Highlights - Focused Browsing

Learning Objectives for this Section
 After completing this section, participants will be able to: 
  1. Focus learners on specific URLs or sites.

Highlight Times:

Hapara Highlights is only available on school days from 7:15am-3:20pm.

Starting a Focused Browsing Session:

Teachers can also focus your learners on specific sites or pages for a set period of time, removing the distraction of all other sites. 

  • Select who you want to launch Focused Browsing sessions for: the learner(s), groups or your entire class
  • Select the Tab Launcher icon ( ) from the menu bar.  This will open the Tab Launcher panel.
  • Click on the focused browsing icon ( ) on the left hand side of the Tab Launcher panel.  In turn, this will open the Focused Browsing menu.
  • Select the type of Focused Browsing you desire by clicking on the matching button:
    • you can choose to allow browsing anywhere on the selected websites or
    • you can limit browsing to specific (URL) pages within the selected sites
  • Set the time period for your dedicated browsing session.
  • Finally, type or copy the URL’s you want to use for your Focused Browsing activity.  Please note, you can include up to 5 different URL’s at any one time.

As you start typing your desired URL, a list of the most recent URL’s previously launched will offer you the ability to select your URL from the autocomplete drop down list

  • Click on ‘Open Tabs’.
  • A message notification will appear to remind you that your action will close all other tabs currently opened on your learner's browser: 
  • At this stage, you can decide to cancel the Focused Browsing activity by clicking on ‘Cancel Browser Lock’ or you can wait a few seconds for the session to start.  
  • On their side, learners will receive a warning pop up message asking them to save their work as all their open tabs are about to be closed for a Focused Browsing session.  Learners can accelerate the countdown by simply clicking on ‘Start now’. 
When the Focused Browsing session has expired, learners will receive a pop up notification:

Ending a Focused Browsing Session:

If you need to terminate a Focused Browsing session before the expiry of the set period, you can do so by selecting the session required and clicking on the ‘Close Tabs’ button for that specific session.

If you need to release all previously set Focused Browsing sessions (eg. at the beginning or at the end of a class), you can do so by clicking on the ‘Release Tabs’


If learners already have a Focused Browsing session in progress, the Focused Browsing icon ( ) will be displayed by their names on the Student panel. Teachers will not be able to open a new Focused Browsing session unless you release the current one. 
Teachers can release individual learners from a Focused Browsing by clicking the icon and releasing the learner.
Learners will see a pop up that telling them that browsing permissions have been restored.

Tips for Teaching and Learning:

You can easily identify when you have Focused Browsing open for students,  as the Focused Browsing icon will be displayed:

  • next to the Tab Launcher icon on the top of your menu page
  • next to each learner/group name in the recipient selection drop down 
  • next to each Focused Browsing activity launched in the Tab Launcher drop down panel.
  • in the student panel of all learners engaged in Focused Browsing activities

Focused Browsing and Google Forms

Sharing a Google Form through Focused Browsing. (This works with New Forms, and Old Forms.)

Trouble with Focused Browsing

Sometimes students may try to get out of the focused browsing session before you want them too. This may cause some issues.

  • If a student closes the tab before focused the session is over the only URL they will be able to get to is the one you sent out through focused browsing.  
    • Have the student use the keyboard shortcut ctrl+shift+t to open the last closed tab.
    • Try ending the focused browsing session just for that student. Once they are released send them a new session if needed.

Learning Activity:

Send out a tab with focused browsing turned on for a student. Notice how you can see the existing tabs shut down, the new tabs open and the focussed browsing button appear to the right of the student panel.

Take a moment to Reflect:

  1. What are some scenarios where you would need to use focused browsing?
  2. How would focused browsing help your learners?

Activity: Click the above picture for a Google Draw activity to check your knowledge and understanding of Focused Browsing. (You will be asked to make a copy.)