What's New in ChromeTools 6.58

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Class time remaining is more prominently displayed at the top.

If you've been wondering why we implemented the "Start Class" feature instead of simply allowing control as soon as a class is selected, it's because it will allow for some features we have planned for the near future.  On planned feature is the ability to view a class history where you can do things like review sites that students attempted to visit that were blocked, or a list of tabs that you closed on student devices.  We're not sure exactly what things will be able to add, but this gives you an idea of what we up to!

 

Assign teacher to a location during sync

For organizations with multiple locations, it's now possible to set  the Google Directory Sync to automatically assign teachers to a specific location when imported from the automatic sync.  You'll find the setting on the Chrome Settings tab.  This prevents the need to assign the teacher to a location in order to grant them access.

Lost device map table changes

For Lost Chrome Devices, the table now combines the coordinates along with a map button into a single column for a more concise display. You can still click anywhere on the line to display the map, in addition to the new button.

Exclude devices from Teacher Tools that are not on local network

It's now possible to exclude devices from being controlled via teacher tools when it's detected that they are outside the school's network, such as when the student is at home.  To use this feature, enable the setting on the system tab "Exclude Teacher Tools for outside IP address ranges" then go to the new IP ranges tab and make at least one entry to define the school's outside IP address.  It's the outside IP address that will be seen by TabPilot when a device connects, so this setting lets us determine if it's on your local network or not.  

 

Teacher-created Custom Blacklist

Teachers can now create their own custom blacklist that can be applied during a class session.  The list is created by going to the "Custom blacklist" tab found in the Web Links area.  To include all of the sites that are on the organization blacklist, the "Copy organization blacklist" button can be used.

Tip: this feature can be used to whitelist a site that's normally blocked by the orgainzation blacklist by copying the organization list, then deleting the site for which access should be allowed.  The new list can then be applied when the class session is started.

 

URL Syntax for Blacklist

Activating the Custom Blacklist

There is now an option in the Start Class dialog box to enable the custom blacklist. Check the box for the option before starting the class.

Web Site Dependencies

When  using Site Lock, all sites except for the selected site are blocked.  This block includes blocking portions of the selected site that might come from other domains, which can create problems ranging from pages that are not properly formatted to missing large amounts of data if that data is coming in from another site that's blocked.  In other words, the selected site is dependent on pulling in data from other sites.  We call these other sites "dependencies."  We are introducing a new feature that allows a web link to be configured along with a list of dependencies, the other sites that are necessary to make the configured one work.  

 

To configure a web link with dependencies, look for the new "Dependencies" tab next to the web link properties tab.

After switching to the Dependencies tab, use the Create button to add the URL for each site to be added to the dependencies list

All sites on this list will be allowed when the main web link site is used for Site Lock.

 

Note: it may be difficult to know which sites are required as a dependency when Site Lock fails.  In most cases, you will probably need to contact us through the support site to ask us to examine a failing site to see which other sites are being blocked.  We can help find the dependencies so that you can add them for the web link.

 

Predefined Web Links

When creating web links, you can choose from predefined sites that we have added to the system.  This is useful for common sites where we have already done the research to find out the needed dependencies to make the main site work.  To select a predefined link, go to the Web Links area and click the Create button as usual, then click the "Use predefined link" button instead of entering a URL.


Select one of the predefined links.

The predefined link will fill in the appropriate fields along with the list of dependencies.  You can then edit the name if you wish, before clicking Save.  Note that the text will be shown "THIS LINK HAS dependencies".  You can view them by clicking the link or the Dependencies tab.

Using a Predefined Web Link as a template

Some predefined web links are useful as a template.  For example, you may wish to use Site Lock to lock a student into a specific Nearpod presentation.  The URL for the lock will include the code for the specific presentation, such as
"https://app.nearpod.com/presentation?pin=XHIOE"

Rather than entering this URL immediately, start by choosing the predefined Web Link for Nearpod.  This will fill in all the necessary dependencies for the link.  After the selection is made, delete the pre-filled URL and replace it with your specific URL as shown in the example above.

 

Expect the list of predefined web links to grow as users report sites to us for research on dependencies to make them work with Site Lock.

 

Fixes:

  • Deprovisioned devices are no longer counted towards the total device count shown on the dashboard
  • When unassigning an app from a group, the option for Force Install or Self-Service install has been removed since it was not needed
  • Users in a role such as "technician" were unable to rename devices, even if the permission settings were granted for "manage groups"  
 
 
 
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