Introduction to Class Tools

This article is intended for teachers.

What are Class Tools?

Class Tools help you manage your classroom and students using Classwize. Class Tools can be used to:  

  • message students,
  • focus their attention on specific sites and applications,
  • give them temporary access to fun sites as a reward,
  • block them from using the internet entirely, and
  • temporarily add or remove students from your class.
IMPORTANT: Some Classwize features for teachers are not available at every school. 

The features available at your school depend on:

  • how your school has configured Classwize,
  • what types of devices your students use, and
  • if Linewize Connect has been installed on your students’ devices. 

Refer to Classwize Feature Availability for Teachers for more information. For Smoothwall users, refer to the Smoothwall Quick Guide for available features.

Class Tools at a Glance

  • Open site opens a site in a new browser window or tab for all students in your class. More.
  • Announcement lets you send simple text messages to your students. More.
  • Focus stops students from accessing the Internet except for one or more Focus sites you set. More.
  • Reward gives your class temporary access to something fun. More.
  • Pause internet temporarily stops one or more students from accessing the internet. More.
  • Modify students lets you add or remove students to correctly reflect who is present in your class. More.
  • Bypass code generates a code that will allow any user who has it to bypass the filter. More

Except for Modify Students, all Class Tools are inactive until you start a class. See Starting, Extending, and Ending a Class for more information.

Class Tools in Detail

Open Site

Use Open Site when you want to direct all students to a resource. Open Site opens a website in a new browser window or tab for all students in your class. Students can close the tab or browse away from it.

Announcement

Use Announcement to send one-way text messages to all students. 

classwize announcement dialog

What do my students see? 

How your students see your messages depends on how they're using Classwize.

  • If they are using Chromebook or a Chrome browser:

The message appears on top of their current active Chrome window and will stay there until the student closes the message or clicks away to a new tab or site. If you send multiple messages, they'll all appear in the order that you sent them.

Classwize announcement on Chrome extension

  • If they are using other browsers and operating systems:

The message appears as a pop-up in the center of the student's screen and will stay there until the student clicks OK.

An example of a message appearing in a window on a student's macbook.  The message reads

Focus

Use Focus to restrict students to particular websites or categories of websites. Focus stops students from accessing the Internet except for the resources you’ve set. 

Focus for Chrome

The Focus site will open for students who are on Connect for Chrome. If you select the Students can only interact with the sites selected below option, any open sites that they were previously browsing will close. If you do not select this option, tabs will stay open and show the Blocked page. 

Focus for Windows and macOS

Focus for Windows and macOS only works with default browsers. When Focus is enabled, students will receive receive a prompt that their class is in Focus and that Focus sites have been opened in their browser.  Any open web pages on the default browser will stay open, but students won’t be able to open new sites or follow links unless it’s to a Focus site.  They can still browse non-Focus sites on their non-default browsers. 

When Focus is on, you will see the CLASS IS FOCUSED button on the Class toolbar. Selecting this button will open the Class is focused dialog where you can reset your Focus settings. To end the Focus session, select END FOCUS.

Reward

Use Reward when you want to give your class temporary access to something fun, like streaming media or online games. You can set the duration of the Reward from 10 minutes to 3 hours, then it will switch off at the end of your chosen duration. 

Class Tools - Reward settings

The difference between using Reward and using a Rule to unblock something is that the Reward access ends after a set period, while Rules apply until you turn them off.

Editing the Reward settings

While Reward is running, you will see the green Reward button on the Class toolbar. 

Class Tools - Reward session

Selecting the REWARD button will display the Reward status dialog, which shows how much time is left. 

  1. Use the search bar to update the sites that students can access for the remainder of the Reward.
  2. Select the next to the site or application that you want to remove.
  3. Select UPDATE to save your changes.
  4. Select STOP to turn off Reward immediately.

Class Tools - Reward Update

Pause Internet

Use Pause Internet to temporarily stop one or more students from accessing the internet. 

  1. To pause the internet for all students, select Apply to all students.
  2. To pause the internet for selected students, enter their names in the Select Students field.
  3. Select the X next to the student that you want to exclude.
  4. Select PAUSE to start pausing the internet.
  5. Select on the upper-right or CANCEL to close the dialog and cancel pausing the Internet.

Class Tools - Pause the Internet dialog

When Pause Internet is on, the PAUSED button appears on the Class Toolbar. The Internet Paused indicator and the Browsing Locked splash screen also appear on the tile of each student whose Internet has been paused.

Class tools - Paused Internet session

What can Teachers see?

Teachers can still observe the screens of students who are on Connect  for Windows or Mac even when they cannot browse the Internet. For students on the Connect Chrome extension, Teachers can see the Browsing Locked splash screen.

Editing the Pause Internet settings

To add, remove, update, or stop pausing the internet, select the PAUSED button.  

  1. Select Apply to all students to pause the internet for the whole class, or deselect this feature to pause the internet only for some students.
  2. If you’ve paused the internet only for some students and want to add more to the list, enter their name in the Select students field. 
  3. Select the X next to a student’s name to remove them from the list. 
  4. Select UPDATE to save your changes.
  5. Select END PAUSE to stop pausing the Internet.  

Class Tools - Editing Pause Internet settings

To end the Pause Internet for a student via Class View, select the Resume Internet button on the student tile.

Modify students

Class Tools - Modify Students

Use Modify Students to add or remove students to correctly reflect who is present in your class. However, if the class is synced with another data source like Google Classroom or Classlink, the changes you make may be reset after your class ends, or after you manually sync your classes.

See Managing Students in a Class for more information on adding and removing students from different types of classes.

Bypass Code

Use Bypass Code with caution. The generated code will let any user who has it access any site or application that has not been Locked (hard-blocked) by your school for up to 3 hours. 

Class Tools - Bypass Code

Use a Bypass Code when you're not sure why a student can't get to a website and using an Allow filtering rule isn't working to give them access.  You can also give a Bypass Code to a student when you want them to do self-directed inquiry in an environment where you or they can't be disturbed.  See How Rules Work for more information.

You can only generate one Bypass Code at a time, but multiple students can use the same code. The student can enter the code on the blocked page, or by going to my.linewize.net.  The Bypass Code will let the student access any website that is not Locked (hard-blocked) by your school.  This feature is not available for Smoothwall users.

If a student uses a Bypass Code and still can't access the desired website, the site has been Locked Blocked, or is in a category of websites that is Locked Blocked.  These can only be unblocked by your local IT support team.

WARNING: Bypass Code does not work with Focus. When you start Focus, it will stop access to the website that is temporarily allowed by using a Bypass Code.  Likewise, you cannot create a Bypass Code while Focus is on. When Block Only Rule Mode is enabled by your IT administrator, Bypass Code will not be available for you.