Technical Document: Adobe Shockwave

The PDF files included here are illustrated documents that serve to provide novice users with very thorough, fully-illustrated instructions on how to remove and then install the most recent version of Adobe's Shockwave Player. This usually resolves any difficulties involving Gizmos.

Adobe Shockwave: SLIM vs. FULL

A commonly-encountered problem with Gizmos centers around a computer's Adobe Shockwave Player browser plug-in, and whether the version of Shockwave is considered SLIM or FULL.

SLIM versions -- the default version installed by Adobe -- contain a limited number units of functionality called Shockwave Xtras. Adobe assumes that if applications require Xtras not included in the SLIM version (as some of our Gizmos do), then the plug-in can simply download them from the Adobe servers.

However, this approach does not take into account the fact that many school's security configurations do not allow their computers -- especially those being used by students -- to dynamically access the Adobe servers. As access to Adobe servers is commonly restricted by our customer base, we recommend installing the FULL version of the Shockwave plug-in so that all of the Xtras are available to every Gizmo.

If an ExploreLearning System Test indicates that you have a SLIM version of Shockwave installed on the computer, then we strongly suggest you perform the steps described below:

  1. Use Adobe's Shockwave Player Uninstaller to completely remove your current version of Shockwave. Please note that simply disabling or removing the plug-in within your browser -- or using the Microsoft Add/Remove Program utility -- may be ineffective and may conflict with the next step.
  2. Use Adobe's Shockwave Player FULL Installer to install the latest version of Shockwave with all of the available Xtras.

The three documents listed below were written to provide novice users with very thorough, fully-illustrated instructions on how to accomplish Steps #1 & #2 above.

IT/System Administrators:
System Administrators need to account for the role of firewalls and caching/proxy servers when configuring computers to run ExploreLearning. Confirm that neither is blocking and/or interfering with content from either or (for plug-in diagnostics/updates), or from (for Gizmo operation).

For additional Shockwave troubleshooting information, please refer to Adobe's Shockwave Player FAQ's.

For LAN adminstrators who wish to distribute Shockwave on the school intranet, please visit the Adobe Player Licensing page.