netcurmudgeon (netcurmudgeon) wrote,
netcurmudgeon
netcurmudgeon

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The dirty little secret of school Internet use

Frequently, when dealing with some public tempest over something on the Internet I take a look into our firewall logs to see just how much of the problem is ours. I have known since '99 just how little education gets done over our 'net connection, but I wasn't prepared for what I found.

In the last week of January MySpace.com (which we are now blocking) accounted for 6% of our web traffic. It was the most visited domain of 34,191 domains visited by Hartford kids. Let me give you some perspective: Yahoo had 4.3%, Google 2.4%, and WindowsUpdate 1.8%. Six percent is a lot of traffic. I really did not appreciate that of MySpace's 35,000,000 users, Hartford kids would account for so many. There are enough log entries from web requests to myspace.com to account for every student in Hartford visiting the site at least once over the week. Or, say, a thousand of Hartford's 24,000 students visiting the site at least once a day. Well, by order of the CIO they will not be visiting MySpace any longer.

The really sad part of all this comes when you look at the rest of the top 100 most visited domains. The top 100 account for 65% of our traffic (with 34,091 domains accounting for the other 35%). Of those, 41 are games/entertainment/personals. Advertising domains (e.g. doubleclick.com) account for 30 of the top 100. Clearly educational sites (pbskids.org, etc) total only 14 of the top 100, and you have to go down to the 27th-ranked domain to find the first. They accounted for a paltry 1.76% of all traffic.

So, if you're wondering what your kids are doing on the 'net at school, the answer is goofing off.


OTOH, it was fun to have an excuse to stuff 3.9 million records into MySQL and watch it spin. :-)
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