- 1 Introduction to Room Controls
- 2 How Room Controls Works
- 3 Set-up Room Controls
- 4 Room Admin Options
- 5 Controlling a Room (non-admin User)
Introduction to Room Controls
The Room Controls brick allows teachers to easily control the level of internet access for students in classrooms. Additionally it allows teachers to control individual computers within a classroom and set whether they have normal internet access, no internet access, or access only to a specific list of sites. These tools are all accessed through the use of the Room Controls Frog brick.
- Room Control allows users to control individual computers within a classroom and not just entire rooms as a whole entity.
- It also applies the Internet controls no matter who is logged on to the computer. This is an extremely useful tool to ensure students remain engaged with the work in hand and can remove distractions remove the classroom.
- The access list is tied to the user controlling the room, rather than the room itself. When a user takes control of a room, their personal access list is applied. Any modifications to the access list then update their personal access list.
- The Internet access level of computers is never changed automatically. This means that once a user has set the level of internet access for computers within a room, the computers will stay in this state until altered by another user.
- Entries within the access list can be visited, regardless of whether they are listed within Frogs blocked list or not.
How Room Controls Works
Firstly, to ensure that the room controls does work you must:
- Use Frog as the first proxy server on your workstations.
The reason for this is because the Website Tracking and Room Control features within Frog need the users information to work, as such these features require the Frog Server to be the first proxy server as it can directly deal with the information that will allow it to perform advanced functions with the users Internet request. In other words if you were to use a different proxy instead of Frog, it would not be able to recognise which machines should have access to the internet and which should not as Frog is dealing with this through the Room Controls brick.
Room Control works on the actual machine name of a PC, e.g. IT1-01. When a user attempts to use Frogs proxy server, the proxy server will look up the name of their PC. If a PC with that name is found within Room Control, the Room Control settings will be used to determine their level of Internet access. As Room Control works on the name of a PC instead of a user, if a school is using thin-clients or a Terminal Server, any Room Control settings will apply to all users on the server.
Frog contains a caching proxy server which can be used to track what sites are being visited by which users, apply basic filtering and extend teachers control over what sites can be visited in lessons through the Room Control system. The Proxy Server within Frog runs on port 3128, and this port should be used when configuring users to use the Frog Server as a proxy.
When looking up the name of a PC, Frog will issue a NetBIOS request directly to the PC to request its name. In order for this request to work, the PC must either have Windows Firewall disabled, or have an exception within Windows Firewall for File & Printer Sharing.
The NetBIOS lookup performed by Frog operates similar to an nbtstat within Windows, to test whether a machine can respond to NetBIOS requests, the nbtstat -A command can be used within a command prompt (Windows command Start > Run > cmd), using the IP address of the machine.
A long list of entries indicates the machine is correctly responding to NetBIOS lookups. Room Control will work on any computer and Operating System that can respond to NetBIOS lookups correctly.
Set-up Room Controls
Room Controls Brick
In order to use the room controls brick as an administrator you will have this enabled by default when editing a page. If you would like staff and teachers to use this Brick they will need the role "Use Internet Room Controls" to be enabled within the toolkit along with "Change Internet Cache Settings" and "Setup Internet Filter Controls". Roles are accessed in the toolkit under Admin --> Roles. Once in this area, use the top left search box and type in "internet" in order to display these roles. Click in the desired boxes to display a green circle containing a tick, in order to enable these roles.
Providing these roles is enabled, when editing a page you can then view this brick under the admin tab then drag it accordingly onto your page. There are no settings to change when in edit mode as all entries are added when viewing the brick in the front end of Frog.
After having dragged this brick onto a page then saving and publishing the page, you may wish to either copy the URL for the page or place a link on your dashboard pages to this page containing your room controls brick. If you are using this brick for the first time, there will be no rooms or machines setup. As an administrator you will have access to the main options toolbar at the top of the brick. The main options available when first viewing this brick are as follows:
- New Room -- This allows you to manually create a new room where you can add machines and control access.
- Edit Room -- This allows you to edit the currently selected room in your list.
- Delete Room - This will prompt the user whether they do wish to delete this room. If deleted it will be removed the list and cannot be retrieved.
- Import Rooms -- This will allow you to upload a CSV file containing a list of rooms and machines that you wish to add to this room controls brick.
- Toggle All Hidden On/Off -- This will allow administrators to prevent users from hiding all rooms at once or making them visible again.
Clicking the new room button will open up a further popup where you can specify a room name and tick whether you wish for this room to be invisible in the room controls brick. If this is ticked you will see this whilst viewing this brick as an administrator but as another user who has access to view this brick you will not see this hidden room.
Once you are happy with the settings entered click on save in order to close this popup and be taken into the settings for this specific room. These will be covered later in this guide.
Providing you have a room selected on your list, then you will have access as an administrator to click on edit room. Once clicked, it will simply open up the same popup as when you create a room, allowing you to change the room name or make this specific room invisible. Clicking the OK button will return you to the room list.
Providing you have a room selected on your list, then you will have access as an administrator to click on delete room. Once you have done this you will be prompted whether you are sure that you wish to delete this room. If you click on OK then the room will be deleted and the list will be refreshed.
There is an option within the Room Control brick to allow for administrators to import a CSV file containing rooms and machines in order to save having to set them up manually one at a time. The format of the CSV file requires the fields:
- room -- The room name where the machines will be located.
- pc -- The machine names located in the specified room.
- status -- The starting status of the machines internet access.
The 3 values possible are:
- on -- internet access(selected by default)
- off -- no internet access
- whitelist -- this machine will have limited connectivity to the internet as it will use the access list specified for this room
Once you are happy with your CSV file you can navigate back to your room controls brick and click on the import rooms button.
