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   Hi! Welcome to my first blog post of Christine’s Corner. I’m Christine Kamin, the other half (or more attractive half if you’re wondering…OK, everything is relative) of Kaminari Education Inc. I am the Sales Director and self-diagnosed Multitasker and I make sure that our customers and their needs always come first. At Kaminari, we provide our Interactive Resources, K-8 Math and Literacy software as well as our InterCLASS Classroom Management software.

THE STORY: Recently, it was Halloween and while I could think of several scary things off the top of my head (myself, sans makeup and without a hairbrush comes to mind) I wanted to talk about a somewhat scary incident that can potentially take place with InterCLASS. I don’t like to sugarcoat things and know that software has its ups and downs, but knowledge is power and the more we spread it, the better educated we become should a similar incident occur. Recently, one of our users in the Boulder Valley School District here in Colorado contacted me on a Monday morning after we had just visited his lab on the previous Friday. All was working well when we had left him, but then the weekend happened and something had “changed”. We weren’t sure if it was network-related or that a module had become corrupted, but our user mentioned that he couldn’t connect to his student machines through InterCLASS and when you’re relying on the software to aid in lessons, it’s mission critical.

In case you are unaware, teachers can use InterCLASS to monitor the student computers in their classroom or lab. They can manage their classroom lessons with the software itself by presenting their screen to the class, directly to each student’s monitor. All of these functions rely on the ability for InterCLASS to work on a dedicated wired or wireless LAN (Local Area Network) of the lab, classroom or library that the software is installed in. To help users know the status of their connection with the student PCs, we’ve designated three color categories for the student icons: 1. Gray – for when the student machines are either powered off or do not have the software installed, 2. Blue – for when the student PCs are powered on, but not logged on, and 3. Yellow -> Desktop image – for when the student machines are fully connected on InterCLASS and communicating with the teacher machine.

THE DILEMMA: Our user in crisis noticed that the machine icons were all blue even though they were logged on by the students. Since I had mentioned that the machines were all connected and working the previous week, we had to get down to business to find out why the connection was not happening.

DIGGING IN THE DIRT: We first started to troubleshoot by making sure that the program itself was started and available to use…1,2,3 Check! Next, we wondered if somehow the teacher machine had gotten a new IP address that was on a different subnet or VLAN on the network. The easiest way to check this out is to open up the Command Prompt (cmd.exe) on any Windows OS and type in “ipconfig”. We found that both the students and teacher were indeed on the same subnet. Hmpf! The plot thickens…Then, whether it was the ghost of Archimedes himself or a person from Northern California, we screamed “Eureka!” and found the solution to our dilemma. By changing InterCLASS’ HEARTBEATPORT setting we were able to connect the teacher’s machine to the students.

THE SOLUTION: Thankfully, by indeed changing and keeping the new HEARTBEATPORT setting, our user is still going strong using his InterCLASS program for lessons with his computer programming students.

If you have any questions about this topic, please email us and I’d be happy to help.

Now get out there and have yourself a great day!

Christine


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