Kaminari Education on October 28th, 2011

At the end of August, we visited Greenwood Elementary in Greenwood Village, Colorado and installed our InterCLASS Classroom Management Software to their wireless laptops. While the InterCLASS installation was taking place, the tech coordinator’s niece Thalia, who is studying art at the Art Institute of Chicago, was also visiting the classroom to paint the school’s mascot on to a wall of the computer lab. Thalia is in her first year at AIC and really likes being in Chicago and studying at the school. All of us at KAMINARi Education are big supporters of Art and Art Education and so we wanted to spotlight Thalia and her wonderful wall mural.

She was asked to create the school’s mascot, which is a bear. Here is a picture of the beginnings of the bear:

bear01 An artist in the computer lab

Since her aunt had just taken a biking trip over the summer in Italy, she really wanted Thalia to add some beautiful sunflowers to the bear along with a laptop, since IT IS the computer lab after all!

Unfortunately, we had to leave before we could see the bear’s completion.

Last week, we had a chance to come back and visit the school to check on how the InterCLASS software was doing. Of course, we then had a chance to view the completed bear, sunflowers and laptop and….we LOVED IT!

bear03 An artist in the computer lab

bear02 An artist in the computer lab

She really did great job! Way to go, Thalia and keep up the good work!

Kaminari Education on September 12th, 2011

IMG 2067 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

We recently took a short trip to Las Vegas, Nevada for InterCLASS training (YES! Really…) for Valley High School, which is one of several schools in the Clark County School District.
The high school purchased InterCLASS as a school site license last year and teachers have been getting used to watching what their students are doing in each classroom and with the laptop carts.
Since more teachers will be getting InterCLASS into their classrooms this year, the school had requested us to do another onsite training before students headed back to school.

We decided to drive from Denver to Las Vegas this time, since my partner Christine has many reasons not to fly there:

A. She wants to visit her sister in Grand Junction, CO since it is “on the way.”
B. She doesn’t like flying, mainly due to the fact that she needs to be in control of any operating vehicle (she also doesn’t trust my driving).
C. She needs to haul back about a million items from Trader Joe’s for herself and family (the closest TJ’s to Denver is in Santa Fe, NM).

Although it takes 12 hours to drive from Denver to Las Vegas, the Rocky Mountains are really beautiful during the summer time. Since I had several hours to be in the passenger’s seat, I decided to take some pics:

IMG 1848 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

Driving from Denver to Grand Junction.

IMG 2371 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

Driving from Denver to Grand Junction.

IMG 1861 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

Driving from Denver to Grand Junction.

Driving through Utah and Arizona is really interesting for me (I am from Japan). I really like looking at canyon/desert locations and middle of nowhere-type places.
While we were driving through here, I kept envisioning myself on Tatooine where the Sand People are ready to beat me up, and suddenly “Ben” Kenobi rescues me while John Williams’ music is playing in the background and I live out the day to watch the two sunsets (OK, I know, I am a bit of a geek and nerd).

IMG 1907 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

Driving Utah – Arizona – Nevada

IMG 2270 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

Driving Utah – Arizona – Nevada

IMG 1962 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

Driving Utah – Arizona – Nevada

 

Coming to Las Vegas is always exciting. However, this is indeed a business trip, so I cannot recreate the Hangover, Part III – The Return to Actual Comedy.

IMG 2033 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las VegasIMG 2050 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

While at Valley HS, we explained InterCLASS software to their tech person and about 15 teachers over a two-day period. We really hope that they will be able to get good use out of the program for their lessons this school year.

IMG 2177 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

InterCLASS Training at Valley High School

IMG 2179 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

InterCLASS Training at Valley High School

IMG 2007 300x225 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

InterCLASS Training at Valley High School

 

After finishing up our training, we went to In-n-Out Burgers (Yum!), Trader Jo’s (to donate some more $ to them) and then headed back across Tatooine toward home.

IMG 2021 300x225 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas
casino 300x240 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

I hope we can return to Las Vegas soon for InterCLASS training for other Clark County Schools.

IMG 2389 300x225 A Quick InterCLASS Training Trip to Las Vegas

Kaminari Education on August 5th, 2011

I visited an elementary today and installed our InterCLASS Classroom Management Software on to the school’s wireless laptop cart machines. The school just purchased the Intel-Powered Classmate PCs with a mobile cart since they are affordable and heavy-duty for younger kids.

classmatepcs Installed InterCLASS to Intel Powered Classmate PCs

I have a 6-year old nephew that consistently drops his Nintendo DS, so I think that the Classmate PC’s non-slip, non-scratch rubber frame helps out a lot for elementary school use. After we installed and setup InterCLASS, we explained to the teacher how to use it in her class.