By clicking this option on the tool bar as an administrator, you will be presented with an import CSV window with a few basic instructions as can be seen in the screenshot below. Once you have read the instructions, click on the next button to continue.
Now you are presented with a screen where you must specify the CSV file that you wish to upload. To start this process click the "..." button.
After having clicked the "..." button you will be presented with the following popup. Here you need to navigate to your CSV file on your Frog Platform. If you need to upload it from your local machine, click on the "browse" button to open a further popup where you can browse your workstation and upload it to Frog. Once uploaded to Frog, single left click the file then click OK to select this file.
Once the file is selected you will be returned to the following menu with the specified file name of your CSV. Click next to continue to the next step of this import process.
This screen displays the content of the CSV file. By default the field delimiter (symbol which separates field entry's)will be set to comma's. If you have followed the instructions in this guide then please leave this setting as it is. If you are happy with the layout go the preview area, please click next to continue.
The next screen is where you are required to map your fields to ensure that Frog knows where you are trying to place this information on your CSV. As show in the diagram you need to ensure that your room names are mapped to the room field, the workstation machine names are mapped to the machine Frog trade field and the status is mapped to internetstatus. You match these up by using a small drop down area in the text file field column in this window. Click next once you have done this.
The final screen will display the information you are wanting to import after being mapped to the specified Frog fields. As you can see this information is separated into the appropriate columns. Please ensure these results are correct before clicking next. Providing you are happy with the information then click next in order to import the CSV file and update or create your new rooms for the room controls brick.
Toggle All Hidden On/Off
If this option "Toggle All Hidden On/Off" is ticked then for all users who are not administrators they will not be able to see any of these rooms in the room control brick. When you click the button it will display you with the below message asking to confirm if you wish to set the hidden status on all rooms.
The 2 options for this are either Yes or No. If all of the rooms are hidden then any teachers or staff who can use this room controls brick will simply have a blank list whereas the normal view for staff or teachers will simply display a list of all rooms entered.
Room Admin Options
In order to enter a room to make changes to either add or modify machines or change the internet access for specific machines, simply double click on a room name to enter. If the following options are not available for you administrator account then you will need to click "take control of room" which will be in place of the settings in the screenshot.
Providing you in control of this room you should see the Access List on the left hand side with the Room Control main area on the right.
-- The Access List contains a list of the specific sites that have been added where you can either set specific websites that computers can visit or cannot visit depending on how you wish to set this up.
-- The Room Control area contains a list of the machines in this specific room. It is here where you can specify which machines have internet, which do not and which have limited access by using the access list.
The access list is the area within room controls where you can specify which websites are restricted. This list will only be active if the option "access list" is elected for that particular machine. There are 4 options available:
- New -- This allows you to add new websites to your restricted list. The following popup window will be shown after clicking the new button. Here all you need to do is enter the URL of the website that you wish to add to this access list. Even if you add "http" or https" or "www" before the website address, the entry in the list will remove it automatically.
Once you have added your website URL, clicking OK will add it to this list. Please note that sub-domains are not inclusive of your existing entries. For example if you added "google.com" to your access list then "images.google.com" would not be included and therefore not blocked.
- Edit -- This options allows you to modify your entries on this access list. Left click any of your site entries in this list then click the edit button to open up a popup for you to modify the existing URL.
Once you are happy with your changes click OK to save them to this list.
- Delete -- This option allows you to remove entries from this list. Simply single left click an entry then click on delete to bring up a prompt, asking you if you wish to remove this entry from the list.
Clicking OK will remove this from the list.
- Select All/Deselect All -- This option will select all website entries in this list and change them all to permit or alternatively if deselect all is clicked then all sites will be unchecked meaning none are permitted for access.
Permit = Machines using the access list WILL be able to visit this site.
The machine control area allows you to add machines to this particular room you are in along with specifying their level of internet access.
- New Computer -- This allows you to add new computers to your machine list for you to control. The following popup window will be shown after clicking the new button. Here all you need to do is enter the name of the computer that you wish to add to this access list. Clicking OK will add this entry to your machine list.
- Edit Computer -- This options allows you to modify your entries on this machine list. Left click any of your machine entries in this list then click the edit computer button to open up a popup for you to modify the existing machine name.
- Delete Computer -- This option allows you to remove entries from this machine list. Simply single left click an entry then click on delete computer to bring up a prompt, asking you if you wish to remove this entry from the list.
Clicking OK will remove this from the list.
Traffic Light Controls
Within this Brick are 3 settings as listed below. If any of these buttons are clicked it will automatically change all of the machines within this room to match that of the button selected.
|Internet Off||If selected all machines in the current room will not have access to the internet.|
|Access List||If selected all machines in the current room will have limit access to the internet and will use the access list permissions for websites.|
|Internet On||If selected all machines in the current room will have access to the internet.|
Within the main machine area there are also radio buttons beside each computer that have been added to this room. Here you can individually select whether each machine has internet access or not.
Controlling a Room (non-admin User)
The features of this brick as a non admin user are essentially the same as an administrator but lack certain functions such as setting up new rooms, editing rooms along with adding new computers and making changes to existing machines. When a non admin user first sees this brick, providing their are rooms that have been set-up and are not hidden by the admin user they will see a list of them all.
Double clicking a room will take you inside where you can view the machines and internet of these machines. In order to begin making your own changes you need to click the Take Control Of Room button. As you can see form the screenshot a user has already been in control of this room as there are entries in the access list on the left hand side.
Once a user has clicked to take control of the room they will be prompted to confirm their selection by clicking OK to continue. It warns you that this will remove the current access list from the room and apply your own.
The user will be be able to modify the internet access on the machines and modify their access list where required.