Blocking Plans Overview

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INTRODUCTION

Dyknow Blocking Plans enable teachers to prevent off-task behavior and keep students focused/engaged while on their school devices.

A Blocking Plan is a customized list of website URLs and/or computer applications that Dyknow Teachers can enforce during a monitoring session to ensure students only access specific content on their devices.

In this article:

 

TYPES OF BLOCKING PLANS

There are four types of Blocking Plans a Dyknow Teacher can enforce during a monitoring session:

  1. Allow Only
  2. Block Only
  3. Segmented
  4. School-Wide (Suggested)

ALLOW ONLY BLOCKING PLAN

Allow Only Blocking Plans are restrictive. When an Allow Only Blocking Plan is enforced, students will be able to access only the websites and applications selected by the teacher (all other websites and applications on the student device will be blocked). Allow Only Blocking Plans are ideal for use during testing and direct instruction.

BLOCK ONLY BLOCKING PLAN

Block Only Blocking Plans are less restrictive. When a Block Only Blocking Plan is enforced, students will be able to access anything on their devices except the websites and applications selected by the teacher. Block Only Blocking Plans are ideal for use during academic research and open lesson plans.

SEGMENTED BLOCKING PLANS

Segmented Blocking Plans enable Dyknow Teachers to block individual students or enforce two Blocking Plans at once (either/both an Allow Only Blocking Plan or/and a Block Only Blocking Plan). Typically used during testing, Segmented Blocking Plans are enforced per student, and therefore can only be created during a monitoring session.

For more step-by-step instructions on creating and enforcing Segmented Blocking Plans, read our Segmented Blocking Plans article.

SCHOOL-WIDE (SUGGESTED) BLOCKING PLANS

A School-Wide Blocking Plan - either an Allow Only Blocking Plan or a Block Only Blocking Plan - can only be created by a Dyknow Administrator but is available to all Dyknow Teachers within the school/district for enforcing during a monitoring session. Once a Dyknow Teacher clicks the Modify Blocking button, he/she will find any School-Wide Blocking Plans listed as Suggested Blocking Plans within the Plan list. For more information on School-Wide Blocking Plans, read our School-Wide Blocking Plans article.

 

BLOCKING WEBSITES

Dyknow Blocking Plans enable teachers to specify exactly which websites and which pages of a website students can or cannot access during a monitoring session. Dyknow Blocking Plans can include any website URL (domain, subdomain, or full URL) and almost any combination of URLs.

URL DEFINITIONS

  • Domain URL (domain.com): the main domain website; includes subdomain and full URLs
  • Subdomain URL (subdomain.domain.com): a domain that is part of another, main domain; includes full URLs
  • Full Domain URL (domain.com/v/1/example): a directory of a domain; a web page
  • Full Subdomain URL (subdomain.domain.com/2/b/example): a directory of a subdomain; a web page

URL HIERARCHY

The amount of access students have to websites and their web pages depends on the URLs allowed or blocked by an enforced Blocking Plan.

Dyknow Tip:

Use full website URLs in Dyknow Blocking Plans to specify exactly which pages of a website students can or cannot access during a monitoring session - like a single YouTube video or a Google Forms test.

If a Dyknow Blocking Plan includes both a full URL and either a domain or subdomain URL of the same domain, only the least specific URL applies.

URL BLOCKING EXAMPLES

Review the chart below to understand how each type of URL works in Dyknow Blocking Plans.

Allow Only Blocking Plans
 If you allow...  You're also allowing...  You're not allowing...

 google.com

  • all google.com full URLs
    • google.com/webhp?tab=kw&authuser=0
    • google.com/fbx?fbx=snake_arcade
  • classroom.google.com
  • docs.google.com
    • docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeH-BS6i13fqN49ke_rEJfw/viewform
  • drive.google.com
  • hangouts.google.com
  • mail.google.com
  • myaccount.google.com
  • all other, non-Google websites and web pages
    • app.schoology.com
    • minecraft.net
    • spotify.com
    • epicgames.com/fortnite
    • youtube.com
    • learn.canvas.net/login/canvas
 mail.google.com
  • all mail.google.com full URLs
    • mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=rm&ojbl#inbox?compose=new
    • mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab#inbox/FMfcgxwHFsBflf
  • google.com
  • classroom.google.com
  • docs.google.com
  • drive.google.com
  • hangouts.google.com
  • myaccount.google.com

 If you allow...