She was really impressed with how InterCLASS will be able to help her for the new school year and was particularly happy with the following features:

  1. Remote logon for younger kids

    By using InterCLASS, the teacher can logon to all of her laptops with a generic student user from the teacher station. This will save so much time for her in preparation for the new kindergartners using the laptops (gone are the days of taking a half hour just to log everyone in!).

  2. Sending a URL to the student’s browser.

    Younger students have difficulty clicking on links, starting a browser and/or typing in a lengthy URL. InterCLASS can open up any URL on the browser for them. This is also time saver for the teacher.

  3. Showing a student’s desktop on the projector without connecting directly with a cable.

    Since the Classmate PC’s screen is really small, it is difficult to show one student’s screen to the other kids. By using InterCLASS, the teacher can bring up one student’s screen to the projector wirelessly. She can share the student’s work on the projector without connecting their computer to the projector directly.

We’re hoping that with InterCLASS, this teacher can have a successful new school year!

 

While I was setting up InterCLASS on the laptops, I encountered a few issues that needed to be tweaked for the network, so I would like to share my experiences with you all.

Issue 1. Cisco Wireless Access Point

Cisco wireless access points are set to disable Multicast or Broadcast as the factory default. Due to this issue, we usually ask an IT staff member to enable it so that the InterCLASS teacher program can find
the student computers that are ready to connect to the teacher program over the network. However, this particular school district that we visited centralizes the wireless LAN configuration and
we could not change any configuration of the CIsco AP to allow for multicast. To work around this, we changed InterCLASS to the TCP mode. In the TCP mode, InterCLASS can communicate with the student computers even if Multicast (UDP) is disabled. The TCP mode also works if the teacher computer is in a different VLAN (segment) from the student computers.
If you have a similar situation, please contact our tech support, so that we can guide you to change InterCLASS to the TCP mode.

Issue 2. The DNS server’s cache returns the wrong (old) IP address for some of the computers.

On 8 of the 30 student laptops that we were installing on, I realized that InterCLASS’s Power Control Feature wasn’t working properly. To troubleshoot, I compared the real IP addresses with the DNS-stored IP addresses for the computer. Those 8 student machines had the old IP addresses in the DNS cache, despite the fact that the DHCP server already had leased out new IP addresses for those student computers.  This actually happens quite often when you re-image computers for a new school year. InterCLASS’s Power Control Feature doesn’t work well if this happens, so we had asked the district’s Help Desk to delete the old IP addresses from the cache of the DNS server.
I have posted more troubleshooting information about this issue here.

If you have similar problems, please feel free to contact us!

Ari

We will soon release the Fall InterCLASS update and will send the download link to all of our current customers that are in or have renewed their maintenance term.

The new update will include the following enhancements:

  1. Native 64-bit edition of InterCLASS.

    Since some of our customers already have chosen to use 64-bit computers, we will provide the native 64-bit program installer for 64-bit Windows 7. This edition will remove the known issues of the application block function that is caused by the 32-bit emulation mode on the 64-bit OS.

  2. Limiting student web browsing for all web browsers.

    Teachers can control student web browsing on any internet browser including Firefox, Chrome, IE, etc. This will help if your lab has multiple browsers for various reasons, such as website development classes.

  3. Blocking students from using USB drives / CD/DVD drives.

    Teachers can disable/enable USB flash drives or the CD/DVD drive on student computers without restarting the student PCs. Students cannot run inappropriate programs or files from an external drive.

  4. Stopping students from excessively printing.

    You can simply stop printing from any student computer at anytime. Save toner and papers from unwanted printouts!

  5. Internet co-browsing and drag and drop browser control.

    You can synchronize your teacher PC’s web browser and student web browsers to navigate to the target webpage for the students. If you just want to show the current webpage, you can drag the address bar icon on to the browser and then drop it on to the student icons on the InterCLASS console. This will be a really easy and quick way to show websites to the students.

  6.  A remote logon feature for Novell Client2 and logon banner for Windows

    You can logon to all of the student computers from the teacher console even if your school uses the Novell Client program or a customized logon banner (message) appears on the student logon.

  7. Other improvements

    We have implemented usability improvements, bug fixes and performance enhancements as much as we can based on feedback from you, our customers. Hope you have an even better experience using InterCLASS!

Currently, our QA team is doing the final QA testing in our testing lab. We will also do field testing in some of our customers’ environments prior to releasing the new update for everyone. I will post a release date when all of the QA testing has passed.

Our programmers are also starting to making specifications for the next spring or summer version up. We are thinking about adding a mobile App for InterCLASS as well as the quiz feature improvements. If you have some wish list items, please let us know!

