Updating Java

4/4/2012

 
There has been a security issue discovered with every version of Java prior to .31 that is requiring a newer version of Java on your computer.  Many of you have experienced an issue using Infinite Campus because your browser is blocking Java. 

Since I cannot get to all your computers to do the necessary update, is will become incumbent upon you to do the update yourself.  

Here are the instructions for doing this update for the Windows PC systems.  If you have a Mac you will need to follow the instructions further down.

Installing Java:
PC Instructions:
Please use the Chrome browser for these instructions.
First you will need to thaw your computer.  Click here for instructions for doing this.
Next you will need the Java installer downloaded to your computer.  Click here for the downloader.
Be sure to save the downloader to your desktop so you can find it or if not to your desktop it will be in your downloads folder.  

If the Chromeinstall_6u31.exe download file saved to your desktop - double click the file to launch the installer.

If the install file went into your Downloads folder:
Since every browser is different, locating the downloads folder can be difficult so make sure you used your Chrome browser.  On the Chrome web browser click the wrench icon in the upper right corner.  In the menu, select "Downloads".  Open the Downloads folder.  Locate the Chromeinstall_u31.exe file and double click it to launch the installer.

Once the installer launches it will download the proper Java file for your computer and version of Windows.  Just click through the install process using all the default settings but be sure to uncheck any addon toolbars the system attempts to install along with Java.  e.g. the Ask.com toolbar.

Mac Instructions:
The Mac makes Java a part of its System updates.  So to update Java, click on the Apple menu in the upper left corner and then click on Software Update. . . Let the system run and determine all the software programs that require updating.   
Run the updates.

Final Steps:
After the Java update is finished installing, shutdown your Chrome browser and then relaunch it.  Go to your Infinite Campus grade book and test it.  When finished, restart your computer.  Once your computer restarts verify it is in a frozen state by checking the polar bear and make sure it is blue.
 
The Chromebook is a different sort of device.  It is neither a Windows laptop or a Mac laptop and it is not purely a Linux OS device either.  The Chromebook uses a Google Chrome web browser that sites on top of a very tiny Linux operating system so therefore the device boots up in as little as 8 seconds.  The Chromebook uses Cloud-based or Internet-based services only.  You do not install software on to the Chromebook they way that you would on a Windows or Mac system.  Instead you would make use of a web-based app to accomplish the task that an installed program would do.  For instance, instead of using Microsoft Office PowerPoint, the student would use Sliderocket or Presi or even Google presentations.   Instead of using Microsoft Office Word to type a document, the student would use Google docs or Zoho docs.

It was decided to base our 1:1 program for the 4th through 8th grades on these Chromebook devices because of their rapid boot, and very long 8 hour battery life and also because of their simplicity in use.  When deployed in a classroom the teacher does not need to be a technician to get a roomful of devices up and running,  The students open the cover and in 8 to 10 seconds they log on to their accounts.  All of their information is then synchronized to the device.  All students have a Google account that will get them access to any Chromebook and to their documents and other content.

Since the Chromebook is so different I felt it necessary to point out a few tips on their usage.

File Manager:
Even with the Chromebooks simplicity with only a web browser running, the Chromebook does in fact have a File Manager built in.  It is possible to save and store files on the Chromebook.  To gain direct access to the File Manager just press Ctrl+M.

Screen Print:
There is no print screen button on the Chromebook but you can most definitely print the screen to an image file.  Just press the CTRL and the Windows switcher button [   ]]]  (just to the left of the screen brightness button on the top row of keys).  Once the screen print is taken you will find the file in the File Manager.  Press CTRL+M to open the File Manager.  The screen print is labeled screenshot-todays-date and ends in .png.

Caps Lock:
The Chromebooks do not have a Caps Lock key but you can put it into Caps Lock by simply pressing both Shift keys at the same time.

Multiple Screens:
If you are one of these people with lots of tabs open at the same time and would like to have some sort of order, you can open multiple windows and have certain tabs on certain Windows.  Top open a second or more window(s), click CTRL+N.  A new window will open.  To swith back and forth just click the window switcher button [   ]]] in the middle of the top row of keys, click the window you want to go to and then click the window switcher again to maximize it.