 And you allow...

 ONLY the least specific applies.
 google.com  docs.google.com

 All google.com URLs are allowed.

 docs.google.com  docs.google.com/forms/j/gloBN

 All docs.google.com URLs are allowed.

 

Block Only Blocking Plans
 If you block...  You're also blocking...  You're not blocking...
 google.com
  • all google.com full URLs
    • google.com/webhp?tab=kw&authuser=0
    • google.com/fbx?fbx=snake_arcade
  • classroom.google.com
  • docs.google.com
    • docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeH-BS6i13fqN49ke_rEJfw/viewform
  • drive.google.com
  • hangouts.google.com
  • mail.google.com
  • myaccount.google.com
  • all other, non-Google websites and web pages
    • app.schoology.com
    • minecraft.net
    • spotify.com
    • epicgames.com/fortnite
    • youtube.com
    • learn.canvas.net/login/canvas
 hangouts.google.com 
  • all hangouts.google.com full URLs
    • hangouts.google.com/webchat/frame3?zx=15893055
  • google.com
  • classroom.google.com
  • docs.google.com
  • drive.google.com
  • mail.google.com
  • myaccount.google.com
 If you block...  And you block...  ONLY the least specific applies.
 google.com  hangouts.google.com  All google.com URLs are blocked.
 docs.google.com  docs.google.com/slides/j/gloBN

 All docs.google.com URLs are blocked.

BLOCKED WEBSITES

When a Blocking Plan is enforced that prevents students from accessing one or more website URLs:

  • Students that are on or attempt to access the blocked websites will be redirected to studentontask.com, where they will see the message: This site is currently blocked. Please be on task.
  • Students will be unable to access the blocked website(s) until the enforced Blocking Plan is either:
    • Removed for all students:
      • By clicking the Remove Blocking hyperlink (grid view);
      • By clicking the Remove Blocking Plan button (big view);
      • Automatically when its set End Time is reached;
      • Automatically when the monitoring session ends;
    • Removed for individual students by switching them to the other Group in a Segmented Blocking Plan; or,
    • Edited, deleting one or more of the previously blocked websites.
  • Dyknow Teachers will be notified when a student attempts to access a blocked website; the Blocked Students section in the Activity Tracker will highlight red and identify the name of the blocked student and the blocked website URL.

 

BLOCKING APPLICATIONS

Dyknow Blocking Plans enable teachers to specify exactly which applications students can or cannot access during a monitoring session. Dyknow Blocking Plans can include any computer application, or software program - and any combination of applications.

However, Blocking Plans work differently on student Windows and Mac devices than they do on student Chromebook devices. Because of Chrome OS restrictions, Dyknow Blocking Plans can only reach students' Google Chrome browser activity; for more information, read our FAQ: Student is "Out of Browser" article.

Dyknow Tip:

When creating an Allow Only Blocking Plan, enter "Web browsers" into the list of allowed Applications to enable students to access the allowed Websites you've listed, via the web browser of their choice, but none of the web browser's extensions.

APPLICATION DEFINITIONS AND EXAMPLES

 Application Type  Definition  Examples
 Web browser  Software for accessing the internet (websites)
  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Edge
  • Safari
  • Firefox
 Extension

Software for customizing a web browser, among other features; accessible via web browser

  • Chrome Remote Desktop
  • PearDeck
  • Grammarly
  • Google Hangouts
  • Screencastify
 Word processor

Program for editing text, among other features; many word processors can also be accessed online (as websites)

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft OneNote
  • Apple Pages
  • Google Docs
 Email client

Program for accessing and managing email; most email clients can also be accessed online (as websites)

  • Gmail
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Apple Mail
 Media player  Software for playing multimedia audio and video files
  • Windows Media Player
  • VLC Media Player
  • iTunes
 File viewer  Software for presenting stored data
  • Google Drive
  • Microsoft OneDrive
  • Microsoft Sharepoint
  • Apple iCloud
  • Dropbox
 Image editor  Software for manipulating images or models
  • Autodesk
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Apple Photos
  • Microsoft Publisher

Note: Applications are different than system software, which is involved with a computer's operating system (OS) and oftentimes cannot be blocked by a Dyknow Blocking Plan.

