Using Share Links, Guided Browsing and Freeze Tabs Follow
Share Links is a fantastic feature for sharing URLs to learners within your class. You can also choose to focus your students on the newly opened browser tabs for a set period of time using the Guide browsing feature, or filter their internet access to block them from accessing specific sites. Sharing links and Guided browsing sessions can now be scheduled to open at a set date and time, allowing you to set up digital lessons ahead of time and maximize your time on task with students.
When a Focused session is active, learners can’t open new tabs, swap to other tabs or browse to new sites or URLs. Filter session blocks the students from accessing the page listed by the teacher for the duration of time. Focused and Filtered sessions cannot be activated for the same student at the same time.
- Initiating a Guided Browsing session
- Focused through login pages
- Guide browsing templates
- Identifying existing Focused sessions
- Ending a Focused session
- Focused Sessions and G-Suite: Gmail, Drive and Docs
- The learner experience of Focused Session
- Troubleshooting Focused Session
- Editing a Guide Browsing session after it begins
Schedule guided sessions
- Scheduling Sharing Links, Focused and Filtered Sessions
- Viewing your Scheduled sessions
- Editing your Scheduled session
- Copy Past Scheduled Sessions
The Share Links feature allows you to open tabs on the browsers of selected learners, selected groups or the whole class, and display specified sites and/or URLs. It can open up to 10 sites and/or URLs at the same time.
To open new tabs on your learners’ screens:
- Click the Share Links button
- Enter the website URL(s) you want to open on your students’ screens. We recommend using the "https://" prefix where a login is required. If you forget it, Google will redirect your learners from say http://mail.google.com to https://mail.google.com and this will fail if https is not specified. You can access previously opened URLs by selecting Recent Tabs.
- Select your recipients. You can select an individual or multiple learners, groups, or your entire class.
- Click the Share Links button. Within seconds, the tabs will open in your students' browsers.
To begin a Guided browsing session, click "Guide browsing" on the top right of the Highlights page.
Then, choose which type of Guided Browsing session you would like to set up:
If teachers want to specify just a few URLs that students cannot access, they can use the new Filter function to do so. Teachers can enter up to 10 pages to block during the session. Once initiated, students will be able to access any site other than the specified sites.
To set up the session, just enter the URLs you wish to block and press enter to confirm the link. Then, decide how long you wish the session to last, and whether to apply the session to the entire class or just a group of students. Finally, decide whether to start the session now or schedule it for a future time.
If teachers would rather focus students on specific pages, they can use the Focus session function, which works the same as the former Focused Browsing. Teachers just choose up to 10 URLs to open on student browsers, then once initiated, students will only be able to access the specified pages.
Focus sessions are set up similarly to Filter, but the URLs entered on the first text box are the only sites that students will be able to access. The only additional option for Focus sessions is in the third option box, where you can decide whether to keep the tabs open at the end of the session, and whether to restore any other tabs that students had open when the sessions were initiated.
Note: Only one session can be active at any given time, and a new session will deactivate any existing sessions. For example, if a teacher begins a Filter session for one hour, then begins a 15-minute Focus session. Once the Focus session is complete, the Filter session will no longer be in effect, and students will be able to access any sites that may have been blocked.
Focused Sessions works best with sites and URLs that can be browsed to directly, whereas private sites and URLs require a login before they can be accessed. For example, you cannot access your Gmail account without logging in to Google first.
Usually, Focused Sessions handles these scenarios ok, but some private sites redirect the student through multiple URLs before arriving at the desired site and Focused Session doesn't currently handle these complex cases.
For example, if a teacher wants to focus her students to a private resource provided by McGraw-Hill, then the Students would need to log in to the McGraw-Hill site before they can access this private resource.
The teacher has the option of asking students to first login to McGraw-Hill before focusing them to catalog.mcgraw-hill.com, but if the teacher knows the login URL then we recommend just specifying both URLs in the same session by:
- Initiate a Focused Session
- Specify all URLs required for browsing and logging in, ie: catalog.mcgraw-hill.com and connected.mcgraw-hill.com in this example
- Click on the focused session icon
- Select "Limit browsing to anywhere in these site(s)" if you'd like to prevent students browsing outside these websites
- Click Open Tabs
- This will open two tabs in each student browser - one for each URL. Once the student logs in, they can click on an ebook to view it.
Note: There is no way to force the student to select a specific book - but Highlights will show the book each student selected. If a student chooses a different book from the rest of the class, the Activity Viewer will show this in the "Unique Activity" panel.
We recommend teachers asking students to sign into private URLs before initiating a Focused session that requires a login, but they can specify all necessary URLs if they are known.
Guide Browsing templates
Within Guided Browsing, teachers are able to create Focus or Filter Session templates which can be saved and reused when needed.
Creating a new Template
- From the Highlights tab of any Hapara class, click Guide Browsing
- Choose to either Set up a Focus Session or Setup a Filter Session
- Configure the Session as required and click Save as a template
How to delete Guide browsing templates
- From the Highlights tab of any Hapara class, click Guide Browsing
- Highlight the Template you'd like to delete in the Template drop down
- Click the Trash Can icon to delete the template, then confirm you would like to delete the template in the next modal.
Note: Deleted templates cannot be recovered, so please exercise caution when deleting templates!
