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Issue 77 - Term 3 Week 9

Issue 77 - 2021 | Term 3 | Week 9

Image showing that news.T4L has a brand new home at the T4L website!

After more than six years of residing on the department's Equella web hosting platform, news.T4L has a new home along with all of the T4L team's other amazing resources and content! It will still be published every week 3, 6 and 9 of each term and will still contain all the latest school technologies news, info, tips and links that you've seen from the previous 76 issues. You'll also now be able to use the regular department Search box to find content from news.T4L articles! All of the past issues will remain on the Equella platform for now and can be accessed via if needed. But for now, check out our latest issue to get updated and tell us what you think!

In our previous issue we announced the launch of Canva for Education for schools. Since then, there has been a large takeup as teachers dive in and discover the amazing resources available for their classroom. But there might be other teachers at your school that need some help with getting started and understanding the process of inviting their students to join. To simplify this, the T4L team produced two quick reference guides and a step-by-step video:

The department's enterprise agreement with Adobe was recently renewed and includes several changes. Information Technology Directorate has been preparing for the implementation of each change, with the first part now available! All of the latest Adobe Creative Cloud packages have been added to UDM in the Enterprise Software section. They are ready for deployment to your school's Windows devices. This includes the new and greatly improved 64-bit Adobe Acrobat DC. When deploying Adobe packages, any older versions are automatically replaced by the new version. Details of other changes in our next issue!

As part of whole of government security compliance, Information Technology Directorate is taking steps to further secure the department's corporate applications and online services. Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a computer network security protocol, used to secure communications between web services. The newest standard is TLS 1.2 and to comply with that standard, all back-end systems will be updated to reject devices and browsers that can only use older versions of TLS. All devices running Windows 10 and newer versions of Chrome and MacOS are fine, but some older BYODs and unmanaged devices may no longer function for access to NSW DoE services. 

The department's new enterprise agreement with Adobe covers the use of the Creative Cloud suite of applications. The entry-level versions of Photoshop and Premiere, known as Elements packages, are no longer licenced. These two titles have now been removed from the UDM enterprise software section, meaning that they are no longer available for deployment to school computers.  Existing installations of these two programs can continue to be used, but will need to be removed in early 2022. Adobe Premiere Rush is available and is a good replacement for Premiere Elements. For entry-level photo editing, there are several options in Software Catalogue.

Image showing the new Microsoft Outlook on a laptop computer

Following the completion of over 9,000 corporate staff and pilot schools in the Email.Modernisation project, we are ready to start migrating and updating the mailboxes of all staff, at all remaining schools to Exchange Online. The migrations will occur on a per school basis, with batches of schools completed after-hours each day. The general order of schools will be those with high school students first - completed before the HSC, then the remainder of schools, with casuals and anyone else not assigned to a school at the end. The project has a planned completion date of 1 December 2021. We've published a schedule that lists each school for migration in different waves. Please check the schedule to identify your school's place in the queue and please alert staff at your school about the upcoming change. In addition, we have an Email.Modernisation Project group on Yammer, where you can join, find the latest information and ask questions. We know that all staff are looking forward to the move to Exchange Online.

Microsoft have recently announced that going forward, the MS Teams app for iPhone and iPad will only work on devices running iOS or iPadOS 14 or later. In order to continue running the MS Teams app on these devices, an OS update is required. The retirement of the Teams app on older Apple mobile operating systems will begin in early October and is expected to end by the middle of that month.  Messages will be displayed on affected devices, leading up to the retirement of the app.

Do more at home with iPad! Explore creative activities using built-in features of iPad. Designed for children ages 4-8+ and 8-12+, these two sets of 30 Creative Activities for Kids can be easily tailored for a whole class, or family. Have fun doing all of the activities, choosing five days of photo fun, challenging friends to make the best slow-motion video, sharing a passion project, and so much more. They’re also great to pass along to parents to keep kids creative while learning at home.

Since ITD launched its Chromebook Enrolment facilityover 70,000 school Chromebooks have been enrolled into the DoE Google domain! Following a successful pilot to test and confirm compatibility in our environment, we are about to kick-off the release of Chrome OS v92. Along with important security updates, this version includes several enhancements for accessibility - including voice dictation and live captions for voice output. Chrome OS v92 starts deploying to DoE-enrolled Chromebooks on Thursday, 9 September. Each Chromebook will automatically download the update from Google and then install it. This occurs in the background with no impact on the use of the Chromebook. A restart will be required to complete the installation with users notified at the bottom-right of their screen.

Plans are in place for the removal of Internet Explorer 11 from all department-managed devices before the end of this year. Microsoft will officially end support for IE11 in June 2022, but have already stated that IE11 should not be used for Microsoft 365 services.  Google have also removed support for this old browser with their Workspaces apps. As we get closer to removing IE11, we'll also be adjusting the default browser setting. But you don't have to wait to change the default browser on your device. We have now allowed this setting to be adjusted by users. You can choose a modern browser like Google Chrome, or the new Microsoft Edge to be your preferred browser. This setting will need to be applied on each device you use, but need only be set once. We'll keep you updated on progress with this important change.

Images of a teacher presenting something using an Apple iPad

The T4L team has four great one hour online PL sessions to choose from this week, so make sure you let other teachers know and register now to get all the details and lock in your place!

During term 2, NSW public schools did an amazing job in updating as many of their old Windows 10 v1607, 1709 and 1809 devices as possible. We went from a high of almost 230,000 out-of-support devices on the department's network on April 30, to just 17,000 v1809 devices left. But we do need to continue with the F12 rebuild of those remaining devices, because we plan to disable all remaining v1809 devices at the end of October. Our focus also now shifts to Win 10 v1909 devices. Right now, we have 100,000 on our network, and while Microsoft won't end support for that version until May 2022, we'd like to be ahead of the game. So if you have the opportunity, please arrange to F12 all 1909 student devices if available. We aim to enable in-place upgrades of v1909 devices after the HSC. More updates on this in coming issues of news.T4L.

In case you missed it, the department has revised its recommendations and guidelines around using video, in response to increasing numbers of students and teachers learning and teaching from home. Given the benefits of using video to support student learning, the new guidelines should be a strong consideration for principals and teachers when planning learning from home, or remote lessons. They reflect changes in platforms and include current advice from a broad range of experts across the department. Please refer to the new Guidelines for using live video with students. Also consider arranging a staff meeting to discuss the document and ensure that all teachers at your school are aware of the changes. If you have any questions about the new guidelines, please check the existing discussions or ask in the Learning from Home group on Yammer.

Information Technology Directorate publishes three issues of news.T4L each term. Remember - share each issue with your staff! And if you aren't receiving an email notification as soon as a new issue of news.T4L drops, then you're missing out! So why not subscribe?