Printing:
You do not install printers on the Chromebook like you do on a Mac or PC.  Printing is done through a new Cloud service that Google calls Cloud-Printing and uses special HP and Epson printers.  The District only has one actual Cloud printer and it is located in the Glidden middle school.  

I have created a cloud-printing server in the District in order to make use of our legacy (non-cloud-print) printers.  In order to activate a printer for cloud-printing I simply add the printer to this special server and then I must share it out to every student that will be printing to it.  I have created a special process for doing this so it is simple to set up a new printer.

Shutting Down:
To shut down the Chromebook just press the power button in the upper right corner, the screen will shrink down and then go dark.

When All Else Fails:
As with any computer, if you find that something just is not working on the Chromebook try these two things before calling for help:

#1 use the screen refresh button on the top row of keys, it is the round arrow key, 4th button from the left.  If that does not work then
#2 just shut down the Chromebook and log on again.  It only takes 1/2 a minute of time.

To see a list of keyboard shortcut keys click here.

For a full list of usage tips press CTRL+? on your Chromebook.
 
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Technology will absolutely change K12 learning. 

By:Cathleen Norris and Elliot Soloway
District Administration, Nov/Dec 2011Wed, 11/16/2011 - 10:39am Going Mobile

Computing technologies have profoundly transformed just about every major organization and field of human endeavor. To take just two examples, Apple is the largest distributor of music in the world, and manufacturing and surgery are the province of robots, not humans. 

But K12 still relies on textbooks and pencil pouches. Why have computing technologies failed to transform K12? Here are our 10 barriers to technology adoption. 

Barrier #1: Lack of Vision. There is no shortage of excuses for not taking the time to look into the future. The first barrier to technology adoption is not looking past one’s proboscis and seeing that “the future is here already; it is just not evenly distributed” (William Gibson).

Barrier #2: Lack of Leadership. If the superintendent or the principal says, “Teachers, we are going to use technology in our school, but you decide how and when,” then failure to adopt is assured. There is no shortage of excuses for not taking the time to integrate technology into one’s classroom. It takes leadership to say, “Teachers, we are going to use technology in our school—and this is not optional.”

Barrier #3: Lack of Money. If something is considered important—surprise, surprise—school administrators find the money for that something. Technology must be considered important (see barrier #1). Yes, there is no new money. So what are schools doing now that they need to stop doing in order to pay for the technology? See barrier #2.

Barriers #4, #5, #6: Curriculum, Curriculum, Curriculum. When “New Math” came into classrooms in the late 1970s, math teachers were provided with professionally generated curriculum materials. When graphing calculators came into classrooms in the 1990s, Texas Instruments was there with professionally generated curriculum materials.

There is a lesson here! As schools now move to one-to-one via BYOD—bring your own device—administrators can’t expect to be successful on the backs of teacher-generated curriculum materials. Teachers are not curriculum producers; teachers are, well, teachers.

Where are the digitally based curriculum materials to come from? Digital textbooks are not the answer; they are a costly problem. Perhaps free OER (open education resources) is a partial answer. Curriculum—that is, the lack thereof—is three barriers wide.

Barrier #7: Infrastructure—Tech and Human. Just as America’s roads and bridges need refurbishing, K12’s infrastructure needs refurbishing. Providing robust wi-fi to support one-to-one learning is a significant financial challenge. We like cellular, since it is 24/7 and everywhere, not just in the classroom. But the telcos are less than cooperative. Come on, guys—give schools a break! Which telco will be the first to provide a $10 per month per student plan for a mobile device and connectivity?

Professional development, the human infrastructure, needs refurbishing; it shouldn’t consist of random workshops or lectures that teachers suffer through on specific PD days. Rather, just as professionals in other industries are constantly honing their skills, PD needs to be an ongoing activity that is focused on helping teachers adopt essential one-to-one technology.

