Sandbox – a whitelisted web browser for IOS

Sandbox is an interesting Web browsing app available for all iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad) that restricts users to a predefined list of websites. Unlike the normal privacy applications that block specified websites, Sandbox allows users to access only a preapproved list of sites, or whitelist.

This could be a useful app to use in schools. Using Sandbox, a teacher can ensure students remain on track during a class project, accessing only material that the teacher has already selected (although of course they could always tab out and switch to Safari….)

Sandbox can be configured in two ways. Firstly, its settings can be changed within the Settings app on the iOS device itself. Also, administrators can use a property list fileto configure multiple devices.

Sandbox offers other features, including the ability to lock configuration settings with a password to prevent other users from changing settings and to quickly add bookmarks for approved websites.

Personally I’ve never liked schools using whitelists – they seem to get out of date very quickly and block far too much useful content that the filter never envisaged. But for those teachers who want a tighter control on the sites a student can use at a particular time – for example to work on a specific topic area, then it could prove useful. I’m still not sure how secure it would be, I can see students getting online via another browser such as Safari quite easily.

You can find out more at : http://floatlearning.com/apps/sandbox/

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Author: Danny Nicholson

Danny is an author, Science teacher, ICT Consultant, PGCE lecturer and computing / interactive whiteboard trainer. He has delivered training courses across the UK, in Europe, and in Canada. Please get in touch with your training requests.

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3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the info! I can see using this with my daughter to control the content she sees. As for getting to Safari easily, Safari (and other pre-loaded apps) can be disabled under settings.

  2. Thanks for the article on this browser.

    As one of the product’s designers, I wanted to address your comment, “I’m still not sure how secure it would be, I can see students getting online via another browser such as Safari quite easily.”

    Sandbox is intended to be used in conjunction with the device’s restriction controls. Use the settings to disable Safari and the app store, and it becomes pretty difficult to get web access otherwise.

    I’d be interested in hearing more from you on features that you might want to see in the product’s next update. What would make it more useful in your opinion?

  3. Thanks Chad, I appreciate it could be used in that way. I’m still not a fan of whitelists though. They tend to be excessively restrictive. But I can see how there might be a place for them in some classrooms if you want to restrict the children to a certain set of websites for a class project or whatever.

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