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Issue 88 - Term 3 Week 6

Issue 88 - 2022 | Term 3 | Week 6

The T4L Rollout Device Catalogue magazine

We are excited to advise that the 2022-23 T4L Computer Equipment Rollout commences this Term. Eligible schools will receive an email detailing their school’s unit allocation, sent to the Principal and school account. This will include a link to the device catalogue as well as ordering and delivery timelines. This year has again been challenging for computer vendors, with supply chains still impacted globally. The T4L team have been busy working with our partners to ensure a great range of devices are on offer. Head to the T4L website for up to date information on the T4L Computer Equipment Rollout:

If you have any questions about the upcoming T4L Computer Equipment Rollout, please contact the project team via email at:

Following the success of the Windows 10 v1909 to v21H2 in-place upgrade that was switched on at the end of May, together with great work from schools that were busily rebuilding old v1909 devices, we now have less than 18,000 of these old builds remaining on the network. That represents just 4% of our fleet. The next big step we plan to take on, is bringing the vast majority of our Windows devices up to v21H2. We'll do that by centrally switching on the in-place upgrade feature for all of our v20H2 devices. The great thing about this upgrade is that it's using a new Microsoft feature called an enablement package. Unlike the in-place upgrade for v1909, the move from 20H2 is very quick, needing only a few minutes and one restart to complete. Eligible devices will receive the update command silently and prompt the user to restart. Users can dismiss the pop-up and keep working, but next restart, 21H2 will quickly complete its install. We plan to switch on this in-place upgrade in early September.

Are you keen to get your students doing and contributing to real science, while helping threatened and pollinator species in the process? September is National Biodiversity Month. What a perfect time to get students recording observations of biodiversity from their local area and contributing them to Australian and International databases! BioBlitz 2022 is on from 1 - 9 September. BioBlitzes and citizen science help develop STEM skills with links to curriculum and provide opportunities for your students to contribute to this global initiative - all in a lunchtime, without even leaving the school grounds. An introductory webinar on Thursday, 1 September at 3:45pm will pass on all key information to teachers. BioBlitz 2022 is co-ordinated by PlantingSeeds Projects and supported by NSW Education, the Australian Citizen Science Association and the CSIRO’s Atlas of Living Australia. Make your class citizen scientists that help biodiversity and other scientific research! More in this video:

There are well over 100,000 Teams already created in the department, by schools and corporate offices. Microsoft Teams has really revolutionised how groups of staff work together, combining online conversations and meetings with a connected files/documents repository - all stored in the cloud and available from anywhere, on any device. Any staff member in NSW can create a Team and configure it to their needs. When you create a new team in MS Teams, you get to choose  whether it's private or public. What's the difference? A private Team means "only Team owners can add members".  A public Team means "anyone in your oganisation can join". Some people have changed the default option from Private to Public, as they think it's easier for people at their site to join. This is true, but "your organisation" is not just your site. It's the entire department - including students. Anyone can easily find and join your Team. Moreover, any files/documents you store in a public Team are found and viewable by a simple Office 365 search - they can even edit them! Hopefully you can see why you must make all of your Teams PRIVATE.

recent post on Staff Noticeboard launched the Files Anywhere, Anytime project. It will support Rural Access Gap program schools to move their eT4L server-based files to their online storage platform of choice. Starting with each user's personal U: drive and the P: Student Collaboration share, the goal is for these schools to move their content by the end of 2022. Even if your school has not yet been advised to proceed, it's worth exploring what online file storage is all about. When it comes to the school's Faculty share (T:), careful consideration of the options available is required. A handy resource to advise on selecting your online storage platform is available. Once the principal or delegate has selected an online storage platform for Faculty files, the decision must be communicated to all staff. This will assist them in selecting an online storage platform for Collaboration and Personal files. The Files Anywhere, Anytime project team will reach out to schools in the Rural Access Gap program and provide support with moving files currently stored on the eT4L drives to their online platform of choice. An overview of the project is covered in the video below.

