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Issue 101 - Term 3 Week 9

Issue 101 - 2023 | Term 3 | Week 9

Switch to the new Teams desktop client

You may have recently noticed that a slider switch at the top-left of your Microsoft Teams desktop client appeared in Windows. It asks if you'd like to "Try the new Teams". As almost all of the tech we use for our daily work is online, or "in the cloud", all of us should get used to the fact that our applications and web services will change from time to time. Sometimes, screens will change, buttons and controls are moved to a new location or renamed, or new features are added. It just means we all need to be more flexible and ready to adopt such changes.

In the case of the new Teams change, virtually all are "under-the-hood". The client was rebuilt from scratch and now it loads and runs faster and uses much less of your device's memory. You will see some screen differences in your channels and meetings, but on the whole the new client is recommended. Switching to the new Teams is optional and you can switch back if you really want to. Microsoft will concentrate development and feature updates on the new client, so at some point, all users will be required to switch to it. It's better to make the switch sooner, rather than later.

Every new Apple device purchased via EdBuy since September 2019, is bundled with a 4-year Jamf Pro MDM licence. Schools that received iPads or Macs in 2019 or early 2020, are now approaching the expiry of the Jamf Pro licence, potentially leaving them unmanaged. Jamf and Apple have a new option for schools, to ensure their Apple devices remain licensed, continuing management with Jamf Pro. Apple's catalogue in EdBuy now lists two new items:

  • Jamf Pro License - iPadOS/iOS - 1 Year, 5 pack
  • Jamf Pro License - macOS - 1 Year, 5 pack

As existing Jamf licences expire, once a term, the Jamf licensing team will be in touch via email (from to the main school email account. To ensure that your expired devices remain licenced, please place your order via EdBuy within two weeks of receiving that email. Please visit this site for more information about this process and managing Apple devices with Jamf Pro.

For so long, teachers and students have said that the Apple Mac and even iPads, with the built-in iMovie app, make video editing easy for anybody. It also works seamlessly when using an Apple iPhone for a camera. It's intuitive, simple to use, yet still powerful with the set of tools and options included. If you're not using iMovie, you really should be. But what if you don't have Apple devices at your school? For many years, Windows only ever included very basic video editing options. To do real video production, you had to buy and install specific programs. Our Adobe enterprise agreement includes Premiere Pro. It's an industry-standard, super-powerful program, with higher minimum hardware requirements and a steep learning curve. But did you know we also have Adobe Premiere Rush for our Windows devices? Rush is very similar to Apple iMovie in process and performance and is easily deployed to school Windows devices via UDM. You'll find Adobe Premiere Rush under Enterprise Licenced Software in UDM. This 17 minute tutorial covers all you need to know!

Did you know there are over 96,000 registered staff on our Viva Engage (Yammer) service now? They are discussing and sharing knowledge and ideas - and all of them are your peers! So many vibrant tech communities, making a difference every day. In an attempt to collate the really useful tech communities, we've put together this Viva Engage Tech Communities webpage that contains a direct link to each of them. Click through to the desired community and then just click the Join button at the top-right of each of these. You can read, learn, ask and answer! Get engaged. Together we can all make our daily tech lives so much easier by crowdsourcing our knowledge. Viva Engage is an amazing place once you take some time to discover its real value.

Along with a recent Office 365 desktop apps update, a new Forms option appeared in the Insert menu in PowerPoint. So what does it do? You create a Microsoft Form - eg. a survey or a pulse question, for your presentation audience and then insert that form into your slideshow at the appropriate point. Then, when presented, the audience sees a QR code on the screen that they can scan with their phone and quickly answer your question(s). Your audience could all be in the same room with you, or in an online meeting. It works either way. Those responses are instantly collected and displayed on the screen. It's a bit like Slido or Mentimeter, but it's built into your Powerpoint deck. Here's a video that demonstrates how it can be used.

EDU in 90 video playing on a Chromebook

Google Workspace for Education is a large and growing suite of online apps used by schools all over the world. Being in the cloud, it's a dynamic, ever-developing platform of teaching, learning and productivity tools that are integrated and effective. Many teachers are comfortable with using the long-standing feature sets of each product. But when it comes to finding out about new features and app changes, more often that not, teachers stumble across those some time after they appear, and some never find them at all. Finding time to commit to professional learning is a challenge for most, so it's great that Google have a growing library of snippet videos, called EDU in 90.

