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Issue 80 - Term 4 Week 9

Issue 80 - 2021 | Term 4 | Week 9

The T4L Rollout and Tech Tools catalogues are out now!

The two-week ordering window for the 2021/22 T4L Rollout opened last week with the emailed notification of each school's allocation and the launch of the T4L rollout device catalogue.This comprehensive guide details the devices on offer and assists schools in the decision-making process. To complement this, the T4L team have compiled a brilliant new resource for schools - the Tech tools catalogue. Choosing devices should never be about the device alone. What can be done with each device in the classroom, should be a key deciding factor. The tech tools catalogue helps teachers and schools to explore user scenarios, discover the range of digital tools on offer for each device and promote learning pathways for teachers. You'll find it a great reference compendium to refer back to regularly. So review these two handy catalogues, consult with your school technology committee and submit your order by Friday, 3 December!  Deliveries will commence from Term 1, 2022.  

From 3 December, all NSW Public Schools will be able to nominate someone to take on the role of Google Delegated Admin (GDA). The principal can assign this access via Manage School Access. Previously, administration of the department's Google Workspace service was only available by logging an EdConnect call. Each school now has its own container in the Google Admin Console, holding all staff and student accounts, and all of the school's Chromebooks can also be moved across. This allows for local management. So what can a school's GDA do?

  • Apply local settings for their staff and students
  • Restore deleted files from a user's GDrive
  • Deploy Chrome extensions, configure printing and other settings for your Chromebooks

Find out more about Google Delegated Admin.

Many schools regularly use certain websites with their students. Wouldn't it be great if you could easily fill each student's DoE Portal with shortcuts to all of those websites? Well, with your new Staff Portal, teachers can do exactly that! If you haven't yet discovered how to do it, just go to your Staff Portal Profile Centre that you'll always find at: - and click Help & Support. Have a read of the Manage School Essentials section. 
NOTE: All teaching staff can manage shortcuts for ALL students at your school. It's sensible and appropriate to coordinate how your school will use this feature and determine what bookmarks are needed by your students. Soon we'll be adding features to Manage School Essentials to allow for different sets of Essentials and Bookmarks to be pushed out to students by year group.

news.T4L is released every week 3, 6 and 9 of every school term - since 2015! It's great for catching up on what's been happening with tech in schools and finding out about what's coming next. But technology changes never stop, and schools often need to be updated on the spot. Getting alerts as they happen about changes, new releases, outages and tech events is critical for some school staff. Over the past two years, the T4L News for Schools community on Yammer has been promptly sharing announcements like these for thousands of regular Yammer users. But did you know that you can get instant notifications about these announcements too? All you have to do is visit the T4L News for Schools community and click the JOIN button at the top. Only staff that have joined the community get these instant notifications. And don't worry about getting inundated with alerts. This community is only used for official T4L announcements.

As teachers and students returned to school after the latest extended lockdown period, one of the first things noticed would have been the sheer amount of dust that settled on tables, books and keyboards. But has anyone considered the school's fileservers? Servers are set to run 24/7 and their large fans on the back, which are designed to keep the server cool, actually suck in air and push it out through front vents. Clean, dust-free server rooms mean the servers stay clean. But dusty rooms just end up clogging the internals of the server. As humidity rises over Summer, dust can get moist, causing shorts in computer circuitry. School cleaners are typically told to stay out of server rooms, but that doesn't mean the school should never clean their server room. How dusty are your school's servers? If you do see dust, it's safe to carefully vacuum all around the servers and the room to help keep your servers working optimally and avoid local outages.

A computer showing coding

Hour of Code is nearly here! This year it takes place during Computer Science Education Week in Week 10 – December 6-12. T4L has a smorgasbord of events, activities and resources to help students develop their coding and computational thinking skills. Best of all, students can download an official certificate of participation to celebrate their involvement.  Two of our magazines are dedicated to Hour of Code – read them now! 

  • Magazine.T4L is all about supporting you in the classroom with resources to get your students coding, prototyping and designing in no time 
  • T4L Kids is about app and game design, from prototyping to production especially for Stages 3-4 
  • Check the magazines and join us for one of 9 live T4L webinars and incursions in Weeks 9 and 10 and explore one of 44 dedicated Hour of Code resources (or more)
  • Register your own official school event – there are currently 250+ school events registered! 

