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Issue 98 - Term 2 Week 9

Issue 98 - 2023 | Term 2 | Week 9

Canva collage

Canva will be launching single sign-on (SSO)! With this new initiative, you'll no longer need to create a separate Canva account with a unique password, with access via an icon that will be added to the student and staff portals. One click and you're away!  Teachers and students have been making design magic with Canva in their classrooms for almost two years now. They've been creating everything from posters and greeting cards, to videos and e-books. They can even design websites, infographics and more!  From Week 3 in Term 3, accessing Canva wil be so much easier!

The Canva team are letting users know about this upcoming change because there are important considerations depending on how you initially created your current Canva account. If it was created using the ‘Sign in with Google’ option and you used your department Google account (, you could lose access to your existing Canva content and classes. If you need to keep that content, there are some steps you'll need to take in preparation. Canva will email affected users, detailing the action you may need to take. Keep an eye out for that email in week 10 and let other users of Canva at your school know. Students need to take no action as a result of this change.

Even though the use of social media is entirely optional for schools, many schools have chosen to create official school channels to allow for two-way communications with parents and the community. While this can be a very powerful and effective option when managed appropriately, platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can be challenging at times. To assist schools taking this option, the department has a Social Media Toolkit for School Staff. This toolkit helps by providing guidelines that will set a reliable framework for operating your channels. Poorly managed social media can be detrimental to the school, so getting it right from the onset is critical. The toolkit also provides handy advice and contact information for each social media platform, in cases needing moderation or reporting. As well as ready to use content and captions to add to your channels, you'll also find a series of social media training videos for staff who will manage your feeds. With all of the many resources provided in the toolkit, your school can have a vibrant, safe and engaging social media presence!

On May 25, we turned on the Windows 10 v22H2 in-place upgrade to bring our fleet up to the latest version and ensure that critical security updates are applied. Schools started reporting that their devices were successfully receiving the upgrade and that following the prompt to restart, it only took a few minutes to fully apply, so staff and students could go back to work. On the day the upgrades started, more than 450,000 devices across over 2,200 schools on the department's network were running Windows 10 v21H2. In just 15 school days, we've seen a massive turnaround, with the fastest new version uptake ever! On average, almost 23,000 devices were upgraded per day! This major success was only made possible through reliable infrastructure and standard operating environments. We look forward to monitoring the progress with the upgrade of the remainder of the fleet to v22H2 as schools find and turn on these devices. Of course, some devices will fail to perform the in-place upgrade successfully and will require an F12-rebuild to get the latest release. 

Google Chrome became the default browser in 2022 and with it came a change around Chrome extensions on managed Windows devices. As a security measure, adding extensions was locked down, with only approved extensions available. On managed Windows devices, any approved extension can be installed on Chrome or Edge browser, by both staff and students, using the Chrome Web Store. At the store, every extension is shown either as approved or not approved for use. Any extension that is not approved, cannot be added. Schools can request extensions to be approved by logging an online EDConnect ticket. The process involves a security and privacy review and not all requests are approved. More details on this process, together with the updated list of approved extensions, is available on our Browser extensions page.

As part of the department's enterprise agreement for Adobe software and resources, various professional learning and challenge events are offered to NSW public schools.  Adobe Creative Educator (ACE) certifications help teachers make the most of Adobe Creative Cloud and associated software in the learning and teaching process, with a focus on enhancing communication and creativity skills using multimedia. Adobe are offering online and in-person events in July.  For students, why not book your class into one or more of the Student Creativity Challenges coming up in Term 3? These 45 minutes online sessions are available for students in Stage 3/4 and separately for Stage 5/6. Finally, it's always great to hear about how our schools are using Adobe Creative Cloud products with their students. Watch this quick video from Canley Vale High School!

A visual depiction of generative AI

As part of the department’s commitment to duty of care for all students, the decision to restrict access to ChatGPT remains in place. This is due to the current terms of service requiring consent for use for over 13 years and ongoing concerns regarding safeguards. While all department staff continue to have access to generative AI tools, the following guidance is recommended for safe, ethical usage:

  • Safeguard personal information: manage personal information effectively and de-identify it to protect privacy.
  • Techniques for de-identification: use data anonymisation and masking to remove or alter personal information.
  • Verify and edit AI content: ensure accuracy and suitability of AI-generated content, aligning with ethical principles, teaching standards and quality teaching.
  • Stay up to date with training: attend training and professional learning on cybersecurity, data breach response, and child protection.
  • Use effective prompting: create clear and specific prompts to improve the quality and relevance of AI-generated output. 

