The Dilemma. How do you block games in school that mostly run on flash, without blocking flash? We need flash as we have various interactive resources that are run on them which are very educational and fun, including some forms of games - so removing it wouldn't make sense. We have tried to use classroom base tools such as NetSupport etc but don't find it works well enough. In addition, we have blacklisted the work 'game' along with other popular online flash game websites, so they are blocked. However this is still not the right solution because the students always manage to find a way around. Some of the smarter ones are finding games in different languages so the above solution is a tad redundant.
Your help would be much appreciated. I've been looking to get some advise from Intel Education at the moment, which has been helpful. Any thoughts?
i think monitoring tools is the best for this sort of thing .
For e.g. With italc in thumb view in realtime you can see whos playing games etc . Lock there screen .. show you are watching.
You can then block there accounts when caught . I also use a script to log all Sites pupils visit which you can then block in your proxy etc .
Doing this should stop 95% of pupils playing games . The other 5% wont care and you can just block there internet access
We (Smoothwall) found that we had to add dynamic flash blocking to our web filter product to even have a chance of discriminating games from "other" flash content. It's a tough old game, it is :)
But one smoothwall seem to play very well! @tom_newton you are downtalking your product as you guys do a bang up job of dynamic filtering!
I will have to check this out..Many thanks for the replies everyone :-)
My approach to games in the classroom is that there is a time and a place for them. I want the ability to block sites if certain students are not taking the hint but there are times when I want to reward students with free time to play games for ten minutes. We currently use Impero and after the initial 'training' of students they now know that if they are on a site without permission it will get permanently blocked. If however they avoid the games sites during lesson time and only use them with specific permission I won't block them.
In the majority of cases it develops a mutual respect and as already noted - the final 5% don't give a monkey's regardless so get their Internet access removed.
I have a squid dansguardian box that filters based on group which is free but smoothwall is better if you afford it.
If you had the funds, I would look at getting both smoothwall and impero so perhaps look at @tom_newton and @russdev for quotes so they can help you out :)