Adding Focus Sessions

Focus helps your students stay on task by restricting their internet access to a single resource you specify. This resource can be a website, URL (webpage), or signature. While you can start a focus session for almost any resource, there are some special things you need to do to Focus on Google Docs and Drive or YouTube videos.

Starting a Focus Session

You can only enable Focus when the class is in session and it will stop when the class ends. If you don’t end the Focus session before the class ends, it will resume the next time the class starts.

  1. Start your class in Classwize.
  2. On the classroom toolbar, select Class Tools > Focus.
  3. On the Focus internet access dialog, enter the resource you want students to focus on in the Focus students on field. You can use:
    1. site (e.g.,
    2. signature (e.g. Khan Academy), or
    3. URL (e.g. or


      If you are not sure of the exact site, signature or URL of the resource, enter a keyword and select from the available options. You can also add multiple Focus URLs, signatures and sites.

  4. Select Start Focus. 

Allow a few seconds for Focus to take effect. Once Focus starts, the Class is Focused button will appear on the class toolbar. Select this button to edit or end your Focus session.


Starting a Focus session for Google Docs and Drive

Google Docs and Drive has its own settings to ensure your students can open their Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

  1. On the class toolbar, select Class Tools > Focus. The Focus internet access dialog will appear.
  2. In the Focus students on box, search and select Google Docs and Drive.
  3. Select Start Focus.

Two tabs will open for the student: (1) Google Drive and (2) Google Docs.


Starting a Focus session for YouTube videos

You can Focus the class on individual YouTube videos while preventing students from accessing any other YouTube content. While the class is focused, students can play the YouTube video in full-screen, but they can't see ads, comments and suggested videos.

To start a Focus session for Youtube videos:

  1. Start the class.
  2. On the class toolbar, select Class Tools > Focus. The Class is focused dialog will appear.
  3. Enter the YouTube URL in the Focus students on field. You can enter multiple YouTube URLs.
  4. Select Start Focus.


Editing a Focus session

You can edit an active Focus session by adding, removing, or replacing Focus sites and URLs.

  1. Select Class is Focused on the class toolbar.
  2. Make your changes in the Class is focused dialog:
    1. To delete a Focus site, category or URL, select its Delete icon (X).
    2. To add another focus site or page, search and select it from the Focus students on field.
    3. To add more Focus URL, paste and select the new URL in the Focus students on field. If you’re adding more URLs, paste and select the URLs one by one.
  3. Select Save.


What happens during a Focus session?

Focus works differently depending on the device type and on whether the student uses a default or a non-default browser. For Focus to work as intended, we recommend having just the default browser in students’ devices. 


  • Chrome will open the Focus sites in new tabs.
  • Non-Focus tabs will close immediately.
  • Opening non-Focus resources will be blocked.
  • Focus YouTube videos will open in full-screen mode.
  • Google Docs and Drive will open in two (2) tabs - one for Drive and one for Docs.

Windows and macOS

Ask your students to close all browsers before setting up your Focus session, so the Focus sites and URLs will open in students’ default browsers immediately. If Focus includes multiple sites, use the Open Site tool to open the Focus sites that have not opened.

Default browser

  • The Focus site or URL will open immediately and block the student from opening non-Focus sites or links.
  • Open tabs will stay open, but will return a Blocked page when refreshed.
  • Focusing on multiple sites will initially open just one site. The teacher can use Open Site to open more 
  • Focus sites or URLs which will appear as new tabs for the students.
  • Focus YouTube videos will open in full-screen.
  • The student’s default browser will have its icon on the student’s taskbar (Windows only). 

Non-default browser

  • The student must manually open the Focus resources. Focus sites or links will not open automatically.
  • Open tabs will stay open, but will return a Blocked page when refreshed.
  • Browser will block new access to non-Focus links or sites.

When Focus starts, a message will also appear on their screen:


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