All posts by Kirk Ross

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Follow Up on Chromebook Secure Browser App (3.1) Rollout

Dear District Testing & Technology Coordinators:

As promised, this is a follow up to the March 1st message regarding the potential rollout of a new Chromebook Secure Browser App (3.1).  After further consideration, AIR & ODE have decided to rollout the new SB App this summer.  If you have any questions, please let me know.

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education

Chromebook Secure Browser App Update On Hold

Dear District Testing Coordinators & District Technology Coordinators:

The ChromeOS Secure Browser App update (v3.1) is on hold.  We will update districts the week of March 12th on the status of the new app version.  If it is not ready, we will postpone the update until after spring testing is completed.

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education

New Chrome OS Secure Browser App

Dear District Testing & Technology Coordinators:

AIR will release a new version of the ChromeOS Secure Browser App(v3.1) the week of February 18. The new version will automatically download and install the next time the app is opened after the new version is available. If your Chromebooks are managed, you can control the app version update using the management console.

The v3.1 release is designed to prevent a student’s Chromebook from going to sleep during testing. This improvement will help those students working on draft paper or reading a passage to avoid Chromebook’s default inactivity timeout. The updated Secure Browser App will manage the power state on a student’s Chromebook only while a student is inside a test and not, for example, when the student is logging in to the test or while the test is paused.

Districts should also watch for communication the week of February 18 concerning support for macOS 10.13.

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education

Mac OS 10.13 Support

Dear District Testing & Technology Coordinators:

After completing testing of Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra AIR has determined that a new secure browser is needed to support this operating system. The new Mac Secure Browser Version 10.2 is now available on the secure browsers page of the portal. Only districts with Mac OS 10.13 need to download and install version 10.2 of the secure browser. No action is required for districts with Mac OS 10.7-12. Districts with Mac OS 10.7-8 will continue to use secure browser version 9.5. Districts with Mac OS 10.9-12 will continue to use secure browser version 10.0. The documentation on the Technology Resources page has accordingly been updated.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education

Reminder Regarding Requesting Exceptions to Online Testing

Dear District Testing Coordinators & Technology Coordinators,

This message is intended to remind and/or update you on (1) the requesting exceptions to online testing process, (2) the availability of secure browsers/application for 2017-2018 school year and (3) the availability of updated technical documentation. I apologize in advance of you receive some of this information by way of other ODE newsletters. We just want to make sure we get to everyone.

Requesting Exceptions to Online Testing
Ohio’s State Tests are online tests for all students, with some exceptions. The expectation is that all districts and schools will schedule time and provide technology appropriately for their local situation.

The following are situations where districts and schools may be eligible for paper testing:

  1. A district or school with students who will require paper test forms as an accommodation documented in an IEP or 504 Plan, or due to a student’s religious beliefs;
  2. A district or school that lacks the required technology infrastructure to test all students online, including schools that:
    • Are new to state testing and verify a lack of technology to test all students online; or
    • Experience a change in the district’s or school’s technology system that impacts capacity to test all students online.

Districts or schools with the above situations involving the limitation of technology should contact the Ohio Department of Education at statetests@education.ohio.gov to start the process of determining your eligibility for an exception to online testing.

This information can be found here on our website.

Secure Browsers for 2017-2018
The AIR Secure Browsers and AIR SecureTest Apps for the 2017-2018 school year are available for download from the Ohio’s State Tests portal. Schools administering Ohio’s State Tests in English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies or the Ohio English Language Proficiency Assessment online must download and install the AIR Secure Browser or AIR SecureTest App on the devices the students will use for testing. The secure browser and app allow students to access the test and prevent students from accessing other computer applications while they are taking an online test.

Version 10 of the secure browser is available for desktop and laptop devices running Windows 7-10 or Mac OS 10.9-10.12. Version 9.5 is available for devices running Mac OS 10.7-10.8. The secure browsers currently available on the portal are the only versions that can be used for the 2017-2018 school year. Older versions of the secure browser installed on desktop and laptop devices cannot be used for secure student testing in 2017-2018.

If students will test online using Chromebooks or tablets, districts and schools must have the latest version of the AIR SecureTest App on these devices. The AIR Secure Test App for mobile devices – Chromebooks, iPads and Androids – is new for 2017-2018. As with the desktop secure browser only the 2017-2018 version can be used for secure student testing. Older versions of the secure test app cannot be used. These devices generally auto-install app updates and no action is needed by districts to update the app on these devices. If you would like to verify your devices have the most recent app version, follow these steps:

  1. Open the secure test app on the device.
  2. Click the “Go to the Training Test Site” link below the student sign in box.
  3. This takes you to the Practice Test sign in screen.
  4. In the lower right corner of the sign in box, find the browser description.
  5. This indicates the browser type and version. The latest version numbers are:
    a. Chromebooks – 3.0
    b. iPads – 4.1

Downloading the Secure Browser or App
The secure browsers and apps are available from the Secure Browsers page of the portal. Be sure to install the correct version of the secure browser or app for each device’s operating system. Detailed installation instructions are available in the Secure Browser Installation Manual. Additional information about preparing your network and devices for online testing is available in the Technical Specifications Manual.

