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TrackStar FAQ

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Passwords, Login, and Accounts
Errors While Using TrackStar
Editing a Track

If your question is not listed, please contact us for personalized assistance.

If you forget your password, you can request that it be sent to you. You will just need to provide us with the email address that you used to register with in TrackStar. Proceed to the password request page.

If you can't remember the e-mail address you registered with, you no longer have access to that e-mail account, or you do not get an automated response in two working days, please contact us directly. Be sure to give us as much information as possible to identify yourself and your account.

It is easy to update your personal information for TrackStar. First, login as usual by clicking on the Login to Make or Edit a Track link on the TrackStar home page or at the top of any other page. This brings you to the login page. Log in with your email address and password. On your TrackStar My Account page there is an area titled Account Information, as shown in the image below. Click on the Edit link. When you are finished editing your information, please click on the Update button.

Image of the My Accounts page and the Account Information column on the right-hand side of the page.

If you have received email verification from us that you are using the correct password and you are still having trouble logging in then there are a few things that you should check. If you think you may have inadvertently made two or more user accounts, we can consolidate these for you, just contact us. If you are positive that you haven't created more than one account, be sure that you are entering all your information in the appropriate type of letters, meaning that if you registered with all lowercase letters or all uppercase letters you must enter them in the same manner. Also, check to see if your Caps Lock is accidentally on. The next thing you should check is that you are logging in at TrackStar's home page http://trackstar.4teachers.org. Trying to login through other web sites such as BlackBoard.com does not work. If you are still having trouble logging in after you have followed all of these directions, then you may need to check to see if your browser is set to accept cookies.

All Tracks are personally reviewed to assure appropriate content and accordance with copyright law. When a Track does not meet our guidelines, our Track reviewers put the Track on hold until the Track is edited and approved. Learn what material is appropriate.

As part of saving your new Track or changes to an existing Track, all of the links will be checked to see if the site they reference is accessible. If there are problems, you will be returned to the create or edit page, and an error messages will describe the problems for you. There are two common causes for links that don't work.

The first common cause are slight typos, such as capital letters instead of lowercase, will cause a link to fail. Often, users may mistype an address, or leave a letter off the end. A common mistake is mistyping the .htm or .html extension of many addresses, or putting a space in the URL. Please type exactly what appears in the URL, and double-check for accuracy. To avoid typos, cut and paste URLs directly from the browser or word processing document into the TrackStar form.

Many sites move, changing their URLs, or are deleted by their Webmasters. Check a Track before using it with a class. You will be notified via e-mail if the TrackStar system detects more than 2 broken links in your Tracks. To find out whether a link has moved or disappeared, try to use indices on the link's main site, or the search engine you originally used to find the site. Workshop leaders can teach other ways to analyze and repair broken URLs.

You haven't lost your Track; the link has simply jumped out of TrackStar's frames or created a new window. Sometimes, site authors do not want their site to be viewed in frames, so they take steps to prevent it. If this occurs, use your browser's back button or history feature to return to TrackStar. If your browser's back button is disabled, this probably means the current page was opened in a new window. Simply close the new window, and your Track will appear! If you find that one of your links does this, we recommend that you edit your Track and use a similar site instead, or place this link at the end of your Track, where the new window may be less disorienting to your students.

Please visit the Editing section of our online tutorial to help you get started in the editing process.

To delete a Track, log in as usual. On the My Account page, click on the Manage My Tracks button. Your Tracks will be listed as seen in the figure below. To delete a Track, click on the Delete link which is the red x on the left-hand side. Make sure you are on the correct line if you have multiple Tracks.

Image of the Manage Tracks page where the delete button is listed next to the Track title.

A confirmation pop-up window will appear, asking if you are sure you want to delete this Track. It looks something like the image below, depending on your browser. You can still cancel at this point. Click OK to permanently delete the Track.

Image of the pop-up window requesting confirmation to delete the Track.

If it's been more than 30 days since you deleted your Track, then you will not be able to recover it.

If it's been less than 30 days since you deleted your Track and you have the deleted Track's number you can recover your deleted Track yourself. Login to your account. Then proceed to the TrackStar home page. On the home page in the Find A Track, section as shown in the image below, enter your deleted Track's number in the input box next to View Track # and press the Go button.

Image of the Find a Track section that is on the home page.  There is a number in the View Track # and the Go button is also shown.

You will see a page like the one in the image below stating that the Track has been deleted . Click on the link Recover Track.

Image of the Recover Link shown on the page.

You will then get confirmation that your Track has been recovered. Only Tracks deleted by you can be recovered in this way. If a Track was deleted by the TrackStar Administration, then only the Administrators can recover it.

Educational Value: Material must be pertinent to a K-12 public or private school curriculum in the United States. Text, audio, or graphics that are not appropriate for this audience may not be presented in TrackStar.

Images, Sounds, and Language: When including links to music, movie, art, health, biology pages, or other sites with potentially graphic audio, visual, or grammatical material, please carefully surf the entire site and all of its links first, to insure that young viewers do not stumble upon inappropriate material.

U.S. Copyright Law: TrackStar is designed to help students explore a variety of sites related to a topic. 4Teachers does not support breaking apart a single site and placing its separate pages in a Track. It is better to link to the site once, and use the annotation to direct students to different parts of the site. Tracks with 2 to 5 links can have no more than 2 links to the same site. Tracks with 6 to 15 links can have no more than 3 links to the same site. We provide these rough guidelines because of the continued ambiguity of US copyright law concerning the Internet. Use your best judgment, and know that we will hold Tracks that have questionable copyright infringements. We notify you of your Track's status. This is for your legal protection as well as ours. While a Track is on hold, only the author can view it.

Number of Links: TrackStar does not allow one link Tracks, because if you want to have your students visit one site then it is easier for you to just bookmark that one site. If you try to Save a Track with only one link you will receive an error message.

Use of Search Engines: Please don't link to search engines or search engine result pages. Rather, link to specific sites found while searching the Internet. One exception: if users create a Track about how to find high-quality Internet resources, links to search engines may be appropriate. If you do link to search engines, be certain that the engines are kid-safe and family-friendly. TrackStar now accepts links to Yahooligans!, Google and Ask for Kids.

E-mail links: We do not accept the inclusion of e-mail links or solicitations within Track descriptions or annotations -- such as, "Mail me and tell me what you think of this site." We do this so that students are not encouraged to write to strangers on the Internet.

Using the annotation editor:
the annotation editor toolbar
You can format your text using the toolbar buttons - just like you do in a word processor.
the font family and font size drop down lists from the annotation editor change the font and size of your text
the bold, italic and underline toolbar buttons from the annotation editor make your text bold, italic or underlined
the left, center, right and full justification toolbar buttons from the annotation editor center, left or right justify your paragraphs
the numbered and bulleted list toolbar buttons from the annotation editor use numbered or bulleted lists

We encourage TrackStar users to use HTML that assists students in reading annotations, such as <BR> tags, list tags such as <OL>, <UL>, and <LI>, or other common formatting tags. We do not allow users to include images, sounds, or video HTML links in Track annotations, as their inclusion considerably slows the loading-time of Tracks. Additionally, please refrain from using HTML in TrackStar that changes the overall look of the Track format.

TrackStar reserves the right to make edits to any Track over a year old, in order to maintain link functionality. We may make such changes to your old Track if we have featured it elsewhere on our site, such as in Top Tracks, or as a featured Track on our Professional Development pages.


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