Barrier #8: Parents Resisting 21st-Century Methods. Frankly, we have been surprised that some parents are resistant to having their children learn with 21st-century methods. These parents see technology as just so much newfangled, irrelevant stuff. The way through this barrier, though, is clear: communication, communication, communication.

Barrier #9: It Takes Time to Change. Computing technology is not another innovation du jour. Technology is here to stay. Student achievement may not go up after eight weeks of technology use; in fact, it probably won’t. Patience is the way through this barrier.

Barrier #10: The 800-Pound Gorilla—Assessment. Contrary to the claims made in a recent spate of technology-bashing articles in The New York Times, there is clear empirical evidence that when technology is used appropriately as an essential tool for teaching and learning, student achievement experiences a significant boost. See barrier #9.

Computing technologies, and mobile technologies in particular—will still inevitably and profoundly change K12.

Cathleen Norris is a Regents Professor at the University of North Texas and a past ISTE President. Elliot Soloway is Arthur F. Thurnau Professor at the University of Michigan and Chair of ISTE’s Special Interest Group on Mobile Learning (SIGML). For the past 10 years, Cathie and Elliot have been circumnavigating the globe, advocating for the use of mobile technologies in classrooms.

 
The most recent update to Adobe Flash Player causes PD 360 to crash when watching videos. In order to re-establish quality viewing settings to PD 360, please follow the instructions listed in this email to revert to the previous version of Adobe Flash Player®:

FIRST: UNINSTALL version 11.1.102.55 and REINSTALL version 11.0.1.152 (or older)
For windows, the uninstaller instructions are at http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/141/tn_14157.html

  • Note: you will need to know if your Windows installation is either 32 or 64 bit.
For Mac, the uninstaller instructions are at http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/909/cpsid_90906.html

SECOND: Use the Flash Player installer listed at the following link:http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/142/tn_14266.html

  • "flashplayer_11_ax_debug_32bit.exe (3.93 MB)" is for Internet Explorer.
  • "flashplayer10_3r183_11_win.exe (2.95 MB)" is for Firefox, Safari, and Opera (netscape based browsers)
Note: it will ask you to close out of your Internet browsers. Remember to save your work before you close those pages.
Note: You will need to restart after installing this version of Flash player.

For Google Chrome on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS

  • Click the wrench icon  on the browser toolbar.
  • Select Options (Preferences on Mac and Linux; Settings on Chrome OS).
  • Click the Under the Hood tab.
  • Click Content settings.
  • In the Content Settings dialog that appears, click the Plug-ins tab.
  • Click Disable individual plug-ins.
  • On the Plug-ins page that appears, find the "Flash" listing.
    • If you've previously installed Adobe Flash separately, you'll see two files listed for the plug-in. To disable a specific version of Adobe Flash, click Details in the upper-right corner of the page. Then click the Disable link for the version 11.1.102.55 of Adobe Flash.
    • Make sure you keep the version of 10.3.183.11 Enabled.
  • Restart the browser.
Thank you for your patience. If this process does not resolve your issue, or if you are unable to complete this process for any reason, please call us at 800.572.1153 or email us at support@schoolimprovement.com.

Sincerely,

Neil Jarman
PD 360 Product Manager
School Improvement Network
support@schoolimprovement.com

 
We will be having weekly Monday "nibble" sessions to answer technology questions the staff may have.  They will run from 3:45 - 4:15 in the high school library thin client lab.  People attending should bring their laptops or you may log onto the thin clients. 

Sessions will cover topics you have requested using the form linked below.  There are a variety of topics already defined in Basic and  Advanced lists.  Based on the responses we will determine what the following weeks topic will be.  It is suggested you visit the topics form on a regular basis to aid us in choosing topics that interest you.  There is also a free form "Other" topic field where you can enter a topic that is not in the list.   Click the link below to go to the live topic form.  Also the URL for the form is:  http://bit.ly/s6Ezhv if you wish to bookmark it on your iGoogle Portal Page.