As the school year ends, it’s important to clean up access and permissions granted via AMU. Otherwise, departed staff will continue to have access to your school’s resources from their new site. This could include the ability to reset your student and staff passwords, access your eT4L file shares and be members of your school’s email distribution lists. When they start at their new site, staff will disappear from your main AMU lists, but your granted permissions will remain for them. So, It’s best to remove these permissions BEFORE they start at their new school. If they have disappeared from your AMU list, click the “View & Add Staff not at this site” link at the bottom of AMU, to find them. Then remove their access from the various applets in AMU. If they are not shown there, but report they still have access, an EDConnect call will need to be logged to remove them from your site totally. Casual/temporary/ relieving staff that have left will need to have their access removed from the various applets in AMU, then removed from the “Casual – Search / Remove Staff” list in SMU. Finally, what about MS Teams or Google Shared Drives? It's critical to review their members too.

It's always recommended that staff take a backup of all their files before leaving a school. Your DoE user account is fully transferable and will work at your new school. But one of the traps that staff find when they've moved schools is that the contents of their personal home folder (U:) were not automatically transferred and stay behind on their old school's eT4L Server. As a result, when you sign in at a new school, you get a brand new U: drive which is empty! So how do you access your old home folder contents so that you can copy them to your new U:? Let's say for example that your DoE user ID is Lady.Gaga2 and that the school code of your previous school is 6482. Log onto any Windows PC at your new school, open Computer and in the address bar at the top, type in: 


then press Enter. Take note of the _ before the user ID. It should open your old home folder and you can copy all the files and folders from there to your empty U: drive. Then delete your content from the old school's server.

Turning off ICT infrastructure over the holiday period can stop important software upgrades, antivirus and security updates.  It is strongly recommended that you do not turn off the following infrastructure:

  • All components in the main data cabinet
  • Components in any other data cabinets
  • Your school’s eT4L Server and UPS
  • Apple Caching Server - if you have one

Note however, that heatwave temperatures can cause problems for your eT4L Server and UPS in particular. You should definitely consider ventilation in the server room over the break. If you do need to turn these devices off, necessary updates will take place on your return to school and likely slow down your network access during the busy first days of Term 1 next year.  

In many areas of NSW, Summer is lightning season. In order to protect your equipment over the long break, it’s a good idea to turn off the power point and unplug the following devices:

  • Computers (desktops/laptops) and monitors
  • Notebook and iPad trolleys
  • Printers, projectors and other peripherals
  • Multifunction devices and copiers
  • Main Learning Displays and Televisions

On the Term 1 School Development Day – turn on all your school computers so they can receive security and Windows updates from your eT4L server. Also turn on your storage trolleys so device batteries can recharge. This will ensure that they are ready for use by students as school resumes.

Leaking batteries in a remote control
The long, hot summer vacation is also known to cause problems with the remote controls for your projectors, TVs, LED touch panels and VC units. The AA and AAA batteries in these remote controls are known to occasionally leak. While it usually is only required to replace the batteries, sometimes the leaking actually damages the remote control or battery-operated device. Some of these can be difficult or expensive to replace, depending on the device. As a precaution, it's a good idea to remove these batteries from the remotes before the end of the school year. Remember, many robotic devices also use these batteries, so consider them as well!

Google recently advised that all students aged under 18 that are using their Workspace for Education suite, will lose access to the Blogger service. We have identified all schools that currently use the service with their students and each will be separately notified. Advice will be provided for students to export their Blogger content prior to its removal in January, 2022.  From the start of 2022, students will also no longer be able to comment on Blogger posts made by teachers or others, while using their school-provided Google account. Teachers looking for alternative web publishing options for their students should consider Google Sites, Microsoft Sway, Adobe Spark or consult the department's Digital Learning Selector for more ideas.

We know we've already mentioned these two new magazines in the Hour of Code article above, but we really don't want you to miss it! If you're looking for some great end of year or holiday inspiration - we've got just the thing. For all the teachers at your school, the latest issue of  Magazine.T4L is out now. It's bursting with information, links and resources to get you going on your own coding journey. You'll find out about the many coding options available on your preferred device and get great ideas on integrating coding in your classroom!  And for your students, make sure you pass on the latest issue of T4L Kids - they'll learn about prototyping, game design and app creation. There's so much in these new issues and so much more to come in 2022!

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?