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East Midlands Broadband Consortium (EMBC) Thread, Overriding internet filtering on embc platform in Regional Broadband Consortiums (RBC); I had a request from a teacher about whether it's possible to allow access to YouTube as currently the filters ...
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    kaphc's Avatar
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    Overriding internet filtering on embc platform

    I had a request from a teacher about whether it's possible to allow access to YouTube as currently the filters set up (via Netsweeper) don't allow it on whatever level we are on (3 I think).

    Spoke to County to ask about this and apparently if we login via our county embc portal and then keep the browser window open, we can override the filtering and get onto Youtube (or anything else for that matter).

    Have tested this under my login and so far it works ..... but I'm wondering if this is a big can of worms I'm about to open if I mention it to staff!

    Is this usual practice across the embc counties?

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    It was normal practice at my previous school yes.

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    kaphc (27th November 2009)

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    I would get them to tell you what they want at least one day ahead of time then download the appropriate material (eg: youtube vids) to a network share for them to access.

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    The SWGfL provide a very similar service which we use. Teachers don't get added to the system unless they request it.


    I'd knock up a little report with the pros and cons and put it to managment. It means you won't be in the doo doo if it is misused. Also make sure teachers have their own accounts and are not using a generic account (for accoutability). Make sure the acceptable use policy for teachers is updated apropriately (it might even be worth adding something to the student AUP pacifically prohibiting them from using this) with some sensible ground rules. Students do not use unfiltered, unfilter must be disabled when a teacher leaves the room or the computer must be locked.

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    kaphc (27th November 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by p858snake View Post
    I would get them to tell you what they want at least one day ahead of time then download the appropriate material (eg: youtube vids) to a network share for them to access.
    If I was full-time I think I would do this, but I work 6 hours per week on this site, so they'd be waiting a while! Good point for something that might be reused often and by more than one teacher.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Sure its normal.
    At my schools we have local control of filtering and teachers and pupils are put into our own groups with appropriate filtering levels applies. Once they login to the portal that level gets applied. If they don't login then they get the default strict filtering.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    The filters work in the following way -

    Your school has a default site level (in your case level 3) so that should any student / pupil go onto the internet there is a reasonable level filters.

    Staff and students can log in and get an allocated level (eg in secondaries level 2 for students and level 1 for staff) to get the appropriate filters. This is portal controlled filtering.

    YouTube is allowed at level 1.

    There are more things you can do with Local Control of Filtering but that is really only if you have the right / sufficient staff to deal with it and if you have a good change control procedure so you don't leave yourself open by making changes and someone not providing you with a bit of protection.

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    kaphc (27th November 2009)

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    Quote Originally Posted by p858snake View Post
    I would get them to tell you what they want at least one day ahead of time then download the appropriate material (eg: youtube vids) to a network share for them to access.
    Do you consider copyright issues when using this approach? Last time I checked YouTube's terms and conditions prohibit this kind of use.

    We are experimenting with a tversity server to dish out content, but I am trying to concentrate on content that has an appropriate licence attached (eg creative commons or the creative archive licence), but I think we are opening a can of worms with downloading youtube videos - unless permission can be sought from the user/person who uploaded the video in question (assuming that user hasn't ripped it off from somewhere else of course!)

    Has anyone looked into this much or have any advice?

    Going back to the original question about unblocking, with the use of something like a tvserity server you may be able to avoid opening up some sites to teachers and get a much better stream by internal hosting - but I think this may be opening up a different can of worms!

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    Providing Media Studies adds another wrinkle to this.

    The course content frequently requires research involving video sites - i.e "go find a good example of $foo and write 300 words on how you'd shoot the scene differently."

    There's no way a teacher can provide a list that fulfills the above, nor would I be willing to maintain it.

    It's one of those "yeah, we have to protect the children, but we may be going OTT here and it's starting to get in the way of the nuts and bolts of delivering courses".

    Better filtering of youtube (which can be done - allow for $computer_room during $supervised_media_lesson_time, but use standard keyword blocking - assumes onsite proxy) would let kids do their coursework / classwork in school rather than having to go home to do it.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    We recently allowed it here. See the other thread on here about problems with the portal and cookies; I have that logged with them now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    The filters work in the following way -

    Your school has a default site level (in your case level 3) so that should any student / pupil go onto the internet there is a reasonable level filters.

    Staff and students can log in and get an allocated level (eg in secondaries level 2 for students and level 1 for staff) to get the appropriate filters. This is portal controlled filtering.

    YouTube is allowed at level 1.

    There are more things you can do with Local Control of Filtering but that is really only if you have the right / sufficient staff to deal with it and if you have a good change control procedure so you don't leave yourself open by making changes and someone not providing you with a bit of protection.
    Thanks, sounds so logical and not like a dodgy workaround anymore!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    We recently allowed it here. See the other thread on here about problems with the portal and cookies; I have that logged with them now.
    Ah yes, just had a look on that thread. Am in two minds whether to let the teachers loose or not, spoke to the ICT Co-ordinator who thought the same. Will let SMT decide based on whether we have a robust AUP policy.



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