Watch this EDU in 90 episode to find out what's new in Google Workspace for Education.  In just a few minutes, you'll catch up quick and maybe find out about a feature that changes your classroom! Does your school use Chromebooks? With each major ChromeOS feature update,  you'll find an EDU in 90 episode to help you quickly digest it. And with almost 150 short and snappy EDU in 90 episodes to choose from, you'll always be sure you're making the most of Google Workspace for Education. Bookmark the playlist and keep up with all the latest developments!

Minecraft Education (ME) was first released for NSW Public Schools five years ago. Initially, a limited number of licences were available and schools had to apply for licences for their students. One of the biggest barriers to teachers taking on ME with their students has been this time-consuming prerequisite step. From the start of September 2023, licence requests are no longer required! The only thing any student or staff member now needs is the ME app installed on their device! They just logon using their department email credentials as usual. The Minecraft Education app is available on all platforms used in our schools - Windows, Mac, iPad, Chromebook as well as on Android tablets. Our Minecraft Education webpage has been updated and includes plenty of resources to help teachers get started with using ME with their students.

Do you use digital whiteboards in your lessons and want to create, use or share your own templates? Microsoft Whiteboard has recently updated its features to allow users to do this with ease. Once a whiteboard has been created, the owner can save the structure as a template to use later or simply share with others in their school. The great thing is that these templates are all saved in your Microsoft 365 account and are accessible on all devices you sign in to, whether accessing via the web or the app. This can prove to be a big timesaver, especially if you regularly use digital whiteboarding tools and want a similar look and feel. The quick video tutorial below was produced by Peter Noakes, one of our Digital Learning Advisers.  Save your staff time by creating templates to use and share them in an easily accessible location, like a custom website for devices.

Everyone who browses the web has seen pop-ups like the ones shown below when browsing the internet. "We'd like to send you notifications of the latest information - Allow or Block". If you click Allow, you are granting the website permission to display any information it wants on your browser screen, at any time that you are using your device. A valid use could be Google Mail popping up a message to say you have new email. Alternatively, it could be a random website you carelessly gave permission to, that later pops up a warning that your device is infected and prompts you to call a scammer's phone number to get instant support. Next time you see a pop-up like this, be alert and know what site you are granting permission to, if you click Allow. Ask yourself, "Should I click Allow for this site that I'll rarely, if ever, visit again?". If your device displays frequent pop-ups when browsing, log a call with EDConnect.

Telephone phishing attacks are a serious and growing threat worldwide and in the department. Scammers are calling schools and education support staff, using social engineering tactics to build trust and credibility. One of their most successful tactics is to pretend to be a rep from a trusted organisation, such as Microsoft. They may advise you that your device has a virus and ask you to give them remote control access to support you. Never allow an external person to remote control your device and never divulge any passwords over the phone. EDConnect and ITD support staff will never ask for your password if they call to provide support. Also keep an eye out for the malicious Microsoft Support popup which continues to impact users in schools. Calling the advertised support number will initiate a scam call. Learn how to recognise and avoid social engineering with our 19 min MyPL training.

A graphic of a combination lock

Have you received email messages to your department mailbox from the Microsoft account team, advising you of the multi-factor authentication (MFA) code you recently requested - except you didn’t actually request an MFA code?  Emails from @account are legitimate system-generated emails. However, the department’s MFA for Microsoft Office 365 only uses SMS, callback or the Microsoft Authenticator app. Our investigations have found that some staff are using their work email address as a backup and recovery email on their personal email accounts, such as Hotmail and Outlook. When hackers are attempting to log into these personal accounts, the MFA codes are being sent to the backup and recovery email address. If you receive these emails, you should:

  1. change your password on your personal account immediately, as it is likely the password has been cracked and someone is trying to log in as you.
  2. remove the work email address from the backup and recovery setting and choose another personal email address for it.

If you’re concerned about your work account, you can check recent login activity and call EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32.

In case you missed it, you can watch below the recording of the second drop-in session covering the new policy on students’ use of mobile phones in schools. The Digital Learning team has a final live online drop-in session to provide high schools with extra support as they prepare for the start of term 4. Register for Thursday 14/9 at 3:30pm if you still have any unresolved questions. Alternatively, you can email the mailbox for a quick response.

Just a reminder: 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 our network, allows single sign-on, network printing and deployment of software via UDM. 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 and you will need to F12 rebuild them.

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?