Web Filtering

Overview

The Leander ISD Information Technology team manages a web filter in order to support learning enhanced by technology, to keep students safe and to comply with federal law. Starting in Spring 2018, LISD began filtering web content on devices provided to students through the mLISD program versus only on its local wifi network. As a result, the new filter restricted web content on LISD devices even when being used in students’ homes or public wifi spots.

Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA)

In compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), LISD is required to adopt and implement an internet safety policy addressing:

(a) access to minors to inappropriate matter on the internet;
(b) the safety and security of minors when using electronic mail, chat rooms and other forms of direct electronic communications;
(c) unauthorized access, including so-called “hacking” and other unlawful activities by minors online;
(d) unauthorized disclosure, use and dissemination of personal information regarding minors; and
(e) measures restricting minors’ access to materials harmful to them.

What can I do if an instructional website is blocked?

  1. Submit a Website Review Request from the blocked page.

    This will be the quickest and easiest way to request a website review in almost all cases. Staff and students have different blocked pages and therefore slightly different links to submit a website review request.

     

    Staff

    Simply click the “Submit URL” button and enter any additional information desired at the prompt.

    A screenshot of the Staff request window.

    Students

    Simply click the “Website Review Request” link, and enter the required information in the form.

    A screenshot of the student website review window.

    An incident will be created, and the user will be notified upon completion.

     

  2. Submit a Website Review Request from ServiceManager.leanderisd.org (staff only).

    1. This option is available if there is no blocked page. For example, an instructor submitting a request for a website blocked only for students.

    2. On the Service Manager website, navigate to Network and Internet/Website Review Request, and provide request details.

      A screenshot of the Leander ISD Service Manager window.

    3. All other details are the same as using the “Submit URL” button.

  3. Contact a Technology facilitator or the ITS Help Desk (staff only). Campus Facilitators and the Help Desk can unblock websites. ITS Help Desk is available at (512) 570-0517.

What kind of content is blocked by the District filter?

The District blocks various categories of content for students including, but not limited to, the following examples:

  • Adult Content
  • Alcohol / Drugs
  • Movie/Music Sites (Netflix, Pandora)
  • Gambling
  • Games
  • Social Networking (Twitter allowed)
  • Hacking or Unlawful Activities

New internet sites come online every day and no filter is perfect, but all categories are continuously updated as identified by the filter vendor.

Filtering is not a perfect science and occasionally sites can be miscategorized and inadvertently blocked or open for various reasons. Parents should continue to monitor students device usage and contact the Technology department should any sites need further evaluation.

Why are some sites that don’t seem unsafe blocked?  

Leander ISD has limited technology resources and internet bandwidth. These resources are prioritized for services like Google Classroom and other instructional services. For this reason, some categories of content like Streaming Audio/Video which consume these resources but are not necessarily instructional may be blocked.

Why are some of my search results blocked?

Sometimes, especially with image searches, you may notice that various search results are filtered out even though there was nothing inappropriate in the search terms.

Search Image
In these cases, the filtered results are hosted on sites which contain both appropriate and inappropriate content. Consequently, all content on those sites is blocked.

In these cases, please remember that Google is not the only place for conducting research. Campus librarians can provide numerous additional resources for research needs.

A great place to start is the TexQuest Resource Guide. For even more resources, see your campus librarian.  Click here for links to LISD Campus Libraries.

What can I do if I’m having trouble accessing the internet at home?

  1. All student devices have CKMobile software installed, which enforces District content filtering, whether inside or outside the District.
  2. When inside the District, the network icon shown in the Task Bar is the normal “wireless” icon.A screenshot of the wireless icon.
  3. When outside the District, the network icon shown in the Taskbar is the “wired” icon and reports “leanderisd.org” when the mouse hovers it.A screenshot of the icon.
  4. It may take up to one minute for the connection to come up outside the District. If you have any difficulty with internet connectivity after this time, try any of the following:
    1. Close and reopen your browser.
    2. Turn WiFi off and back on.
    3. Restart the computer.

If unresolvable issues prevent internet connectivity outside the District, go to ServiceManager.leanderisd.org (on another computer) and submit an Off Site Filtering service request for District support.

Why can’t I print to a network printer at home?

The district filter creates a secure tunnel over the internet back to the Leander ISD network. So in effect, a district device never leaves the district network, which is why resources on other networks are not accessible. To print your work, we recommend one of the following:

  1. Connect your device to your home printer using a USB cable.  In many cases, the computer will already have a driver for your printer.
  2. If you can’t make a direct connection to your printer, save your work and print it out at school on the following day.

How can instructors be sure that class material won’t be filtered for students? 

Confirming student access to web content before planned instruction is always advisable. Student access can be verified as follows:

  1. Open a Chrome browser incognito window.

    (This is necessary to prevent false positives/negatives related to website caching.)

    Instructions to access a new incognito window

  2.  Perform all remaining steps in the incognito window that opens.

  3. Go to a site that will produce a blocked page such as domain123.com, and click the “Login” button.

    A screenshot of the restricted page.

  4. Login with the username “studenths”, “studentms”, or “studentes” depending on your grade level and the password will be the same as your username.

  5. Click the “Continue” button after logging in as a student.

    A screenshot of the login page.

  6. A “Login Successful” window will pop out, indicating you are now filtered as a student. Be sure to leave this pop up open.

    A screenshot of the logout window.

  7. To return to staff filtering, click the “Logout” button in the pop out window.

  1. Do not close the pop up window by clicking the X in the upper right corner.
  2. If you do accidentally click the X, you will have to type “contentkeeper.com/?logout” into your browser address bar and hit Enter to return to staff filtering.
Updated on August 15, 2018

Was this article helpful?

Related Articles

Leave a Comment