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Issue 82 - Term 1 Week 6

Issue 82 - 2022 | Term 1 | Week 6

Online Learning Tools Marketplace website on a laptop

While the department provides free access to multiple teaching, learning and productivity tools, like Adobe Creative Cloud, Google Workspace and Microsoft 365, many schools use other commercial products on a daily basis. To assist schools with procuring many of these desired products, the department launched the online learning tools marketplace.

All the tools available through the online learning tools marketplace have undergone an assessment to ensure they meet requirements for syllabus, pedagogy, data and cyber security. Suppliers have entered into agreements with the department to meet and maintain standards including data privacy and cyber security provisions, to ensure the products used by schools are safe and fit for purpose. The department has established equitable transparent pricing and has endeavoured to negotiate ‘best price’ for all products available in the online learning tools marketplace. The Product catalogue is still being finalised, but many titles are available for purchase right now.

Work is underway behind the scenes to finalise the retirement of Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) from all managed Windows devices used in all schools and corporate offices. It involves a multi-step process including:

  • Centrally resetting the default browser on every Windows device to Google Chrome (early April)
  • Completing updates to corporate applications that currently require IE11
  • Advising staff with Favorites saved in IE11 to import them to Chrome / MS Edge if desired.

We'll advise the actual date for the change to Chrome in our week 9 copy of news.T4L. The IE11 browser itself will remain on each device and can be launched if required, up until Wednesday, 15 June 2022 when Microsoft will retire the browser completely. Beyond that, trying to launch IE11 will start MS Edge.

Storage space is an absolute premium at many schools and often, any room that's not generally used by people, is used as a storeroom for boxes and equipment. An all too common scenario is when the school logs an EdConnect ticket reporting a network or server issue.  Nobody at school is able to access the internet to do their work or learning. The field services officer or a Telstra rep arrives on-site and needs to troubleshoot the problem. The logical place to start is the school's server room, which houses the eT4L server, the internet gateway and main network switches. Upon arrival, they find piles of boxes, obsolete equipment, stacks of chairs and other items blocking the data cabinet. It's a WHS issue that could result in them immediately leaving, further delaying the important troubleshooting process. So what condition is your school's server room in? What about the rooms in other buildings that house data cabinets? Could service people access the cabinets easily if needed urgently?

While many devices for the 2021-2022 T4L Rollout have already arrived in schools, the delivery of the remainder is progressively occurring across NSW. As vendors receive stock of each item ordered, they are preparing all the necessary logistics. Depending on the device, we are seeing varied ETAs and are updating this information sheet weekly with the latest advice. Some models will not be available until Term 2.  Vendors have been asked to email the school account to advise of upcoming deliveries.  Also, please be aware that notebook orders may involve multiple shipments as devices and accessories could be delivered separately.  Finally, a REMINDER to refer to the process that schools should follow when their deliveries arrive. If your school has queries about the T4L Rollout, please send an email with details to

To avoid confusion around how schools should first setup their new T4L rollout Windows devices, please refer to the following advice. At this stage, ALL new Windows devices received via the T4L rollout, OR purchased through EdBuy, MUST be built via the standard F12 network boot process. This ensures the device is correctly joined to the department's network, allow for single sign-on, network printing and deployment of software via UDM. For this reason, it is important that schools wait until all accessories are received through the separate shipments BEFORE turning on your new devices. While you can turn on your new devices and use them without an F12 build, they will not be optimally configured and cannot be shared with other users. If you did this with any new Windows devices, you'll need to F12 rebuild them, before they can be properly used and managed.

WIndows 10 v1909 In-Place upgrades

Windows 10 v1909 reaches end-of-support in May this year. ITD acknowledges the challenge of rebuilding almost 67,000 devices that are still running Windows 10 v1909. With a mandatory government requirement to only allow in-support operating systems on the NSW DoE network, ITD's Desktops team have worked tirelessly to develop a scalable and reliable in-place upgrade (IPU) solution to bring as many of these devices up to v20H2 as possible, in the shortest amount of time. We are pleased to advise that we will start a staggered deployment of Windows 10 v20H2 as an in-place upgrade for 1909 builds. The IPU process will be turned on for 1909 devices during March. The benefits include:

  • No need to manually F12 rebuild v1909 devices
  • A silent push of the upgrade pack to each device wirelessly
  • Once deployed, the device will advise that a restart is required to complete the installation of the Windows feature upgrade
  • Installed programs and data remain on the device.

