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ESU 10 and the Greater Nebraska Educational Network Consortium (GNENC) have been using several IP addresses and servers to provide DNS service.  We've recently made some minor changes and want to publish the new information so you can adjust your client machines and domains at the next convenient time.

Client DNS setups should use the following DNS servers to compliment any internal DNS servers within your LAN.  Depending on your network proximity to theses servers, you should list the closest one first.

    204.234.17.1 - located in Kearney
    204.234.238.1 - located in Grand Island

If you own your own domain name and ESU 10/GNENC is providing hosting for the domain, you will want to use the following name server setup with company you purchased the domain from:

    ns01.gnenc.org - 204.234.17.2 (Kearney)
    ns02.gnenc.org - 204.234.238.2 (Grand Island)
    ns03.gnenc.org - 72.14.176.122 (Dallas)

If you have any questions or concerns about these details or changes, please feel free to add a comment or contact our Helpdesk.
Tags: DNSinternetWorkstation
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I have students that are trying to use Zamzar.com to get a clip from the History Channels website or similar site.  When the go to convert it says there is no file extension associate with this file.  Has anyone had any success downloading video from this site or others other than YouTube?
Tags: internetweb
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1 Response to "Downloading videos from History Channel and other similar sites"

I'm pretty sure you can use Replay Media Catcher to grab the videos off of the History Channels website.

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Educational Service Unit 10, in conjunction with the Greater Nebraska Educational Network Consortium (GNENC), hosts a wide array of computer and web based services. The purpose of this article is to outline these services, provide a brief description of each service, and include a URL as a starting point for each service.

The ultimate goal is to inform you, the educational computer user and manager, so that you can take advantage of our services which you may or may not have known about. Our focus is on serving you!


Internet Access

ESU 10 provides Internet access aggregation. In some ways we are like an Internet service provider. We provide bandwidth, network monitoring, guaranteed bandwidth, and network security with the Internet access that flows through our aggregation point. If you use the Internet at your school, then you most likely already use this service.


Web Filtering

Internet web filtering provides a means for each school district to apply a customized web filtering profile customized specifically for each district's needs. ESU 10 provides the 8e6 web filter, which is managed by LAN managers and administrators at each district.

8e6 Filter Management: http://webfilter.project42.k12.ne.us:88
Web Filtering Information: http://www.esu10.org/filtering/index.html


Domain Name Services (DNS)

Every school district is provided a FREE DNS domain name, such as sunnysideschools.k12.ne.us or anytown.k12.ne.us. Just let us know and we can easily set up a DNS record for your school's customized domain.

If you currently access any local web services at your school directly by an IP address in the URL, we can remedy that with an easy to remember DNS name like powerschool.anytown.k12.ne.us, www.anytown.k12.ne.us, or webmail.anytown.k12.ne.us. The possibilities for what we can nameserve for you are endless.

You also have the option to purchase your own domain name from a DNS registrar such as GoDaddy. If you choose, we can mirror your new domain with your existing k12.ne.us domain.

Additionally, every school network IP address range is configured with reverse DNS mapping (PTR records)


Email

Email services actually consist of a number of "sub-services."

Every esu10.org email account holder can access email via web based email, IMAP, or POP.

IMAP and POP allow users to download email with popular email client programs such as Outlook, OS X Mail, Thunderbird, Eudora, and a plethora of others.

On a global level, all email is scanned for viruses and spam. The email system blocks over 30,000 spam per day.

If a school district chooses to host its own email server, we can "relay" email for that server. By doing so we can act as an intermediate "buffer" between the school's email server and the Internet, and continue to provide spam and virus filtering.

YAMS is an email account management interface and an online "address book" of all email accounts we host. LAN-Managers use YAMS to create email accounts, change passwords, and remove email accounts. End users can use YAMS to change their own password and email forwarding settings. Any esu10.org email user can use YAMS to search for the email addresses of other users.

DSPAM is an anti-spam tool which gives users some control over spam.

