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Issue 89 - Term 3 Week 9

Issue 89 - 2022 | Term 3 | Week 9

The T4L Rollout Device Catalogue magazine

The 2022-23 T4L Computer Equipment Rollout closes this Friday 16 September 2022. The two-week ordering window for the 2022/23 T4L Computer Equipment Rollout opened last week with the emailed notification on Friday, 2 September. The email that was sent to both the Principal's and the school mailbox contained each participating school's allocation and the launch of the brand new T4L rollout device catalogue. This comprehensive guide details the devices on offer and assists schools in the decision-making process. So take the time to thoroughly review the catalogue, consult with your school technology committee and get your order in.  Deliveries will commence from Term 4, 2022. The T4L team will release resources to help make the best of your technology when it starts arriving in Term 4. More information is available at the T4L Computer Equipment Rollout webpage.

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

As advised in our previous issue, from 8 September, we switched on the in-place upgrade feature for all existing Windows 10 v20H2 eT4L builds. We're expecting this will quickly upgrade the majority of Windows 10 devices to v21H2, to bring them inline with the newest builds that we have in schools across NSW today. The great thing about this upgrade is that it's using a new Microsoft feature called an enablement package, making the move from 20H2 very quick. It needs only a few minutes and one restart to complete. All of your school's 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. Please alert all students and staff that they might see a request to restart, and advise them of their options. The team at ITD will be monitoring the upgrades and do not expect any network congestion. 

To assist schools when considering the implementation of online educational services for students, there is published detailed advice around Privacy and the use of third-party web and cloud-based service providers.  Many schools and teachers look to use new and often exciting online educational services with their students. But Principals and teachers should be aware of the data retention and privacy terms of each service, prior to any actual use. Gaining parental permission is also important. The department has already vetted and authorised certain web and cloud-based providers, including Google, Microsoft and others. A full list including their respective privacy statements is kept up to date. It's the school's responsibility to vet the terms of service and privacy statement of other third-party services that a school may independently engage and use. This is particularly important where it involves any student data.

The use of Microsoft Teams has exploded across the department to a point where many discussions normally held via multiple emails and replies are now more efficiently held and recorded via Teams Chat or Teams channels. For any group of people that need to regularly catch up to work on a project or task, or teachers working with their classes - creating an MS Team makes sense and works well. But what happens to the Team when that project, task or class ends? If you are just a member of a Team that you no longer need, you can leave the Team or hide the Team. But if you are a Team owner, then you have more responsibility. Are the discussions or files in the Team still needed? If yes, you can archive the Team, or if no, you can delete the Team, but be certain that nothing is required, or that you've made backups of critical content first. Managing your personal Teams environment is important. Click on the Teams button at the left a couple of times, to show the full list of Teams that you are a member of. Drag them to re-order according to importance and you'll be well on top!

The brand new Apple Education Community has launched, providing teachers with even more ways to support their ongoing practice of professional learning. The Apple Education Community is a professional learning hub designed for educators that use Apple technology. You'll find helpful resources for any skill level — from quick tutorials to inspirational ideas. Grow your skills in this collaborative space, as you connect with peers and experts for advice, shared stories, and more. The Learning Center provides hundreds of free, Apple‑created resources — from guided tutorials to lesson ideas and hands‑on teaching materials. With the Apple Teacher program, you can earn recognition badges as you learn new skills and create more engaging lessons, all at your own pace. The Forum is a dynamic, online space where educators meet to collaborate and inspire each other. It’s an opportunity to engage in thoughtful discussions, ask questions, share stories, and find helpful resources to use today. Check it out today at

A teacher education student

Just about every school gets Teacher Education Students on professional experience placement from time to time. For these students, coming to a new school for the first time can be both exciting and terrifying. Their placement school often helps out with a nice welcome and a set of prepared activities to get them started. But many times, an important aspect of any placement is overlooked - providing them with access to the school's network. These days, it's difficult to do anything as a teacher without being able to log onto the computer at the front of the class and present from the touch display and access the internet. That's why it's important that schools complete and lodge the correct user logon application form preferably a week prior to their placement. That way, you'll be able to add their user ID to your school's AMU/Manage My Staff to provide them with the necessary access and have them fully productive from their first day!