Please visit for detailed information and advice about the 20H2 managed in-place upgrade.

Most schools that have them, absolutely LOVE their Chromebooks! Long battery life, instant on, no software to install, no manual updates to apply, high reliability and easy sharing between students. But unfortunately, Chromebooks do not last forever. Built into every Chromebook, regardless of brand, is an Auto Update Expiry date, or AUE. A Chromebook and its operating system - Chrome OS, are deeply integrated. Because of this, Google presets end-of-life dates on every Chromebook. From then, it will no longer receive feature and security updates.  Schools can check the AUE dates of their entire Chromebook fleet or look them up by brand and model. In our week 9 issue, we'll look at specific models in schools that have expired and advise on actions to be taken.

Beware of emails from people you don’t know, especially when they’re offering free gifts.  A baby grand piano, an iPhone, a mystery package. Scammers are out in force and they’re after your hard-earned money. They’ll charge a delivery fee and once you’ve paid that you’ll never hear from them again. These emails may look like they’re from a colleague in the department. A colleague may even forward one to you because they think it’s genuine. There are other scams doing the rounds that prompt you to click on malicious links, enter your logon details or send  personally identifiable information. Remember to scan for scams! Always report phishing emails by clicking on Report Message button in Outlook and delete them.

For the past few years, many schools have used Neverware's CloudReady product to convert old Windows and Mac computers into quick and responsive "Chromebook" devices. Enrolled into the department's Google domain, CloudReady devices allowed easy access for students to all their Google Workspace and Office 365 cloud services and general internet browsing. In 2020, Google acquired Neverware and commenced bringing CloudReady into the official line of Google products and has now renamed the product Chrome OS Flex. Does your school have CloudReady devices? The official release is not far off, so existing Neverware CloudReady users should get familiar to prepare for the change.

Many schools produced amazing content using Adobe Spark - from their school newsletter to highly creative student works. But Spark has evolved! Adobe recently launched Creative Cloud Express - a collection of simple to use digital creativity & collaboration tools for posters, infographics, custom graphics, video stories, and multimedia web pages. It runs in a browser on Windows, Mac and Chromebook, so there's no software to install - and there's an app available for mobile devices. The department's Adobe enterprise licence means all students and staff have access, and Adobe's education team have compiled a great learning resource to get you started. And for everything Adobe in NSW DoE, visit T4L's Adobe resources.

New autogenerated groups in Google Workspace

Last term, as part of major improvements to the department's Google domain and Workspace service, we introduced system-generated school based Groups and Contacts.  These groups covered students, teachers and non-teachers in all schools, including year and roll class groupings. Well, we didn't stop there.  In an effort to further streamline and synchronise our directories across platforms, we've released our next set of system-generated groups for schools. Principals and their delegates use either the AMU or Manage Staff Access tools to grant various permissions to their staff. In the background, these tools update security groups, and now, some of those groups can also be used in Google Workspace. Need a Google Shared Drive for one of these groups? Just add the group name. The new groups available and their names as reflected in AMU, are as follows:

  • Local1 Share -
  • Local2 Share -
  • Office Staff -
  • Other Staff -
  • Prac Teachers -
  • Relieving Executive Staff -
  • Relieving Principals -
  • School Assistance -

We know there's a lot of love out there from teachers and students for both our regular magazines. So much work goes into producing each issue and in 2022, we're working extra hard to make sure that each pair released correlate and complement each other around a specific theme. We want our teachers and our students on the same page! This time around, it's all about getting connected! Whether you’re connecting with students, colleagues, community – or the tech tools you love to use, the latest issue of magazine.T4L is filled with inspiration for the year ahead. Take your tech knowledge to new heights! Discover new tools to tinker with, explore new classroom resources and find out all about great new features across your favourite tech platforms.  And don't forget the back-catalogue where you can find all past issues of magazine.T4L!

You'll see in the latest magazine.T4L that we've also included teacher resources for the newest issue of T4L Kids! Our T4L Kids magazine keeps building steam. We're hearing amazing stories from teachers across NSW about how their students have taken on challenges from past issues, or tried new activities or developed new skills - all inspired by T4L Kids. In our latest issue, students can work on creating a digital Acknowledgement of Country for your school community! Find all the tools you need to explore Country, connect with community and create a meaningful production to share and present. With award-winning Gunai author, poet and teacher Kirli Saunders as your guide, you’ll be inspired to produce a recording, an animation or even an audio file to share with your community. Make sure to check out all past issues of T4L Kids too!

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?