Links:


Web Hosting

Web hosting is provided, including the features of MySQL databases, PHP, and FTP/SFTP access. Its as easy as requesting a web hosting account from us. We can host your school and teacher educational web sites today!


Web Calendar

The legacy calendar application we have promoted in the past is based on WebEvent. A new alternative is the Web Calendar service we now provide.

With Web Calendar, any user can utilize a web based calender. Username and login are integrated with users' esu10.org email account. No new username and password required!

Web Calendar also supports non-user calendars. A non-user calendar could be used by your school district as a district wide calendar, sporting event calendar, or lunch menu calendar. The possibilities are endless.

Web calendar features include email reminders and client subscriptions. With client subscriptions to your calendars, your teachers, parents, and other users can integrate the happenings of your school into Microsoft Outlook, Apple's iCal, or Mozilla's Sunbird.

Links:


Web Survey Tools

We currently offer two different web based survey applications. These survey applications make it easy to create customized surveys and distribute the surveys to users electronically.

Links:

Blogs

We host Wordpress for user blogs. We can set up a customized blog URL for your district, such as http://blog.anytown.k12.ne.us. A Wordpress blog can be easily customized to look like a typical web site instead of the blog format if a user simply wants the ease of use offered by Wordpress.

Check out some of the ESU 10 blogs:
  • http://blog.esu10.org/jeverett/
  • http://blog.esu10.org/edtechstudio/
  • http://blog.esu10.org/dstall/
  • http://blog.esu10.org/jkramer/


Email Distribution Lists

We host email distribution lists with a service called Mailman (often referred to as listserves). An email distribution list might contain a list of all teachers and/or staff in your district, making it easy to send email to a large group of email addresses. A distribution list might also be used as a way to distribute email newsletters to parents or community members.

Distribution lists can be configured to allow anyone to subscribe or unsubscribe, or you can choose to manage the members of a distribution list in a more "controlled" manner. You decide.

Let us know if we can set up a Mailman distribution list for any of your district's needs.

Links:


Groupware

Currently we are evaluating a groupware solution. Groupware applications typically include a suite of products and tools which allow for easier communication, collaboration, and sharing amongst members of a group. Such a group might consist of the administrative staff of a district, or even every employee of a district. Collaborative tools include shared calendars, common file/document storage, shared addressbooks, etc.

The product we are evaluating is called eGroupware. Its features include email (integrated with existing esu10.org email accounts), calendaring, address book, to-do, notes, CRM customer relationship management, project management, file management, websites, and wikis.

eGroupWare might be considered an alternative to Microsoft Exchange.

Links:



Tags: announcementsinternetServerweb
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1 Response to "ESU 10 Hosted Services"

I like the new features.  WebCalendar looks powerful and with a fresher interface than WebEvent.

The eGroupWare product might work for some.  In comparison to Exchange I like the easy reservation/viewing of resources (conference rooms, labs, school busses, etc.).  I'm assuming that booking resources can be set to require approval.

Calendar syncing with iCal or phones would be important with this.  It looks like there is an import/export feature, but I didn't see a subscribe or publish option where the syncing (even one way) is automated. 

I do like the wiki piece, better than any others I've seen, and that's something I've been looking for lately.

I can see the file manager being a useful piece for users who want to edit documents from home and school without carrying a USB stick.  Does it have webDAV capability so I can also mount the directory as a shared drive?

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Does your district own any registered domain names? If so, do you know when they expire? Does the terminology "domain name" sound foreign to you? Read on to learn more!

Some examples of registered domain names are:
  • example.com
  • esu10.org
  • google.com
  • yahoo.com
  • kearneypublicschools.org
In each of the domain name examples listed, somebody (not ESU 10) was responsible for purchasing the domain name for your district. Does your district utilize any registered domain names to access web sites and other Internet services?

The most importing thing to know about domain names is: DOMAIN NAMES WILL EXPIRE. Usually, the person who originally purchased the domain name will receive an email notification if a domain name is about to expire, but what happens if that person is no longer around? Then its time to start digging in so that you will be in position to renew the domain name.