Ari

For more information about InterCLASS Classroom Management Software, please go to:
http://www.interclass.us/

education 01 300x221 The new Fall update release of the InterCLASS Classroom Management Software

A few years ago, I visited one of our customers at a high school in North Texas and observed a teacher that uses InterCLASS heavily in her classes. This teacher frequently uses InterCLASS’s Full Screen Monitor and Remote Control features in her lessons and I was so impressed at how she easily shares her ideas and instructions with her students.
I think this is one of the best use cases of InterCLASS, so I wanted to share this with you all.

Here’s how she uses InterCLASS for her lessons:

Classroom Equipment and Layout

  • The classroom has 32 computers and they are placed in a traditional horseshoe shape layout and islands.
  • The Teacher computer is hooked to a room speaker and a projector, so that her desktop and audio are always on the projector.

About the class

  • She teaches a graphic design and illustration class.
  • When I visited her class, students were working on their own Store Brochure design project.
  • For this project, students have to pretend to be a store manager and create their ownstore brochure for their potential customers.
  • Students were instructed to create an attractive design to promote their productsand to also include all necessary relevant information for their customers,such as the store’s address, contact info, hours, driving directions and maps.

How did the teacher use InterCLASS for her instruction?

While the students were working on their own projects, the teacher would frequently use the full screen monitorand remote control functions with her projector to share her feedbackto the class on things she saw on individual projects. One student was also asked to evaluate and comment on the same studentproject. Thus, students could quickly improve upon their own work based on both the teacher and class feedback.For example, the teacher realized that one of the students forgot toput store hours on their brochure, so she brought the student’s screen up on her monitorand the projector by double clicking the student icon on the InterCLASSteacher console. Then the teacher asked other students to give himtheir feedback, too in regards to the stipulations of the assignment. One student said that he didn’t know when the store opens andother students commented that the font size was too small to read. The teacher supported their comments and shared ideas with the entire class.
I noticed that several students took these ideas to heart by adding store hours and changing the font immediately. She did these full screen monitor/feedback sessions quite a lot in her class for the hour and a half that I was there.

ic class InterCLASS Tips: How teachers can share their class instructions with students quickly by using InterCLASSs Remote Control feature.

Benefit

In her pre-InterCLASS traditional computer classroom days, the teacher would have to travel to each student’sdesk to give them her advice personally. However, by using InterCLASS, now she caninstruct each student from her desk and then can share it with the other students in real time. This method allows her to motivate and engage her students more.

Hope this information helps all of you InterCLASS users (or soon to be!) out there!

For more information about InterCLASS Classroom Management Software, please go to:
http://www.interclass.us/

Kaminari Education on August 17th, 2010

ir online1 300x275 Interactive Resources in now ONLINE!We are happy to introduce Interactive Resources Online for US schools. Based on customer feedback, KAMINARi Education has created an online version of our popular Interactive Resources K-6 Math and Literacy activites for interactive whiteboards (SMART, Promethean, Mimio, PolyVision, you name it!) and wireless pads.

iR Online is a yearly subscription service that is affordable to fit most teachers’ budgets. Teachers can always access all content at their leisure during the subscription term, which is equivelant to one school year term. Any new activities or games added would be accessible with the Subscription package.

For more information about iR Online, please go to:
http://www.interactive-resources.us/
We would love to have you sign up for a 30-day-trial to see what great supplementation resources you can use with your class!

Ben Franklin Elementary School
Tracy McCandless, 3rd Grade Teacher
Littleton Public Schools, Littleton, Colorado

When entering the 3rd grade classroom of teacher Tracy McCandless, you’ll find a group of very enthusiastic students gathered around a large, cozy rug. Although these students are not at their desks, they are fully engaged into learning – learning that takes place in front of their teacher, each other and an interactive whiteboard. McCandless has made using an interactive whiteboard an integral part of her teaching and has placed it front and center in the classroom. Like all teachers that embrace new technology, she has found her interactive whiteboard to be an indispensible teaching tool for her class.

BES1 300x225 Interactive Resources gets students fired up using interactive whiteboardsWhile several of the teachers at Ben Franklin Elementary use new technologies, they all can agree on one thing: time to make new materials is few and far between. That’s why Tracy McCandless wanted to use Interactive Resources K-8 Math and Literacy software to supplement her lessons and to keep her students motivated. “I am a big fan of the IR software. I have been able to use a multitude of the tools within my lessons. Students are super-engaged and excited when they see one of their favorite games as part of a lesson.”

