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Puffin Academy FAQ

Today, Classworks and other educational content contain learning activities that require Adobe Flash Player.  As you may have already experienced, Adobe Flash Player is not supported and available for iPad and Android tablets.  As a result, we recommend using Puffin Academy for iPad or Puffin Academy for Android to access Classworks from those devices.  Our long-term content strategy is to continue to develop newer HTML5 instructional titles much like our Integrated Reading and Applied Mathematics, which will allow you to access Classworks using the native browser on an iPad or Android tablet.  Until then, Puffin Academy is the solution to access Classworks from an iPad or Android tablet.  We have documented some best practices and frequently asked questions below.  As always, if you need assistance, feel free to contact our Customer Happiness team via chat or email.


Setup Puffin Academy

Before the district and schools can use the Puffin Browser, the district must list their Classworks URL into the directory. Please follow the directions in the video to complete the steps.


Whitelist URLs


Copy and paste these URLs when submitting the application to Puffin for your unique District URL.


*.classworks.com

d2xfjok4lq005.cloudfront.net

cdn.mathjax.org

Best Practices

Bandwidth Requirements


Each device being used to access Classworks requires a sustained 512 Kbps of bandwidth.


Verify adequate bandwidth is available for the number of students using Puffin Academy to access Classworks:


Consult with your technical team to determine the maximum number of users that can be connected to the wireless access point (WAP) near your classroom and beyond that, verify that your school and district has adequate Internet bandwidth.


Based on the findings above, you may have to upgrade your WAP, Internet connection or stagger usage allowing only the maximum number of students as supported by your WAP and/or Internet connection.

Puffin Academy App Settings

Although not required, these settings may provide the most optimized experience while using Puffin Academy.  To get to these settings, click the three dots on the top right within the Puffin Academy app and select Settings:


For iPad:

Settings

  • Restore Tabs - Off

  • Request Desktop Site - On

  • Ignore Mute Switch - On

  • Zoom on Double-Tap - Off

  • Save Password - Off


View

  • Show Network Speed - Off

  • Touch Visual Effects - On

  • Keyboard/Mouse Button - On

  • Floating Menu Button - On

  • Show Tab List Bar - On

Device and Puffin Academy App Usage

Ensure that the device is used in landscape or horizontal mode.


Before each use or beginning of a session, ensure that the Puffin Academy app is completely "closed" or "killed" and restarted.


If the "Ignore Mute Switch" setting is not set to 'On,' ensure that the mute switch on the device is not active (ensure that the sound for the device is on).


If the "Restore Tabs" setting is not set to 'Off,' ensure that all unnecessary or old tabs are closed before starting a session.  After session starts, leave Classworks login page tab open. Limit the number of open tabs/windows within Puffin Academy during Classworks use.   

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I add Classworks as an app/shortcut on the Puffin Academy home screen?

A1: On the Puffin Academy home screen, you can click "Puffin Academy Portal" to get to the original start page. Search to find Classworks.  Once you select Classworks, you will see an "Install" button. Click Install to add the shortcut to the Puffin Academy home screen.  From then on, you will have a shortcut to the Classworks login page on the Puffin Academy home screen.


A2: Alternatively, your IT team may be able to add a bookmark to the native browser on your device to the following address: puffin-academy://manager.classworks.com/.  When this bookmark is accessed from the native browser, Puffin Academy is automatically launched to the Classworks login page.


Q: What should I do if Classworks begins to freeze or get choppy?

A:  This may be a sign of low bandwidth.  

  • First, the student should clear the cache on Puffin Academy, then "close" or "kill" the Puffin Academy app, then restart the app.  They can also restart their device and try accessing Classworks again.  

  • If the behavior persists, please see section on bandwidth best practices.  You can also check if Classworks is having technical issues by viewing http://status.classworks.com/ or emailing us at support@classworks.com.


Q: How can I clear cache on the Puffin Academy browser?

A:  Open the menu by selecting the three dots on the upper right section of the screen.  Then, select the Settings icon.  Next select the 'Clear Browsing Data' link, select all checkboxes and then select 'Clear.'


Q: How can I see content that is being cut-off the screen in the Puffin Academy browser?

A:  From time to time, some content may not correctly resize based on your device orientation or zoom level.  Try zooming out (or in), scrolling left/right/up/down, or rotating your device to view content that may be off-screen.


Q: What should I do if I get a black screen while using Puffin Academy browser?

A:  There are a few things that may help.  

  • First, try refreshing the page.  If that does not work, ensure the device has enough memory and processing power by closing any additional apps that may be running in the background.

  • You can also clear the cache on Puffin Academy, then "close" or "kill" the Puffin Academy app, then restart the app.  

  • You can also reboot the device and try accessing Classworks again.  

  • If the behavior persists, this could be a bandwidth issue: please see the section on bandwidth best practices.  You can also check if Classworks is having technical issues by viewing http://status.classworks.com/ or emailing us at support@classworks.com.


Q: What should I do if Classworks begins to slow down after several hours using Puffin Academy for the iPad or Android solution?

A:  Within the Puffin Academy app, the student should first close all Puffin Academy tabs by selecting the Windows icon (with the number in it) on the top right of the app, then clicking the 'X' on each open tab/window until they are all closed.  Next, the student should "close" or "kill" the Puffin Academy app, then restart the app (they can also restart their device before restarting the app).


Q:  What can I do if the keyboard does not appear for some fill-in-the-blank components?

A:  The student should manually open the on-screen keyboard by selecting that option in the Puffin Academy tools menu (the three dots on the right side of the Puffin Academy app).


Q: What can I do if I get this error? Connect Server Failed | Server internal error | Network Diagnostics

A: The student should "close" or "kill" the Puffin Academy app and restart it.  If the issue persists, verify you have Internet connectivity by using your tablet's native browser (e.g. Safari on iPad) to access another Internet site.  If you continue to encounter this error message on the Puffin Academy app, please make sure that the date and time on the device that you're using are correct and accurate.


Q: What's the difference between Puffin Academy and Puffin Web Browser?

A: 'Puffin Web Browser' and 'Puffin Academy' are different applications. They are both available on Apple iOS and Google Android. 'Puffin Web Browser' is designed for the general public. It's a paid app and can access the Internet without content filtering. 'Puffin Academy' is intended for K-12 students. It's a free app, and can access only approved educational web sites and content.


Q: How can I "drag and drop" items from one location to another when using Puffin Academy?

A: See below based on the device you are using.

iPad

  • Click the Trackpad (mouse icon) at the bottom left of Puffin Academy.

  • Use the Trackpad and place the cursor over the image you want to drag.

  • Hold one finger down on the Trackpad the cursor changes from an arrow to a hand.

  • Drag the image to the desired location.


Android users

  • Click the Trackpad (mouse icon) at the bottom left of Puffin Academy.

  • Use the Trackpad and place the cursor over the image you want to drag.

  • Place two fingers on the Trackpad to pick the item up. (You will notice once "grabbed" the cursor will change from an arrow to a hand.)

  • Then lift one of your fingers off the Trackpad and drag the image over to the desired location.


Q: How can I see reports using the "View as PDF" from Reports in Puffin Academy?

A. This is currently not supported by Puffin Academy. You need to use a desktop or laptop to view your report in PDF format or you can try to use the native browser for you tablet device.


Q:  How do I access Puffin Academy’s FAQ site?

A:  Browse to the Puffin Academy FAQ site.