Students and their teacher showing work created with Canva

The T4L team have arranged some quick and efficient professional learning for school staff. We challenged Canva, Microsoft and Google to come up with content for our newest PL series: 15 tips in 15 minutes! We tasked them with delivering something exciting, empowering and educational. So book your staff in and get the show on your big screen in the staffroom or library. Even if you only discover one brand new tip and use it, that's fifteen minutes really well spent.

As schools have moved to online meetings via MS Teams, Zoom or Google Meet, all existing dedicated video conferencing equipment including the old Tandberg, Cisco and Polycom units used in schools, will stop working on Saturday 27 August 2022. This was advised recently on Staff Noticeboard. Most schools still have their old Connected Classroom equipment from more than ten years ago, either in the library or in a classroom. It consists of a cabinet, LCD TV, wall cameras and ceiling microphones. Some schools also have dedicated Polycom or Cisco VC units in offices or meeting rooms. All of these items are now surplus to school needs. If your school needs advice on dismantling / disposal of this legacy equipment, please log a service desk call via EDConnect for your local ICT Field Services team.

Exciting changes are coming to the stem.T4L project in 2023. We have new and upgraded kits ready for release in Term 1 2023 including Aeroponics, the upgraded Filming kit, the next generation Immersive VR (7-12 only) and the new Microcontroller kit! You can book these kits from Monday 29 August.  We also have a few more kits in the pipeline for release sometime in 2023,  including upgraded Tablet Robotics, next generation 3D printing, new Introductory Robotics, new Podcasting and an upgraded 360 camera kit. We'll announce the release of these when they are ready. Visit the stem.T4L Learning Library for more information, and join the stem.T4L Yammer group for more announcements!

YouTube contains so many fantastic videos for young children, but it can also be a minefield of ads and completely inappropriate content that only serves to distract from targeted learning. Wouldn't it be fantastic if you could ask your younger students to pick up an iPad or a Chromebook, or any device - and open a link on the main screen, to find a set of videos that you've already curated for them - ready to play? Wouldn't it be even better if the list of curated videos could change automatically on each device for the next session? To help teachers and parents to better manage what videos young children watch, take a look at this quick video that explains it all! It's so simple to follow, using simple tools that we all have access to, so you'll be able to achieve the same thing for your K-2 class in just a few minutes!

Many kindergarten and stage 1 students start off using technology on an iPad, but it’s when they use their first app that needs internet connection, things become really challenging. Young students that can barely spell their name, need to accurately type a complex username and password to authenticate for internet access. How does any young student with a long name cope when they are told what their username is? They also have to remember their password, which thankfully can be shorter. Then there's the added challenge of either signing in via the webpage or via the proxy authentication pop-up that appears, depending on the type of internet service available at their school.  But with an iPad, you can simplify this process for your younger students. This one page PDF explains it all!

A still from the Yammer Hot Spots show

The T4L team's little weekly on-line half-hour "chat show" called Yammer Hot Spots is back from today! Every show starts with a quick technology news update, followed by a handy tech 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 68 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. 

The Virtual Staffroom heads to the nation’s capital in our new bite-sized podcast! It's the latest in a set of three podcasts that focusses on generating discussions around resources that you can present on your classroom's Main Learning Display (MLD).  With these podcasts, you'll find out all about Virtual Excursions from the DART team and get learning content from the teams at NSW Parliament and the Museum of Australian Democracy. In the latest episode, the team chats with digital learning education officer, Jo Taplin at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra about resources that focus on both storytelling and commemoration. If you've got 10 minutes to fill on the way to work, or during your next walk, pop in your earbuds and join us in the Virtual Staffroom!

  • Did you miss the Canvas: A School's Perspective webinar in Week 4? We had some great presentations from schools that have used the Canvas learning management system for years. So if you are thinking about it, watch the recording.
  • A new version of Minecraft: Education Edition was recently released for NSW public schools. Installed apps should automatically update and a great write-up of the features is in the Minecraft community on Yammer.
  • OK, so this one's not really a tech byte, but a lot of tech was used in creating this amazing video! If you missed watching the launch video for Education Week 2022, you missed a fantastic, inspirational and really well-produced half hour celebrating the incredible work of schools across NSW. But fear not! You can watch it below. Congratulations to everybody who worked on capturing and sharing these great stories

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?