BES2 300x225 Interactive Resources gets students fired up using interactive whiteboardsInteractive Resources can be used with any brand of interactive whiteboard (IWBs) as well as on PCs and Macs. Not only is it used in the classroom, but in libraries and tech labs where students can play the games and activities on their own, to reinforce key concepts.

Many teachers like McCandless have used the site licensed, HTML version of the Complete Pack with their IWBs. The IR Complete Pack version is in a browser format and contains all 800+ activities and games. The activities are arranged by grade level vs. concept. Soon, the Complete Pack will include an accompanying Standards Pack, which will let teachers browse all of the games and activities based on their State’s Standards.

“I love that the software is web based,” says McCandless, “and one price makes the whole package available to all of your students on any station. That way, students can get practice on a variety of skills and you can tailor a practice session to differentiate needs.”

The flexibility of Interactive Resources makes it a valuable asset to have in the classroom as more resources are needed everyday to keep students motivated. For more information on Interactive Resources and how you can use it in your classroom, please visit our website at: http://www.interactive-resources.us

Kaminari Education on November 3rd, 2009

calabo 300x216 CaLabo – Digital Language Lab SystemCaLabo is the most popular Computer-Assisted Language Lab system brand in Japan. It has achieved a more distinguished reputation from customers than all other LL brands combined. With a 50% share of the Japanese language lab market, CaLabo has become the de facto standard for all digital language labs. With CaLabo, institutions can create a computer -assisted language learning environment that includes high quality audio, video and multimedia educational resources. CaLabo allows teachers to teach languages in a PC-based computer- assisted language laboratory. The master controller GUI shows student alignment in the classroom and control function buttons for language instruction activities or multimedia resources control. Instead of analog booth tape recorders, teachers can control the CaLabo Digital recorder for their instruction with digitized learning resources. Using CaLabo, teachers and students will have the greatest advantage of using multimedia in a language learning environment.

For more information about the CaLabo Digital Language Lab System, please visit the product site.

Let’s face it. Critical thinking is difficult to teach. While we all could use a heapin’ helpin’ of Logic on our plates, the cause it not lost, even for your youngest learners.  We’re proud to have the Interactive Resources set of Venn Diagrams at our disposal!venn1 300x226 A Heapin Helpin of Logic with iR Venn Diagrams

Perfect for Interactive Whiteboards, tablets, projectors or for students to try on their own, there are 10 Venn Diagram modes to choose (half are Odds, the others Evens). Each activity will give two descriptions for each diagram: Evens or Odds and Multiples of a certain number.  Students (or the teacher) will be able to drag each number to the corresponding circle (set), or if the number pertains to both, then it is put in the middle (intersection).

With Venn Diagram practice, students will begin to see patterns and expand their logical thinking skills.

To see more Venn Diagram activities, please click on the Interactive Resources link to the right and let us send you a free trial.

Kaminari Education on July 23rd, 2009

logon 300x217 InterCLASS   Remote Log On for Novell ClientInterCLASS has a “Remote Log On” feature that save tons of time by allowing teachers and IT techs to log on to all student computers from the teacher console at once.  It also helps techs with maintenance of the student computers.  By default, it works automatically with Windows.  In order to use this function in a Novell environment, you can simply change specific settings on the teacher console.

To do so…

  1. Start the InterCLASS teacher program.
  2. Click the “Settings” button located on the bottom right of the teacher console and click “General” Settings from the menu.
    pcs InterCLASS   Remote Log On for Novell Client
  3. The Setting Dialog will pop up and then click the “Student PC” tab on the setting dialog.
    WS000234 InterCLASS   Remote Log On for Novell Client
  4. Click the “Setting” button under the Power Control Settings section, then the Power Control Setting dialog will appear.
    powesetting InterCLASS   Remote Log On for Novell Client
  5. On the Power Control Setting dialog, please change the [Network Client] to “Novell” and type in the correct window title from the actual Novell Client.
    novell1 InterCLASS   Remote Log On for Novell Client
  6. Click Close to close the dialog and click the Apply button under the Power Control Settings section to apply the modified PCS.ini to the student PCs.
  7. Restart all student computers.
    Click the “Power” button on the teacher console (located on the lower right), then the power control dialog box will appear.
     InterCLASS   Remote Log On for Novell Client
  8. Click Restart to “restart” all of the student computers.
    restart InterCLASS   Remote Log On for Novell Client
  9. When all student computers have restarted and all student seating icons have turned to this blue color,
    blue InterCLASS   Remote Log On for Novell Client
    click the Power button again to show the power control dialog.
  10. Please try to Log on to the student computers from the teacher computer.
    Type in a user name, password and click Log On to log on all student computers at once.
    logon InterCLASS   Remote Log On for Novell Client