wireless network.

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