BLOCKED APPLICATIONS

When a Blocking Plan is enforced that prevents students from accessing one or more applications:

  • Any blocked applications that are open on a student device will be hidden from view.
  • Students will be unable to open the blocked application(s) until the enforced Blocking Plan is either:
    • Removed for all students:
      • By clicking the Remove Blocking hyperlink (grid view);
      • By clicking the Remove Blocking Plan button (big view);
      • Automatically when its set End Time is reached;
      • Automatically when the monitoring session ends;
    • Removed for individual students by switching them to the other Group in a Segmented Blocking Plan; or,
    • Edited, deleting one or more of the previously blocked applications.
  • Dyknow Teachers will be notified when a student attempts to access a blocked application; the Blocked Students section in the Activity Tracker will highlight red and identify the name of the student and the blocked application.

 

MANAGING YOUR BLOCKING PLANS

Dyknow Blocking Plans can be created before, during, or after an active monitoring session. But a Dyknow Blocking Plan must be enforced during a monitoring session in order to be active.

BEFORE OR AFTER MONITORING

Dyknow enables teachers to create, edit, or delete a Blocking Plan in the Blocking Plans tab before or after a monitoring session. Teachers often create multiple Blocking Plans - one for each class, specific lesson plan, group work, testing, etc.

Dyknow Tip:

After a monitoring session, review the resulting Class History data and use the Allowed / Blocked filters to identify opportunities to help build and improve your Blocking Plans.

DURING A MONITORING SESSION

When enforcing a Blocking Plan during a monitoring session, Dyknow Teachers have multiple options:

Option 1: Enforce a saved (previously created) Blocking Plan

This option is most efficient and optimizes class time. Teachers can quickly activate a saved Blocking Plan with 3 clicks: 

  • Modify Blocking
  • Plan
  • Enforce

Option 2: Create and enforce a new Blocking Plan

Dyknow enables teachers to create and save new Blocking Plans during a monitoring session.

Option 3: Enforce a Segmented Blocking Plan

Dyknow Teachers can either select a saved Blocking Plan or create a new Blocking Plan - or both - when enforcing a Segmented Blocking Plan.

Option 4: Block Activity (Big View)

When viewing a single student device thumbnail in big view, teachers can block activity with just one click. The Block Activity button will immediately block the current website or application (that is active on the selected student device) for all students in the monitoring session.

ONCE ENFORCED

Any type of Blocking Plan can be edited once enforced, using the Modify Blocking button to:

  • Edit the list of allowed/blocked Websites
  • Edit the list of allowed/blocked Applications
  • Add or edit the Blocking Plan Name
  • Add or edit the Blocking Plan End Time

If a Block Only Blocking Plan is enforced, Dyknow Teachers can also use the Block Activity button in big view to continue to block websites and/or applications (adding them to the enforced Blocking Plan) with just one click.

If a Segmented Blocking Plan is enforced, Dyknow Teachers can also switch students from one Blocking Plan Group to the next, and vice versa, with just one click of the Switch Blocking Plan button.

UNBLOCKING

An enforced Blocking Plan can be removed for:

  • An individual student, in big view; or,
  • For all students, in grid view.

An enforced Blocking Plan will automatically remove itself when:

  • An End Time has been set; or,
  • The monitoring session has ended.

 

BLOCKING PLAN FAQs

For more information on Dyknow Blocking Plans, check out our Blocking Plans FAQ article.

 

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