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Issue 84 - Term 2 Week 3

Issue 84 - 2022 | Term 2 | Week 3

Windows 10 v21H2 is coming soon for NSW public schools

Windows 10 v21H2 for eT4L devices was released on April 8 for deployment via F12 build.  The previous 20H2 option is no longer available. Does your school have any student devices still running Windows 10 v1909? It's important that you focus on rebuilding these first, as a priority.  Microsoft ends support for v1909 on May 10. For any staff devices that still have v1909, we recommend waiting for the v21H2 in-place upgrade option. This will allow for these devices to be upgraded to v21H2 without the need for a rebuild and deletion of local files and installed applications. However, to avoid disruption to the upcoming NAPLAN online testing window, we've scheduled the release of the v21H2 in-place upgrade option to immediately follow NAPLAN testing. If your school requires assistance with upgrading this old operating system to v21H2, please log an online ticket via EDConnect.

Is your school using iPads with younger students? Have your teachers unlocked all the learning possibilities on offer? Apple Education just released details of their 2022 virtual PL opportunities for Early Years educators, with the first of three powerful sessions for Term 2, starting on 26 May 2022. Along with expert guests such as Dr Melinda Miller, you'll explore the concepts of children as explorers and enablers, and the transformative power of iPad in the early years. This free learning journey then continues across Terms 3 & 4, discovering how iPad can nurture creativity and exploration through activities like movie and music making, animation, story telling and augmented reality. Learn more and register today!

Want a stem.T4L kit for Term 3? From Thursday 12 May, schools can book additional kits - up to a maximum of two kits, and subject to availability. Bookings for Term 3 close Friday 27 May. Don't miss this opportunity to participate in the stem.T4L project for Term 3 by booking one (or two) of these kits:

  • Tablet Robotics and/or Inventor Robotics
  • 3D Printing
  • Handheld VR and/or 360° Camera
  • Filming

What's in each kit? Visit the stem.T4L Learning Library.

The department's enterprise agreement with Adobe was renewed in 2021 and 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. Those two titles were removed from the UDM enterprise software section, meaning that they are no longer available for deployment to school computers.  Adobe granted permission for schools with either of these packages still installed on school devices, to continue using them until May 31, 2022. From June, Adobe Photoshop and Premiere Elements installations will no longer be covered by the department's licence and MUST be uninstalled. An F12 Rebuild of Windows devices will remove these packages and is the best option, as it will also upgrade the devices to Windows 10 v21H2.

With all schools running NAPLAN online assessments this year, we all want to ensure a smooth experience for students. It's important to confirm that all devices to be used for testing, meet the technical requirements provided by ACARA. To help with this, the T4L team has prepared important advice around each of the four supported platforms: Windows, Mac, iPad and Chromebooks. Some devices in schools may still be unused since the closures in 2020. Please take the time to ensure every device is ready to work. Most of your compatible managed devices should have been automatically installed with the latest version of the locked down browser. But some devices may require local deployment. To be doubly sure, each device intended for testing use should be checked and confirmed first. 

Acrobat DC on a WIndows laptop

Many thousands of NSW Education staff subscribe to T4L for email notifications about our latest release issues for news, magazines and other important technology updates. In an effort to reduce the email load of teachers and school staff in particular, we'll temporarily suspend sending emails to our subscribers. Like other areas of the department, T4L will be publishing their notifications on Staff Noticeboard.  By regularly visiting Staff Noticeboard, you can keep up with all important updates from across the department. However, the T4L News community on Yammer will continue to post our important updates, so make sure you're notified by joining that community.  In addition, the T4L Teacher Community on Teams will also post regular updates, to keep you informed of the latest technology information for schools. Of course, news.T4L will continue to be released in weeks 3, 6 and 9 of every term, with all past issues available in the news archive.

Windows laptops and Google Chromebooks are widely used across our schools. Being mobile devices, they can be more susceptible to faults than desktops. Sometimes, particularly with Windows laptops used by students, the best first step is to F12 Rebuild it. But if that doesn't help and before you log a warranty support call to repair a "broken" laptop, it's worth getting familiar with and trying basic triage steps to assist with pinpointing what the actual problem could be. This helps by allowing the technician to bring the most appropriate replacement parts. By performing these basic checks shown at the right and by describing the triage steps you took when logging a ticket, you'll speed up the repair process greatly. NOTE: Missing keys or physically broken screens caused by accident or vandalism, are generally not covered by warranty.