 
 
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Here are instructions for creating a white list of approved senders in your Postini Spam Filter.  If you follow these instructions you will no longer have specific emails stuck in the filter unless the message contains a virus.

Open a web browser - e.g. Firefox and go to login.postini.com
Log in to Postini using your email address and password.
In the upper right corner locate and click "My Settings".


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In the Junk Settings section of the My Settings window, click on "Approve Senders"

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To approve a single email address use the left most box called "Approved Senders".  Just click to create a new line of text and enter the email address of the user, for example joe@somewhere.com.

To approve an entire domain of users like Cesa12 then use the "Approved Domains" box.  Just click to create a new line of text and enter just the domain such as cesa12.k12.wi.us.  No slashes no www nothing but the domain.

To approve a mailing list such as everyone@csdk12.net use the "Approved Mailing Lists" box.

Be sure to click the Update. . . button under the box where you have made changes.

 

Many of you are having issues using Infinite Campus grade book.  There are a couple of things to be aware of.

#1.  Infinite Campus released a new updated version of their grade book just before the launch of the new school year.  We re-imaged your Dell laptops just before you left for summer.  Java has updates to it almost daily.  If Infinite Campus made use of a java version that is so new that your current version will not work then I need to update your Java.  SO if grade book is not work at all - message says Plug-in required, then make sure you get your laptop to me.

#2.  Apple recently sent out an update that removed the ability for Firefox and other NON-APPLE browsers to even detect that java is available on your Mac.  It will be necessary at this point now to download and install the newest version of Firefox - version 5.0.1 or higher, and other than Safari, Firefox may be the only other browser you can use at this time with Infinite Campus on the Mac. 
 
Here are several links to articles about technology in the classrooms.

  • National Education Technology Plan 2010  --- Education is the key to America's economic growth and prosperity and to our ability to compete in the global economy. It is the path to good jobs and higher earning power for Americans. It is necessary for our democracy to work. It fosters the cross-border, cross-cultural collaboration required to solve the most challenging problems of our time.
  • The NMC Horizon Report > 2011 K-12 Edition HTML5 Flipbook Version  --- The Horizon Project, as the centerpiece of NMC's Emerging Technologies Initiative, charts the landscape of emerging technologies for teaching, learning and creative inquiry and produces the NMC’s series of Horizon Reports.
  • Many U.S. schools adding iPads, trimming textbooks  ---  The primary reason that technology is not currently 100% infused into teaching and learning is due to the lack of electronic textbooks.  Going to digital text books is truly the only way to move forward with technology as a tool available for every teacher and every student.  I see the physical text book as the actual anchor that is keeping us back.  Remove that anchor and we will go 100% technology based for all instruction.
  • In Classroom of Future, Stagnant Scores  --- A little different perspective on technology centric classrooms. This article just proves that the measurement methods are all designed around legacy print media methods of teaching and learning and that new ways of measuring student successes are needed. 
 
There have been some changes to the wireless network. All changes affect both campuses.  Currently the wireless is configured with a public and private network.  The private network is CSDPrivate and all school owned devices will automatically associate with it. This network has a special password that only a few individuals in the district know.  It will not be given out. The CSDPrivate network is encrypted using WPA2 encryption.  Once your device is associated with this network, your device will be able to access other devices on the school network such as printers and servers.  If you are unable to print be sure to check your wireless connection and ensure your device is associated with the CSDPrivate network.  You can access all the school sanctioned sites without authenticating but to get to other web sites you are required to use your network account.  Some systems are configured to bypass the Sonicwall logon requirement, for example all the iPads and iPods.  Please be aware that when students are using these devices there is no tracking of their Internet usage.

The other network CSDPublic is for guest devices and student owned devices.  This network is an open network meaning that there is no password or encryption and your device will automatically connect to it. When you are using the CSDPublic network you can access the Internet only you cannot print.  You can access all the school sanctioned sites without authenticating but to get to other web sites you are required to use your network account.  

Please keep in mind that all Internet access whether on the CSDPrivate or CSDPublic networks goes through the web filter.