For FREE technical support (M-F 7am to 6pm Central Time), call 1-800-869-2200 and wait on the line to speak to someone. Or go to http://support.plato.com/contact/index.asp. Then under Academic Systems Algebra on the right side of the page, click on "Support Request Form," complete the form, and then click on "Submit Request" at the bottom of the form. You should receive a reply within 1 business day. You may also find helpful info at http://support.plato.com/ or http://support.plato.com/asalgebra.
To use the new PLATO Academic Systems Algebra program, you should not need to install any software from a CD. It will run from within your web browser, using Macromedia Flash and Adobe Acrobat software plugins (which can be downloaded for free off the internet, if necessary). When you run the program for the first time, you may be prompted to install certain software (Flash and maybe Acrobat), to which you should answer Yes. You can use this software from any web browser and computer that meets the minimum requirements, as long as you have your PLATO Account Login (ACC), PLATO Name (your 8-digit ACCeID, which is your first initial followed immediately by your full 7-digit student ID number, including any zeroes at the beginning of your student ID to make it 7 digits), and Password (the word STUDENT). If you can log in to the PLATO website, but nothing happens when you click to open one of the lessons, check to make sure any popup-blockers are disabled (or at least disabled for "this site only", which is asalgebra.platoweb.com).
To begin working in the PLATO Academic Systems Algebra computer program, you must go to https://asalgebra.platoweb.com/ and log in there with the information provided in the paragraph above. Before you get too far, however, you should view the following video on how to use the software:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Before you open the cellophane wrapper on your book, go ahead and log in using the information provided above and begin working with the software. When you first start, the computer will ask for your validation code. For a while, you can click on "Remind me later" and continue working in the software. You can even view the material in your textbook on a section-by-section basis if you click on Tools, then Personal Academic Notebook, from within the tutorial program. You should do this until you are certain that you are in the correct level math course and that a distance learning math course and a computer math course is the best choice for you, which means that you will not need to withdraw or transfer to a different section. Be aware that you need to make these decisions as quickly as possible because you only have a limited time to change courses or sections without losing some or all of your tuition. Within about 2-3 weeks, the computer program will ask you again to enter your validation code and the "Remind me later" button will no longer be available. At that point, you must enter your validation code. That number is included in a folded sturdy card attached inside your book. In order to work, it must not have ever been used by any other student. Therefore, you must buy a NEW (not used) book. Be careful not to lose the validation code - if you lose it, you will have to buy another book and therefore license to use the computer software.
So, in summary, when you first try to view an Assignment or Lesson online, you will see a window like the following asking you to input your validation code:
DO NOT ENTER THIS NUMBER NOW. Just go ahead and click on the "Remind me later" button for now.
You should only fill this in later, during the second or third week of class, when you are certain you are in the right level course and that a distance learning, computer math course is right for you (if you need to change courses or sections for any reason, please do so as soon as possible because time for doing so is very limited). About 2-3 weeks into the semester, you will no longer be able to click on "Remind me later". Be sure you keep the sturdy card that's attached inside your textbook that has your validation code in it; if you lose it and cannot enter your validation number at the appropriate time, you will have to buy another textbook and license for the software.
Once you have logged in and viewed the tutorial above, you may begin by viewing the optional "Getting Started" lesson. (Click on the "Assignments" button in the upper left part of the screen, then click on the "Open" button with a picture of an open box next to it, then click on the lettered box "A", and finally click on the link to Getting Started below the lettered boxes. If you have everything already set up, you may be able to go directly to this lesson by itself here. You will still need to log in to view other lessons, however.) This will walk you through how to use the actual math and tutorial parts of the software.
To do a lesson:
Once you have logged in, if you click on the "Assignments" button in the upper left part of the screen, then click on the "Open" button with a picture of an open box next to it, you will return to the screen of the lesson that you most recently were working on (please note that these next 3 screens are for an Elementary Algebra class but will be similar to the screens for Basic Math and Intermediate Algebra classes):
With all of the different letters and numbers here, it can get a little confusing about which section you are actually looking at. Click on the lettered and smaller numbered buttons ("blocks") below them to navigate through the lessons. Please refer to your Weekly Schedule posted at http://www.austincc.edu/jbickham/handouts to determine which blocks correspond to which lessons. The blocks are in the same order as the lessons in your Weekly Schedule. So, in this example, section 2.3 in Elementary Algebra (sorry, but not in Basic Math or Intermediate Algebra - we just don't have pictures for these courses) would correspond with Software Blocks C-4 in the Weekly Schedule. This is actually the section displayed in the picture above. To make that a little clearer, take a look at the picture below (please note again that these screenshots are for an Elementary Algebra class but will be similar to the screens for Basic Math and Intermediate Algebra classes, and actually section 2.3 in Elementary Algebra no longer corresponds with Software Blocks C-4):
As you can see, C-4 means to first choose letter C in the top row, then click on number 4 below that. The chapters match up with the letters like this (please note once again that these screens are for an Elementary Algebra class but will be similar to the screens for Basic Math and Intermediate Algebra classes):
The row of numbers underneath is sometimes longer, sometimes shorter, depending on how many sections there are in each chapter. If this seems a little confusing, most of us probably agree. Hopefully, someday they will make this clearer. However, as you start using the software for a while, you should get used to it pretty quickly.
(P.S.: The "Exercise Set 2.3" highlighted in a red box at the bottom left of that page is an extra REQUIRED Handout for section 2.3 you must download and work through as well. You may find all required handouts and reviews for all tests, including the final exam, posted at http://www.austincc.edu/jbickham/handouts.)
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Last Updated August, 2008
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