What happens if your domain name does expire? The domain name could be purchased by another entity, in which case your teachers, students, community members, and other users may lose access to your web sites and Internet services. It can be hard to inform people that your web site URL has changed when they can't get to your web site.

One way to check the expiration status of your registered domain is the Whois.net web site. Go to the web site and enter your domain like this:


(In this example the esu10.org domain is being checked. Enter your own domains to check them. Do not include any http://, www, or any other part of a URL. ONLY enter the domain part, i.e. example.com, but NOT http://www.example.com or www.example.com)

Alternatively, if you are using Apple OS X or a Linux OS, you can simply use the whois command from the command line:

> whois esu10.org

Either whois lookup method will return the same result. First, look for the expiration of the domain name. It will be a line which starts with "Expiration Date:" It is recommended that you perform the whois lookup for all of your registered domains and document the expiration date for each.

You should also pay attention to the Registrant Name/Email, Tech Name/Email, and other contact fields, as those are the individuals who will be contacted when a domain name is expiring. It would behoove you to keep the contacts for a domain name as current as possible.

A few other tidbits of information to note from the whois lookup are the "nameserver" settings. If the nameserver settings include one or more of the following:
  • ns1.esu10.k12.ne.us
  • ns2.esu10.k12.ne.us
  • ns3.esu10.k12.ne.us
 then ESU 10 hosts the DNS records for your registered domain name. If the domain is not using the ESU 10 nameservers, then you most likely manage the DNS records for the domain with the company from which the domain name was purchased.

Finally, look at the "Sponsoring Registrar" field in the whois output. The sponsoring registrar is the company who your domain name was purchased from, and the company with which you will need to renew the domain name.

If you are concerned about your domain ending in k12.ne.us, rest assured it will never expire since ESU 10 hosts that domain for you free of charge.

Hopefully this information will help you stay in control of your domain names. And remember, do your whois lookups today!
Tags: DNSinternetnetwork
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We know about an issue with both kinds of filter overrides and are trying to find what is causing it. We will let you know when it is fixed or a workaround is found. I’m sorry for any inconvenience this is causing.
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1 Response to "Filter overrides"

8e6 Technical Support has applied an unreleased patch to our filtering appliances that seems to have fixed the issue where people couldn’t access sites even after using override and/or web-based authentication credentials. This was happening only for pages being blocked due to patterns not specific urls. I have gotten on a couple machines out in various schools and have been able to successfully override to several previously blocked sites using web-based authentication.

NOTE: It was very helpful to have screenshots from some of you when troubleshooting this issue as the common denominator was the fact that the Blocked URL always was listed as a “pattern”. Please do this whenever you have an issue with blocked pages as it speeds up the resolution process!

Let me know if you are still seeing this issue (or others).


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FYI:

We are in the process of making changes to our Internet service. I would like to get a sampling of other schools, the bandwidth they are using and if it has been sufficient. If you would like to help me with this please send me any or all of the following information. I appreciate your time and assistance.

Location of school (city) –
Approximate number of computers in your school -
Total Bandwidth speed to school –
Distance Learning – Yes or No
Satisfied with the amount of bandwidth to your school – Yes or No
Comments -

Tags: internet
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1 Response to "Internet Bandwidth"

Broken Bow Schools (figures are for entire District)

385 computers (incl. servers)

Bandwidth:
     Input Peak: 3.5 Mb (Zabbix)
     Input Average: 1.5 Mb (Zabbix)
     Output Peak: 2.0 Mb (Zabbix)
     Output Average: 1.0 Mb (Zabbix)
     TCP Throughput: 30 Mbps (QCheck)

Distance Learning: Yes (our data connection to the internet is carried as a separate channel over the STEP distance learning fiber network, not a T1 or T3 copper connection through Qwest.)

Satisfied: Yes

Comments -- in our experience raw bandwidth is not as important as the quality of connections between our location and distant internet entities.  We've spent a lot of time making sure that the connections through the STEP fiber system into Project 42 are healthy and response times are reliably stable at under 20ms, regardless of available or contracted bandwidth.

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