Wireless Networks Thread, RM SmartCache Filtering in Technical; I turned the filtering on for staff last night! and the phone wouldnt stop ringing this morning!
"I cant get ...
8th December 2009, 09:29 AM #1
RM SmartCache Filtering
I turned the filtering on for staff last night! and the phone wouldnt stop ringing this morning!
"I cant get onto this!" "I cant get on that!!"
These were web sites like banks, web based emails!
What do u block for staff?
8th December 2009, 09:48 AM #2
You need to align your filtering with your AUP. If your AUP states that the computers should not be used for X, Y and Z then that is what you block.
We use the same filter rules for staff and pupils to avoid confusion during lessons - if a teacher has done their lesson planning and wants to access a particular site, they need to know that the pupils can also access it.
There are a few exceptions where only staff have access to a site and we also have a slightly relaxed filter for sixth form students.
The important thing is, only stop them doing anything that they shouldn't have been doing before and then nobody can complain!
8th December 2009, 12:03 PM #3
Once you've done what Ric suggests, he's right in suggesting that no-one can complain, but that likely won't stop them. You will be seen as the agent of change, acting unilaterally, and people will still complain. I had this a few weeks ago when I issued a statement on behalf of SMT (it was even signed by them) telling people not to publish certain information on our website. Cue irate people who had been doing it for years demanding to know "why are you telling people this" because they thought I was making rules up, simply because no-one had communicated the already existing rules to them before.
The quickest way to stop the complaints themselves is to get a firm statement from SMT stating what Staff should and should not be doing, and that any complaints to you will be passed directly to SMT.
8th December 2009, 06:34 PM #4
It's not that, it's this:
SAFETYNET PLUS IS BLOODY AWFUL
It now has VIRTUALLY EVERY SITE KNOWN TO MAN classified as illegal/pornography and is now completely useless. This is the only category along with proxies we have enabled.
9th December 2009, 10:39 AM #5
I'm not going to disagree with that assessment too much as I was never fond of SafetyNet Plus either, but although the SmartCache works off the same base lists, it is much easier to set filter exceptions on a SmartCache than with SafetyNet Plus.
P.S. If you've just got your SmartCache, do check that RM have cancelled your SafetyNet Plus contract as it's superseded by the SmartCache, and they have been known to forget!
9th December 2009, 10:48 AM #6
I didn't realise the SmartCache was actually different filtering as we have never had one, what with our brilliant set up of 70 schools on a 30Mb link it probably wasn't important
Originally Posted by AngryTechnician
Still, at least we get 100MB for 70 schools now! (in the last couple of months), and we as a school only pay over £30k for our 10Mb link from SEGFL. For some reason I am not impressed with what we get for our money. A 2800XM router, Safetynet Plus, SMTP feed.
Since safetynet plus v4 the exceptions have become quite ridiculous. Most shareware/software sites are now classified under pornography for unexplained reasons. I had to get them to unblock the sourceforge domain, as it was apparently pornography.
9th December 2009, 10:54 AM #7
Question, the kids need access to hotmail.co.uk and hotmail.com (dont ask why)
they can get too the login page but then when it goes to a sub domain like, login.hotmail.com it gets blocked, now if I add *.hotmail.com it should unblock shouldnt it?
9th December 2009, 10:58 AM #8
With a smartcache if you want to unblock the domain *.hotmail.com the easiest way is
without any wildcards it unblocks the entire domain
you may need to look at live.com also
9th December 2009, 02:28 PM #9
Well, some of the software on there is very sexy. IIRC SourceForge was the very first site I unblocked when I took over at my current school.
Originally Posted by DMcCoy
10th December 2009, 07:40 PM #10
- Rep Power
Smartcache also allows you to enable/disable the certain "lists" RM provide - like the ones for games, music, etc.
When I first started all of these were enabled (for both staff and students!) and so the internet connection was practically useless. Sites like slashdot.org, neowin.net, housepricecrash.co.uk etc were all blocked.
One piece of work involved the students setting up an "e-commerce" website selling music singles - they couldn't research existing music sales websites as they were all filtered. This level of filtering is not needed.
I now only have the porno category blocked for staff and students (as well as a few custom lists for the students; youtube, social networks, etc) - works quite well, IMO. If a game site shows up too often for my liking in RM Tutor I will add it to the canned list.
BBC News - School pupils' views of web block
Here is a video on the BBC (not the School I work at) starring some pupils telling us what they think of over-restrictive filtering.
Their setup sounds like a right palaver - applying to the LA to get a site unblocked? What happens when a teacher has planned a lesson based on a website and only discovers it is filtered when the kids are all at their stations?
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