  • Screen is blank, or flickering or has lines on it? Plug in an external monitor. If it displays normally, then the screen is the problem. If it also has the same issues, then it's likely the graphics card or motherboard.
  • Keyboard not working or some keys don't work? Plug in an external USB keyboard. If all the keys work on that, then the laptop keyboard is faulty. But if it also fails, it's likely the keyboard controller or motherboard.
  • Trackpad is not working? it's possible that the Function (Fn) key option to turn off the trackpad, was pressed.
  • Webcam not showing your image? Check if there is a privacy slide covering the webcam and uncover it.

Technology always fails at the worst possible time. But there are logical steps you can take when diagnosing any issue:

  • Printer not working? Can you print to another printer?
  • Is it ONLY happening to my device or my user account? Try another device. Ask others if they can replicate it.
  • Are there any error messages? Take note of them. What were you trying to do before they appeared?
  • Is it only in my building? Do other buildings work right now?
  • Go to the network data cabinets. Are lights on and flashing?
  • Check the eT4L server. Are lights on? What's the LCD panel say?
  • Is it only MY school? Ask the question in the ICT Support community on Yammer
  • Personal email or account problem? It's best to call EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32

Sometimes, even with all the tech tips provided in the last three articles, you'll need department help. While it's great to have staff onsite that can troubleshoot and resolve certain tech issues, some problems might be out of your control or responsibility. In these situations, getting remote support via Teams or Facetime, or requesting an onsite visit from the local Field Services team is just an EDConnect ticket away. It's usually best to log a ticket online. That way you can clearly describe your issue, and all of them are categorised across the range of support that EDConnect offers. For ICT support, you can select the most appropriate category and provide clear details about your tech incident, including all of the troubleshooting steps you've taken. Let them know when it's best to contact you, and you can even attach photographs. Once logged, your ticket will go to your local support team and they'll be in touch to assist and get your call resolved as quickly as possible. If an onsite visit is required, they'll book a suitable time for that as well. For Rural Access Gap schools, you can now even log tickets about new interactive Main Learning Display (MLD) devices!

Yammer Hot Spots is on every Monday during term

When the first lockdown occurred in March 2020, the T4L team scrambled to develop relevant resources and professional learning content, to assist teachers with the upcoming learning from home period. One of the associated initiatives that was quickly produced, was a little weekly on-line half-hour "chat show" called Yammer Hot Spots. Every show starts with a quick technology news update, followed by a handy tip. But the real stars of each show are the weekly guests. We've interviewed teachers, principals, teacher librarians, TSOs and corporate staff, including Directors and Executive Directors - from schools and offices all over NSW. We've heard their amazing stories and insights and inspired others by sharing their successes with using technology in the classroom. It's gone so well that today's show is episode 67 and we've spoken to over 120 guests so far! There's a loyal and engaged live audience that joins each week to keep the side-chat going, but every episode is recorded and is available at the Yammer Hot Spots website, along with all relevant links for topics discussed. If you're interested in educational technology and you're free on Mondays between 3:30 and 4pm, set yourself a reminder and jump over to the website and join in! If you miss a show, you can always catch the recording. 

Deliveries of interactive Main Learning Displays (MLDs) continue to accelerate across NSW. To support teachers with the use of these new devices, there's a handy suite of online resources. The site was recently expanded and updated by the Digital Support Team (DST) and T4L. New topics include online collaboration, screen casting, accessibility features and STEM integration. The short tutorials empower teachers to make the most of MLDs powerful features. The DST will also continue to run online training for MLDs during Term 2. MLDs are also the topic of the latest two episodes of The Virtual Staffroom podcast, which focus on digital incursions. You can join Linda, Yvette and Joachim as they visit the Museum of Australian Democracy and NSW Parliament House. 

Global Accessibility Awareness Day  is held on 19 May. It celebrates digital access and inclusion for more than one billion people worldwide with disabilities and impairments. Digital accessibility functions allow you to empower students with choice, by removing barriers. The benefits of accessible practice are far-reaching and can improve outcomes for all students. Making information accessible to everyone is also now a requirement across government. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Apple, Microsoft or Google user – you can create an inclusive classroom in a few easy clicks. The Technology 4 Learning Top Tech Tips video series called "Access Learning" will get you started in a few short minutes. How will you celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day?

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?