Please note the following regarding recently released Apple operating systems:
Due to a security concern with iOS 11.0, AIR is unable to support iOS 11.0. Apple has released iOS 11.1 and AIR has verified that this corrects the security concern in 11.0. Districts may update their iPad devices to iOS 11.1. Devices with iOS 11.0 will continue to be blocked from accessing the testing sites. As a reminder, AIR supports the three most recent versions of iOS for secure student testing. With support for iOS 11.1 now available, support for iOS 8.x has ended.
AIR is still testing and resolving issues for macOS 10.13 High Sierra. AIR and the Department recommend that districts avoid using machines with the latest macOS for secure testing. Districts should watch for future communications regarding support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

System Requirements
Lastly, please be sure to review the latest Online System Requirements and Long Term Support Plan for more information about supported operating systems, devices and browsers for Ohio’s online applications.

If you have any questions, please feel free to let me know.

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education

Chrome OS v63 & iOS 11.2

Dear District Testing & Technology Coordinators:

We received word yesterday that both of these have passed QA. No system change is needed, as both are subject to presumptive support. We will make a slight documentation change for iOS to “11.1+”

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education

Chrome OS v61 & v62

Dear District Testing Coordinators & Technology Coordinators,

This is just a quick note to let you know that Chrome OS v61 & v62 are now supported for online testing.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education

iOS 11.1 Now Supported

Dear District Testing Coordinator & District Technology Coordinator:

As you may be aware, ODE & AIR blocked the use of iOS 11 for online testing because a security risk was uncovered.

This message is to let you know that iOS 11.1 has passed QA.  As expected, it fixes the security hole present in iOS 11.0.   iOS 11.1 will be unblocked and 11.0 will remain blocked. We will update the documentation accordingly.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education

Fall 2017 Online Testing Support Update

Below is a Fall 2017 Online Testing Support Update.

iOS 11
Due to a security concern with iOS 11.0 AIR is unable to support iOS 11.0. Districts should take steps to ensure their iPads do not update to iOS 11.0 before or during the fall 17 grade 3 English language arts test window. AIR and the Department recommend using iOS 9.x or 10.x until iOS 11.1 is released. AIR is testing the latest beta preview of iOS 11.1 and plans to support that update when it ships to customers. We do not anticipate that iOS 11.1 will be released until after the fall grade 3 English language arts test window. Districts should look for future communications on when AIR will support iOS 11.1. As a reminder, AIR supports the three most recent versions of iOS for secure student testing. When support begins for iOS 11.1, support for iOS 8.x will end.

Mac OS 10.13 High Sierra
AIR is still testing and resolving issues for macOS 10.13 High Sierra.  AIR and the Department recommend that districts avoid using machines with the latest macOS for secure testing. Districts should watch for future communications regarding support for macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

AIR Secure Test App Version
The secure test app for mobile devices and Chromebooks has been updated for 2017-2018. These devices generally auto-install app updates and no action is needed by districts to update the app on these devices. If you would like to verify your devices have the most recent app version, follow these steps:

  1. Open the secure test app on the device.
  2. Click the “Go to the Training Test Site” link below the student sign in box.
  3. This takes you to the Practice Test Sign In screen.
  4. In the lower right corner of the sign in box, find the Browser description.
  5. This indicates the browser type and version. The latest version numbers are:
    1. Chromebooks – 3.0
    2. iPads – 4.1

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education

KRA App Update

Dear District Testing & Technology Coordinators:

I was asked by the ODE Office of Early Learning to pass along the following message:

It appears that some school’s network filters are identifying the KReady servers as “malicious” and blocking “bad” requests.

Due to the wide range of filtering software available, we are starting with the generalized guide below to help. Once you are able to successfully configure your filtering software, it would be helpful if you would share your steps so that can be passed along to other districts and schools.

As part of your configuration, please explicitly allow ANY HTTPS/SSL connection, GET or otherwise, to api.kready.org, preferably to *.kready,org.

This needs to be an “allow rule” based on SSL/HTTPS certificate as our IP addresses may change due to the nature of how our load-balancing and scaling works, thus we cannot guarantee that the IP addresses will remain the same. As long as your browsers are up-to-date, they will support SNI requests and handle this properly. This might require you to set your HTTPS filtering Level to NONE for the Kready Domain.

If your filtering software does not support this, you will need to either:

  • make some changes to local DNS and/or proxy settings
  • remove restrictions to the KReady domain altogether

Should you want to create a temporary IP based access rule in the meantime, you may use these IP addresses:

  • 34.226.251.202
  • 34.198.206.3
  • 34.195.239.168
  • 34.206.81.90

Again, note that these IP addresses could change at any time.

Please share your feedback by sending an email to KRAHelp@education.ohio.gov.

We appreciate your patience and help in this matter.

Contacts for the ELA and KRA:

Elizabeth.sailer@education.ohio.gov
Kimberly.davis@education.ohio.gov

ELA related inquiries can go to ELAHelp@education.ohio.gov
KRA related inquires can go to KRAHelp@education.ohio.gov

Kirk Ross
Assistant Director
Office of Curriculum and Assessment

25 South Front Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215-4183
(614) 995-4144 (direct) | (877) 644-6338 | (614) 466-0223
Fax (614) 387-0421
Kirk.Ross@education.ohio.gov
education.ohio.gov
Ohio Department of Education