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.
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.
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.