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Internet Related/Filtering/Firewall Thread, Search engines in Technical; I'm a primary school teacher. If I want my class to do any research, I am required to select which ...
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    Search engines

    I'm a primary school teacher. If I want my class to do any research, I am required to select which search terms they can use and pre-check them all. The children may not use their own search terms. Wikipedia is banned because it might not be accurate enough. Google has just been banned because our service provider has realised they are not able to force Safesearch on and a pupil might switch it off. Youtube is blocked, even to teachers.

    I understand and agree with the need to cover our backs, and the desire to shield children from undesirable content. However, I can't help feeling we're being steered by a series of knee-jerk reactions rather than a properly thought-through programme of educating children to conduct themselves safely, coupled with a risk assessment policy that balances risk against educational benefit. After all, as soon as the kids leave the premises they'll be using their unfiltered phones with their friends.

    Maybe I just need a summer holiday. Am I being unreasonable?

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need to a new service provider for a start as enforcing safe search is fairly easy as it it involves is adding something to the end of every url request for a Google search.
    I find that "Wikipedia is banned because it may not be accurate enough" to be a strange one, while this maybe true I'm sure it will be good enough, who came up with this ?
    YouTube completely blocked ? What about the education side of it, it may not cover everything but it's a start at least.
    I'm sure some people from primaries could suggest some search engines that they use that maybe better for the younger audience.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Wikipedia like any other source should be fine as long as it is cross referenced.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by will_ View Post
    Google has just been banned because our service provider has realised they are not able to force Safesearch on and a pupil might switch it off.
    Not sure if it helps, but it is possible to force SafeSearch on in Google Chrome (either through Group Policy or the registry setting below).



    Code:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome]
    "ForceSafeSearch"=dword:00000001

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    Thanks, Chris and Ben.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
    enforcing safe search is fairly easy
    I didn't think it could be that hard. I may be wrong but I suspect they must be using a product that "does it by magic" and/or doesn't allow enough customisation, so they're stuck until the next version comes out. Here's the announcement.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
    I find that "Wikipedia is banned because it may not be accurate enough" to be a strange one
    I've just about stamped that one out now but it was the school's policy until I got there.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
    YouTube completely blocked ? What about the education side of it
    Quite. A few of us rip anything we need at home but most people just resign to not being able to use it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur View Post
    it is possible to force SafeSearch on in Google Chrome
    Thank you very much for the suggestion. Unfortunately Chrome isn't a supported option, so we can use it on our staff laptops (if we install it ourselves) but pupils can't. For them, it's IE, IE or IE.

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will_ View Post
    Quite. A few of us rip anything we need at home but most people just resign to not being able to use it.
    Which is naughty.

    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Which is naughty.
    Well, yes, I suppose it is. It seems a bit less naughty than blatantly breaching our acceptable use policy by bypassing the filtering, though.

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    Hi @will_

    We are a secondary school which until recently was with EIS Kent for our internet and filtering, but have since moved away for a variety of reasons.

    If I was you I would have a word with the guys & girls (Natalie and Kevin I dealt with mainly) in schools broadband and see if they can transfer you over to the NextGen Lightspeed filtering that they use for secondary schools. It is connectable straight to your AD and read out user accounts allowing staff & students to have different polices (we allow youtube for staff and the education version for students ) and it works 100% with google safe search. This is the same product that we now use on a virgin media connection at our school so if you need any advice let me know.

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    I work at a college rather than a primary school and I realise that things are going to work very differently there but it sounds like the need of you and your pupils are not being met very well at the moment. Rather than trying to work around these flaws, can you see if you can get things addressed properly to meet your needs. I doubt you're alone at your school in struggling with what seems an overly-restrictive system, and this has to be impacting the education of your pupils and that's why we all bother flinging the doors open in the mornings, after all!

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    Forcing safesearch has got a spot harder over the last year or two thanks to the prevalence of https - but with the right filter it is eminently possible.

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    The reason safe search is hard to block is due to filters being unable to read https packets without deep packet inspection (SSL Scanning). There is a solution whereby to sum it up you put in your local DNS forwarders a Forward Lookup Zone for google.com and create a CNAME within to point "www.google.com" to "nosslsearch.google.com". Once you have all Google requests going to None SSL Google your filters will work to however you may have them set up.

    An article from Google for this can be found here - https://support.google.com/websearch...r/186669?hl=en

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