Further supporting information was published recently on Staff Noticeboard.

Tomorrow afternoon (20 June), we'll be testing our first-ever PL webinar as a Live Event that is hosted on Yammer! It offers a different kind of live webinar experience, as viewers can pause and rewind the live session, while making comments, asking questions or answering them directly within Yammer!  The webinar will be an introduction to Google Delegated Admin (GDA) - an optional way for individual schools to deliver a local level of Chromebook management to their fleet. While hundreds of schools are using the tool to customise how their Chromebooks work at school, many still are unaware of what GDA is. The 45 minute session will help to clarify how using GDA can help schools with their Chromebooks, so register to join Stu Hasic on Tues 20 June at 3:30pm. If you can't join live, you'll get the link to watch the recording.

The 2023 Microsoft School Transformation Program is a free professional learning program that supports schools to digitally transform using Microsoft technologies. It will support staff to build their own tech skills, with a view to transform their school and support their students - using technologies that are readily available. A school that signs up to the program commits to school-wide change, but this professional learning from Microsoft is customised for each school, targetting their specific needs. Leaders, teachers and IT technical staff attend online workshops to develop a strategy, implementation plan, determine professional learning experiences, and define an achievable horizon plan. The Microsoft School Transformation program runs across Terms 3 and 4. More details at the link above.

Warn your colleagues about a new scam! It forces fake Windows Security Center messages to pop up on your screen. These messages prompt you to call a 1800 number for Microsoft Support. Genuine Microsoft security messages never include phone numbers. The scammer’s call centre will remote control your device, pretending to fix the issue.  They'll access your files, looking for bank details, user IDs and passwords. So, if a Windows Defender Security Center message pops up on your device, do not click on the message or call the 1800 number. For advice, call EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32 (option 5 for IT).  We have taken steps to block the 1800 number associated with this scam, but the scammers may change the number. And remember, this can occur at school, or at home - so please stay alert.

The T4L team's Events webpage has changed! Along with registration pages for upcoming PL events, at the bottom we've added a section for recently held events that are now available on-demand!  So if you missed any, they'll be added there and can be viewed at any time! For example, we've got Minecraft Education as an educational tool available on-demand. You'll not only learn the basics, but you'll understand how to apply it across various KLAs! Then, in our Canva Digital Creativity and Teacher Learning Adventure, a Canva Learning Specialist uses T4L Kids as inspiration. Students are guided to brainstorm ideas using Canva Whiteboard, develop an elevator pitch using presentation tools and use the Canva toolset and templates to create promo material for their idea. Explore this amazing resource now!

Using Cameo in Microsoft PowerPoint

As long as your device is running Office 365 desktop and not Office 2019, you've got the latest version of the Microsoft PowerPoint desktop app. Recently, they added a feature called Cameo, that you may not yet have discovered. Cameo allows you to insert your webcam feed onto any slide, in a shape of your choosing. So you could talk about your slide as if you were doing a presentation to a group.  If you present over Zoom or Teams to others, you could present from inside each slide, rather than as a box to the side of the slide. But the really great way you can use it is to combine it with PowerPoint's Screen Recorder. That way, you can run through your slides, doing your presentation with your Cameo feed and capture it all! Then just save it as an MP4 video and you've got an easily shareable resource!  Build clear and concise lessons or tasks for your students easily, with the great advantage of them being replayable. To get started with Cameo, watch this quick demonstration of exactly how it works.

The T4L team is thrilled to meet and chat with a huge game changer in the STEM space, Corey Tutt. Corey shares his personal journey that led him to form DeadlyScience, an organisation dedicated to providing STEM resources to remote communities across Australia, that has grown to be Australia’s leading Indigenous STEM charity.  A proud Kamilaroi man, an award-winning author and a leader in the STEM world, Corey has brought First Nations science to the fore. You won’t want to miss this deadly chat in our latest Virtual Staffroom podcast!

The T4L team launched its first online session of The 3D Print Doctor last week, and he'll be in the house again this Wednesday at 3:30pm! Greig Tardiani is our 3D printer specialist, and in this regular session, schools can ask  questions and get tips and advice on pretty much everything to do with 3D printing in the classroom. You can watch the recording of episode 1, which was all about getting started with a brand new printer, and get the link to join our weekly sessions on MS Teams at the 3D Print Doctor site -

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?