Microsoft recently launched a complement of new models in their Surface range on the EdBuy Schools catalogue. All have completed eT4L-build testing and are ready for setup and use in our schools environment. The models include:

  • Surface Go 3
  • Surface Pro 7+
  • Surface Pro 8
  • Surface Laptop Go 2
  • Surface Laptop 4

When considering Microsoft Surface devices, please take note of the USB-C to Ethernet Adapter (JWM-00007) required to allow for the F12 build. While it is not necessary to purchase an adapter with each device, at least one of these adapters is required. The more adapters you have, the more Surface devices you can build at the same time.  To find out more about each of these new models, please visit the Microsoft Surface on EdBuy information page.

Every school that uses Jamf Pro, or any mobile device manager to control their fleet of iPads and/or Macs understands how important it is to have a working Apple Caching Server (ACS) installed on-site. Virtually all schools that have one, have it installed on an Apple Mac Mini device, kept in the school's server room. It's a critical piece of infrastructure that massively reduces the amount of the school's internet bandwidth, used up by Apple's app and OS updates. The more Apple devices brought into school each day and connected to the department's wireless network, the more bandwidth will be taken up - unless the school has a working ACS. ITD monitors the ACS in each school and remotely resolves issues where detected. But more than 700 schools have a 2014 model Mac Mini that is out of warranty. Any hardware failure in your ACS could impact the school's internet bandwidth until it is replaced. ITD recommends that all schools with the 2014 model, plan to replace it soon with the 2021 M1 Mac Mini. Contact your local Apple Champion in ICT Field Services for advice.

Global supply chain issues continue to limit the range of new Windows desktops and notebooks available from our contracted vendors on EdBuy. In an effort to get more use from their aging, out of warranty fleet of devices, some schools have opted to purchase faster, 256GB solid state drives (SSDs) to replace the slow spinning hard disk, and compatible RAM modules to boost installed memory. These hardware upgrades are generally an inexpensive and effective way of speeding up old devices, but schools should understand that ITD's Field Services teams are unable to assist with this process. School ICT Coordinators and TSOs have been discussing options on Yammer and providing advice for other schools. So please get informed through Yammer, then thoroughly test first on one or two devices only, before any major purchase through retailers. Make sure to also discuss this with your school Principal before proceeding.

The school's local network infrastructure is a complex  arrangement of copper and optical fibre cabling, wall outlets, wireless access points (WAP), patch panels and ethernet switches. Each building in your school has network cabinets and they connect to each other by backbone cables. Each cabinet radiates cabled network connections to every wall outlet and WAP. Every cabinet has one or more ethernet switches that make the wall connections active. Randomly flashing green and orange lights across all of your ethernet switches mean network traffic is flowing normally. But sometimes connections fail. Sometimes no devices in a whole building work. That's when it's a good idea to go to your school's network cabinets and check the status of all the ethernet switches. No lights usually means the power is off. But one indicator light to look out for is the FAULT light, as shown below. It's always best to log a call with EDConnect to report these faults to get them resolved quickly.

magazine.T4L is out now!

magazine.T4L celebrates its 21st issue with a how-to edition, making life easier for teachers with step-by-step guides! Want to learn how to create a makerspace in your school? We have you covered. T4L also unpacks how to get your students designing and developing an app with guided instruction of all the resources referred to in the latest T4L Kids
magazine.T4L issue 21 also shows you how to build your professional learning – your way. Get hands-on with great resources for tech in your classroom with this latest issue! Missed a back-issue? Check out the complete archive of T4L magazines to energise your classroom with tech!

The back-end service that manages single sign-on (SSO) for Google Workspace is changing. The regular department sign-on screen is still used, but once credentials are entered, Microsoft's Azure AD will handle the SSO function. For most users, the change is expected to be seamless, but after signing in, you may see a screen asking if you wish to "Stay signed in?". If you regularly use that device, it's best to click Yes. For devices you rarely use, it's best to click No. In some situations, a Google Error 400 may appear. In these cases, clearing the browser cache is recommended. This change will apply from Thursday 22 September.

Now that schools have had a good look at this year's T4L Computer Equipment Rollout, we'd really love to get some feedback. The T4L team has worked hard with all of our device vendors to offer a variety of devices to support teaching and learning in the classroom. How do you like the device catalogue? What about the range of devices on offer? Do you have any comments or suggestions for future rollouts? Please help us by completing this quick form. We won't collect any names, we just ask that you tell us whether you are at a primary or secondary school. Thanks in advance, and don't forget to place your T4L rollout orders by this Friday!

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?