Feature Request: Allow teacher to disable community capability

I work in a classroom where I am able to block specific websites that have gaming and other inappropriate content when I would rather provide them with an environment where they can focus on work and problem-solving. But to block the “community” feature in the same way means I have to block Replit itself, which obviously is not an option. But having this community feature undermines my management of the classroom which consist of 14-15 year-olds.

The community capability has limited use in my class where I already supply instructional material, and the “community” ends up consisting of games and other doodads that are just distracting for students and having it always turned on is not really age-appropriate. However, I can see its use during course introductions or lulls in the course where I can re-enable it and allow them to appreciate other programs that have been written in this environment, and yes, play games.

Is it possible to turn off this feature from inside Replit Teams when necessary? Can you set it up so it can be turned off by a teacher? If this is not possible, I would be OK if you disabled it entirely and not have it re-enabled. Our class can function without it.

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Big news coming up in this area! Stay tuned. Looping in @david.morgan and @Brittany.Pirkle

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:partying_face: @lena spoilers! But seriously - stay tuned!

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Hello! We now have a firewalled domain that does exactly this. Introducing firewalledreplit.com where the community, spotlight, and search features have been removed as well as the ability for students to create and access proxies and have access to the wider internet.

This is live now and you are free to start using it (and tell us what you think). You can read more on our blog post and share this doc with our IT department to ensure the new domains are unblocked.

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I am not sure what it is I was testing when I went to the firewalled replit. On a first glance, it appears that I can go back and forth between firewalled and non-firewalled, and even have them both open in separate browser tabs. I noticed that I can turn off the firewall, and that sends me back to replit.com, but then I can’t turn the feature on again. I’m guessing that’s temporary. And I hope the students are not allowed to turn off the feature. As a proof of concept, it isn’t bad. My vision is based on controlling the experience of the students. Making a firewalled environment that students can bail out of on a whim doesn’t solve anything.

“GitHub Repos” might be fine for some classrooms, as I understand some teachers think it’s awesome. I haven’t used it up until now, although it is on my radar. The “Trending” portion is still there, and should be seen as one of those distractions that should be turned off altogether by the teacher, or on again as the need arises. I noticed some programs still work under Trending, although some are indeed blocked.

I think what would be better is if there was an account setting that the teacher could toggle affecting student account settings, and hence their access to replit features. It would also be good if there was another setting which had studets work entirely within the lessons/projects environment I created, or optionally create their own “test” repls. Some students need to learn to manage their own programming environment, I have been noticing, and need to get a sense of responsibility for it. It would be nice to do, but I understand that students can create a repl without even logging on.

Oh, I see. I just received an email from replit asking me to send a list of domains “for my IT departement to block”, and they are the replit sites. I get it now. Block the normal replit sites, and allow firewalledreplit.com. Sounds good.

The nice thing in my classroom is that I can do the blocking from here. I think the “Trending” section should be among the blocked (since some of the code still runs there under the firewall) for reasons mentioned in my previous posting.

Paul King

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Paul, wonderful. I was just going to mention the IT guide. You can block replit.com and repl.co so students only have access to the firewalledreplit.com version. Thank you for the feedback about the trending section. I will take it to the team. Feel free to contact us at education@replit.com for any other questions/feedback.

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@Brittany.Pirkle On the home page of firewalled Replit (When not logged in) the section about the community should be removed.