Lightspeed's Web Zones tool allows teachers to temporarily unblock sites for students in their classroom.
In my classroom:
I've been able to unblock a video for students to view while I was out of the classroom.
I've opened YouTube, Pinterest, or Twitter for a set amount of time for research and projects.
I've closed sites that I do not want students to visit during a quiz/test.
Allow students to have better access to image searches for projects and presentations.
The following information is from:
Web Zones Written by community_admin | April 27, 2015 -
Web Zones are like virtual rooms that teachers can use to temporarily override content filter rules. Web Zones have always been available to teachers via the Lightspeed web filter, but they can also be administered directly within the Teacher Dashboard.
Here are a few ways you can use Web Zones in the classroom:
- Allow students to watch a video originating from a site that would ordinarily be blocked, for example, Vimeo.com.
- Block all access to the web during a test so students can’t look up the answers online.
From the Web Zones page, teachers can specify web sites the students in their groups can or cannot access. The Web Zone will be applied automatically to all students in the group for the time you specify — as long as three hours, or as brief as five minutes. The Web Zone will expire automatically, or you can deactivate it manually.
This is for teachers with access to Lightspeed's Teacher Dashboard (available at SCSD2 - 2015)
How do I create a Web Zone?
- 1. On the Web Zones page, click to open a group where you want to use the web zone.
- 2. Click the green + button at the bottom right corner of the page.
- 3. Give it a good descriptive name, such as “State Testing.”
- 4. Click “Create” to save the new Web Zone.
How do I add websites to a Web Zone?
Let’s say you’re teaching a unit on how special effects are produced in movies. You may have five web sites that you would like your fifth graders to use for research, but two of them are blocked by the content filter. Instead of going to your IT staff for help, now you can take matters into your own hands and add the two sites to a web zone. Once you activate a Web Zone, the rules will now be applied to every student in the group.
1. Click the name of of the Web Zone to open the Edit WebZone form.
2. Add your websites to the “Allowed Urls” and/or “Blocked Urls” lists. From our example, we’d want to add under the Allowed List the sites that are normally blocked by the content filter.
3. Click Save to apply your settings.
Tip: If you want to help your students stay on task, you can select “Lockdown” (under the Block List). This restricts use of the Internet to only the sites located in the Allowed box.
What URL formats are allowed?
- URLs (web links) must be in the proper format. Do not include “http://” or “https://” in the URL.
- Note that you can use wildcards (placeholders) to allow or block all pages matching the wildcard. in Web Zones, the wildcard character is an asterisk (*) which means “any number or combination of letters”.
- Note also that you can specify IP addresses as well as URLs in the list.
Note: Sites in the porn and security categories will always be blocked, even if a teacher uses “*” to allow all available URLs.
How do I activate (turn on) a Web Zone?
- Select the duration, then click the green “start” icon to activate a Web Zone.
When a zone is active, you will see a countdown of the remaining time. To change the remaining time, click the timer to open a dropdown list.
Can I activate more than one web zone at a time?
Students can only be in one Web Zone at a time. Only the most recently-activated Web Zone will apply.
If students are already in a Web Zone activated by another teacher, they’ll be removed from that zone as soon as you activate one of your own Web Zones.
How do I turn off (deactivate) a Web Zone?
Web Zones time out automatically when the selected time has elapsed.
- Click the red “stop” icon to deactivate a Web Zone. This will immediately restore students to the school’s default web filter policy.
Where can I learn more about Web Zones?
Teacher’s Guide to Web Zones – community site