How can teachers allow temporary access to blocked websites

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We understand that every teacher has her own unique teaching requirements and may, therefore, need to allow her students access to certain sites that may otherwise be blocked for their OU. Depending on why the sites need to be accessed (short lesson, research paper, etc.), the teacher may need to allow such sites for a few hours to a few days. It can be rather cumbersome for both the teacher as well as the IT admin to manage such requests on demand if the task is assigned to a single individual. Both teachers and students could potentially lose out on valuable learning time in such cases.

To make life easier for IT admins and teachers, IT admins can delegate approval rights to teachers. By temporarily allowing sites, teachers can ensure that access to sites is restricted to those who really need it, and there is no misuse.

Policy Setup

As an admin, to enable the temporary allow the sites feature:

  1. Log in to your Securly account.
  2. Navigate to the Policy Editor.
  3. Select 'Authorize users assigned to this Policy to approve this sites’ for policies that are mapped to the teacher’s OU under the Policy Map. Note: Please be mindful that you do not accidentally select this option for any student policy. allowteachers.jpg
  4. You can limit the time for which temporarily allowed sites can be accessed by the student by navigating to Global Settings. Input the number of minutes for which the site can be accessed.
  5. Go to Policy editor > Global settings > Expire Temporarily Allow Sites After (in minutes)TTLnew.jpg

Note that if no time is added, the site will become available to the student forever on the specified IP, and will not expire from the Global Allow list. However, it can be removed manually by an admin at any time. It is recommended that you specify a time duration to avoid misuse by students.

Website Access Lookup Tool

Teachers can also allow access to a website via the website access lookup tool accessible from the securly.com footer. This feature allows teachers to check if a particular student has access to a specific website and then determine if that student should be allowed or denied access. To learn more about using the tool, check out this KB

Student Experience

In the case of blocked pages, a student will get an "Ask Permission" button. Upon clicking the button, the student will be asked for a reason for needing access to the site. Once submitted, an email will be sent to the teacher and/or the IT admin. The student will not be able to access the page until the teacher or IT admin approves the request.   

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Teacher & IT admin Experience

Teachers will receive an email with the Allow and Block buttons to grant access to the site. If the admin has not set for the teacher to allow sites as explained above, then the teacher would be required to contact the IT admin with the request. If allowed, the teacher will need to log in with his/her school Google credentials. Once the site is allowed, it will be allowed for everyone on that IP address.

Sample email to teachers,

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Note that the site will once again be blocked when the TTL determined by the IT admin kicks in.  

Review Approved Sites

For the admin’s convenience, these allowed sites are marked separately under the ‘Allow/Block’ tab in Global Settings.  

If you have not yet started using the updated version of the Securly admin portal, please check out the KB here. 

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