How do I use Blocking Plans?

Securly Classroom is excited to introduce a new feature that enhances the way teachers manage access to websites and Windows apps during class sessions: Blocking Plans. This feature is designed to replace the existing Block Lists functionality, offering a more versatile approach to controlling access to both websites and Windows applications during class.

What are Blocking Plans?

A Blocking Plan is essentially a customizable list that includes both websites and Windows applications. These lists can be configured in one of two ways:

  • Block Only: This setting allows all sites and Windows apps except those specified in the list. This mirrors the functionality of the current Block Lists.
  • Allow Only: Conversely, this setting blocks all sites and apps except those explicitly allowed in the list, akin to the current Site Lock feature or Site Lock to a Collection.

Where are Blocking Plans configured?

Blocking Plans can be easily configured through a new main menu item dedicated to this feature. With the introduction of Blocking Plans, the Block Lists tab will no longer be available in the Web Links area.

How do I set a Blocking Plan for a class?

Teachers can set or change a Blocking Plan for a class in the same places Block Lists are currently set:

  1. Class Settings: In Class Session Options in Class Settings the selection of a Block List has been replaced by the selection of a Blocking Plan.  This is used to change the default used by the class.
  2. Class Session Options before starting a class: The default Blocking Plan for a class can be changed manually before the class begins, using the Session Options panel.
  3. Session Options during a running class: Teachers can adjust the Blocking Plan from the Session Options icon located at the top right corner of an active class session.

What happens to my existing Block Lists?

Existing Block Lists will be seamlessly converted into “Block Only” Blocking Plans, retaining their original names for continuity.

Also, because “Site Lock to Collection” is similar to an “Allow Only” blocking plan, we have automatically created an “Allow Only” blocking plan for any class that was configured to start the class session with “Site Lock to Collection” enabled. Teachers can choose to continue to use “Site Lock to Collection” after class starts or to select the matching “Allow Only” blocking plan for the class.

Is Site Lock (to collection) still available?

Yes. Site Lock and Site Lock to a collection remain available options during class sessions. However, the ability to initiate a class session with Site Lock activated has been removed, as using an “Allow Only” Blocking Plan offers the same function.

What else has changed?

On the Site Lock screen, the "Allow sites but do not open" option has been removed, as its functionality overlaps with the “Allow Only” Blocking Plan, which permits access to a specific set of sites while blocking all others without opening those sites on student devices.

How does blocking and allowing Windows apps work?

For districts utilizing Windows devices, the new Securly Classroom Windows Agent enables full-screen viewing of Windows desktops, along with application monitoring and blocking capabilities.

Blocking and allowing Windows applications is managed similarly to websites, with teachers selecting from a predefined list of Windows applications. Full documentation will be available in the Classroom User’s Guide. If Windows student devices are not in use, the Applications area of Blocking Plans can be disregarded, focusing solely on website lists.

How does Site Lock work when used with a Blocking Plan?

When Site Lock is activated, it takes precedence over any Blocking Plan currently active for the class. This ensures that teachers can still utilize Site Lock for focused activities, overriding the broader controls set by Blocking Plans.

 

 

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