Web Zones Basics

How do I get to this page?

This page opens when you navigate to Web Filter and click Web Zones.

What’s on this page?

The Web Zones page is where you create and administer Fixed Web Zones, and administer Open Web Zones.

  • Fixed Zones are lists of IP addresses or ranges. Any computer with an IP address within the web zone automatically becomes part of the zone. Fixed Web Zones can only be created from the Lightspeed Systems Rocket Dashboard.
  • Open Zones are created on the fly by teachers in the Web Zone View portal. Students can request to join these web zones by navigating to a web page in their browser. Open Web Zones can only be created from the Web Zone View portal.
  • MBC Zones

Note: The Web Zone rules (allowed and blocked URLs) take effect when a Rocket administrator or Web Zone Manager activates the zone.

When should I use this?

Use this page to add, edit, activate, or delete web zones of all types: Fixed, Open, and Launch Zones.

Web Zone Managers

Web Zones

How do I get to this page?

This page opens when you navigate to Web Filter and click Managers.

What’s on this page?

Web Zone Managers are staff members who can temporarily override Web Filter rules. Web Zone Managers can activate a zone for five minutes to three hours. Any teacher authorized as a web zone manager can specify web sites the students can or cannot access.

Note: From the Launch Dashboard any teacher can create and manage Web Zones for groups they own, and are not required to be added as Web Zone Managers.

Note: You cannot use Web Zones in conjunction with Thin Client User Agent servers.

When should I use this?

Use this page to add users, groups, or user OUs (Organizational Unit) who can manage Web Zones.

How do I …

Adding a Web Zone Manager

  • 1. Click Web Filter, then click Managers.
  • 2. In the Managers grid, click the green “+” icon. This action opens the following page:

  • 3. In the New Manager form, edit the fields as needed.
  • 4. Click Save to apply your changes, or click Cancel to discard your changes and return to the previous page.

Note: If the same person is in more than one Web Zone Manager role, the role assigned to the user takes priority over that user’s Group or OU.

Configurable Fields on this Page

  • Type – Select User Group, User Name (default), or User OU
  • Authentication Source – Select the authentication source for this Manager
  • Search field – Type the name of the user, group, or OU, then click the Search icon to locate and select the name to use
  • User – Populated automatically when you select the user, group, or OU from the Search results.
  • Can create open zones – Select (check) to allow this Manager to create and manage their own open web zones.
  • edit allow lists in fixed zones – Select (check) to allow this Manager to add and remove URLs from the allow lists in fixed web zones.

Editing a Web Zone Manager

  • 1. Click Web Filter, then click Managers.
  • 2. Click the name to edit the item. This action opens the following page:

  • 3. In the Edit Manager form, edit the fields as needed.
  • 4. Click Save to apply your changes, or click Cancel to discard your changes and return to the previous page.

Configurable Fields on this Page

  • Type – Select User Group, User Name (default), or User OU
  • Authentication Source – Select the authentication source for this Manager
  • Search field – Type the name of the user, group, or OU, then click the Search icon to locate and select the name to use
  • User – Populated automatically when you select the user, group, or OU from the Search results.
  • Can create open zones – Select (check) to allow this Manager to create and manage their own open web zones.
  • edit allow lists in fixed zones – Select (check) to allow this Manager to add and remove URLs from the allow lists in fixed web zones.

Deleting a Web Zone Manager

  • To delete (permanently remove) an item, mouse over the item you wish to remove, then click the X on the right side of the row. You will be prompted to confirm the action.

Caution: Items deleted this way are permanently removed, and cannot be recovered.

 

Fixed Web Zones

If your administrator has set up a fixed web zone for a range of IP addresses (e.g., a computer lab), things go a little differently. For instance, students don’t have to request to join or leave since they are accessing the Internet from within that fixed range of IPs. If you log in from within that IP range, you’ll immediately be placed into that fixed web zone. Teachers can manage the domain rules and activate (or deactivate) the zone as needed.

Note: When managing a fixed web zone, ensure that the managing device’s IP address is within the web zone’s IP range.
  • URLs (web links) must be in the proper format. Do not include “http://” or “https://” in the URL.

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”. You can also specify IP addresses as well as URLs in the list.

Examples

Type Entry Explanation
Domain sample.com Allow or block everything on the sample.com domain
Site *.domain.com/directory/* Allow or block everything in a certain directory
Top Level Domain *.info/* or *.ru/* Allow or block an entire top-level domain name
Proxies */nph-*.cgi/*/http/* Block unknown proxy servers
Text within a URL *text* Allow or block any URL containing “text” within the string.
IP address 66.17.63.1 A complete single valid routable internet IP address

Note: Sites in the porn and security categories will always be blocked, even if a teacher uses “*” to allow all available URLs.

 

Adding a Fixed Web Zone

  • 1. Click Web Filter, then click Web Zones.
  • 2. In the Web Zones grid, click the green “+” icon. This action opens the following page:

  • 3. In the New Fixed Web Zone form, edit the fields as needed.
  • 4. Click Save to apply your changes, or click Cancel to discard your changes and return to the previous page.

Configurable Fields on this Page

  • Name – Enter a name for the fixed web zone
  • Description – Enter a brief description for the fixed web zone

Open Zones

Open zones are created on the fly. They are called open simply because authorized teachers can create them at any time from anywhere, and students can request access to these zones when the zone is active. This functionality differs from a fixed zone in that fixed zones apply to specific IPs or IP address ranges. If a teacher or student is within one of these IP ranges as setup by the IT staff, the users are automatically placed into that zone and do not have the option to leave.

Once IT has made you an authorized web zone manager, you can manage your open zones by opening a web browser and navigating to a local network address provided by your IT staff. Login using your regular network credentials. To create a new web zone, you’ll first give it a good descriptive name, like “Special Effects in Movies.”

Whenever an open web zone is activated, you’ll see we a user management panel on the Users tab, containing lists for pending user requests and joined users.

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Your students will have access to a web page where they can request to join an active web zone.

The Rules tab has Allow and Block lists for the domain rules.

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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.
  • Allow students under 13 years old to access websites that require adult consent and supervision under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA)

To help your students stay on task, enter the list of allowed web sites and select “Block all domains expect for allowed list. This restricts use of the Internet to only the sites located in the Allowed box.

Tip: You’ll need to communicate the web zone name for students to join it. In addition, if you’ve limited their access to a few sites, you’ll need to provide students with the web addresses they’re allowed to use.

Managing Web Zone Users

  • Click Users to view and manage web zone memberships. You must approve requests to join and leave an Open Web Zone.

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Releasing Users from a Web Zone

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  • To remove an individual user from a web zone, click Release below the user’s name in the Members list.
  • To remove all users from a web zone, click Release All in the top right corner of the Members list.