Identifying existing guided sessions
When a Guided session is active, you can easily identify it by the Aqua heading indicator.
You can also easily identify Focused and Filtered students via the icon. This will display primarily in the panel of all students engaged in Guided Session activities, as well as next to each student/group name in the recipient selection drop down.
Basically, if a student already has a Guided session in progress, the icon will display by their name on the Guide browsing drop-down list.
You cannot start a new Guided Session unless you stop the current session (or the current session expires). IE: Each student can only belong to ONE Guided session at a time.
If you need to stop a Guided session before the expiration of the set period, you can do this by clicking "Release all students" from the aqua Active sessions bar, or if you have multiple Guided sessions running and only want to end one, you can click the review button, and then click on the "End Session" button for that session.
For a Focus session, you will then be given the option to leave Focused tabs open for students or to close all Focused tabs. Leaving Focused tabs open will allow students to remain working on these sites, but give them the option of opening new tabs and navigating to new pages.
Clicking on the icon in individual student panels also gives you the option to release select students.
If you'd like to focus learners on any of the Google tools Gmail, Drive, and Docs tools:
- Open Guided Browsing
- Select Focus Session
- Check the "Limit browsing to anywhere in these site(s)" option
- Enter the website https://mail.google.com
- Enter the website https://drive.google.com
- Enter the website https://docs.google.com
- Click on the "Open Tabs" buttons to start the Focused session.
Note: We recommend specifying all three websites. This gives a better user experience for learners who are not logged in and are redirected by Google to a login page.
When a teacher initiates a guided session, learners receive a pop-up message letting them know their browsing will be limited, with a countdown to let them know when the guided session will begin.
If a teacher starts a Guided session, and then a few minutes later a learner turns up, when the learner logs into their school account, they will be automatically added to the existing session.
If learners attempt to navigate away from a focused session, or to a page being blocked in a filtered session, they will receive a message in that window letting them know their browsing is being guided by their teacher.
When the guided session has expired, learners will receive a pop up notification:
Editing Guided sessions after they've begun
If you need to make changes to a Guided session after it's begun, you can do so by clicking the "Review" button in the aqua bar at the top of Highlights.
To add students to a Filter or Focus session, check that the student list is selected in the review modal, then type in the students' email addresses in the text box below the student list, then click "add student".
To add links to a Filter or Focus session, select the links list, then add the link to the text box below, then click "add link".
For Focus sessions, you also have the option to edit what happens at the end of the session from the review modal.
Scheduling Guided Sessions
You can now set up browsing sessions in advance and schedule them from the Open Tabs modal. Teachers can schedule specific URLs to open for a class at the beginning of a class period or choose to schedule a session where students will be focused only on specific URLs.
Have an online quiz planned? You’ll be able to schedule it to open automatically at the start of class, giving learners more time to work. Making sub plans? Schedule tabs to open, so learners have everything they need.
To schedule a Guided Browsing session, toggle to Yes where it asks if you would like to schedule the session for late, then select the date you would like it to occur, and either select, or manually enter the start time.
Viewing Scheduled Sessions
A list of Scheduled Sessions will now be found under Schedule in the Highlights navigation.
From here, you can give each session a title to make them easier to keep track of or schedule additional sessions.
You can narrow your view of scheduled sessions to just this week, or view all of your scheduled sessions at once.
Editing your Scheduled sessions
You can edit your scheduled sessions via the All Upcoming Schedules view.
Users can edit any of their upcoming Scheduled sessions by clicking on the pencil icon on the right end of the session description.
Copy past Scheduled Sessions
To copy past sessions for future use, simply click the button on the far right of the session. When you do, the normal Scheduled Browsing window will appear, filled in with the same settings as the past session other than the date and time:
If you wish, you can optionally edit these pre-filled settings. Once you are finished filling in the date and time of the session and editing any other settings, click "Schedule for the Class" to complete the Scheduled Session.
How to delete templated Sessions
If you have created too many templates, you can now delete the templates that you no longer need.
At the Guide Browsing page, you can permanently delete the template that you no longer need.
* Any Template that is accidentally deleted is permanently deleted and it can not be recovered by the Hapara Support Team
Another way to guide students as they learn online is to freeze them on the tabs they already have open.
This feature can be useful for a variety of instructional purposes including:
- Creating personalized focus browsing sessions in which each student opens the materials they need for the lesson, and then freezing students in place.
- Focusing students on assessments from Google Classroom or Workspace: Each student can open their specific assessment document/assignment, then you can freeze them on those pages.
- Accommodating login pages and redirects: Sometimes it can be difficult to Focus Browse students on sites with login pages or redirects. With Freeze Tabs, you can have students login to the sites they should be working on, then freeze them on those pages.
To freeze students' tabs, simply click Freeze tabs in the white menu bar.
In the window that opens, you will need to determine whether students will be frozen on the current page they are on, or if they will be able to navigate within that site. You can also determine how long their tabs should be frozen and whose tabs you would like to freeze - the whole class, specific students or groups of students. Then click start session.
Any students you included in the session will be locked onto the pages they already have open. While a Freeze tabs session is in progress you can use the Share links feature to open additional sites for students. If students are on sites that they should not be, you can close those tabs as usual.