Technology 4 Learning logo

Technology 4 Learning

Technology 4 Learning

Telephone1300 32 32 32

Issue 105 - Term 1 Week 3

Issue 105 - 2024 | Term 1 | Week 3

AssessedIT running on a notebook computer

At the start of 2023, all schools completed their obligations for gaining informed parental consent when using third-party online applications. In an effort to make this process much easier for schools in 2024, Information Technology Directorate have released a new self-service tool for schools called AssessedIT. This tool lists several hundred already-assessed online learning applications and clearly display their suitability for use in a school. In addition, all of the key privacy, security and terms of use information has been captured for each title and is easily available for your own school's assessment. Finally, to simplify the parental consent aspect, you can select all desired online applications that your school wants to use and easily produce a form letter that contains all the important information for parents.  The letter can be further tailored by the school prior to printing or sending via email. Take a look AssessedIT right now! To help further explain how AssessedIT works, watch this quick video demonstration.

School teachers and staff regularly take photos at school and at school events using their mobile phone. Did you know there's a way to take photos with your personal device, while protecting yourself and student privacy at the same time? You can bypass the step of saving to your phone, by saving them directly to your work cloud - Microsoft or Google! In just a few simple steps, it's possible to effortlessly streamline your photo taking/storage process. Once in the cloud, sharing is simple and fast. As an example, watch the video tutorial below to see Megan Anderson from our Digital Support Team, demonstrate how to efficiently and securely get student work sample photos to the cloud - using both the Microsoft and Google platforms. This tutorial delivers a hassle-free solution to get your photos directly to the right space in the cloud, without the need to save them to your phone first!

EBS will be decommissioned in all NSW public schools by the end of June 2024. Almost 500 schools have successfully decommissioned EBS and others will be decommissioned in batches until the end of Term 2, 2024. Schools can visit EBS decommission for more information to help them prepare. Schools currently using Sentral and/or School Bytes will be decommissioned in Term 1, 2024. They will be contacted by the EBS Decommission Project Team to confirm their Administration Marketplace Panel for Schools (AMPS) supplier and planned decommissioning date. The team will provide a checklist of decommissioning tasks two weeks before the planned date, with training in new functionality to be provided by the AMPS supplier. Drop-in online sessions are also available to answer your questions and further information and links to support resources are in this Staff Noticeboard article.

We're kicking off 2024 with THREE special issues of magazine.T4L! While our magazine is usually targeted at classroom teachers and helping them to keep up with the ever changing world of educational technologies for the classroom, we recognise that schools have other important staff that need tech-help.

Please share these magazine links with staff at your school!

Did you know that an estimated 200,000 young Australians have experienced in-game bullying? This Safer Internet Day 2024, let's learn how to play it safe and create better online spaces for all to enjoy. Cybermarvel and eSafety invite you to register for our virtual classrooms for students and webinars for parents and teachers. We can all connect safely, reflect carefully and protect ourselves and others. Visit Cybermarvel for additional resources to help celebrate Safer Internet Day 2024.

A student sitting a NAPLAN test on a laptop

NAPLAN 2024 kicks off in week 7 - that's just four weeks away. 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 - and it's with Chromebooks where we'll see the biggest change in 2024.

The Chromebook locked down browser (LDB) is no longer a kiosk application. From 2024, it's an Android app which is only compatible with Chromebooks from 2019 onward. It will not work with ChromeOS Flex devices, nor with BYOD or unmanaged Chromebooks. NESA have released detailed advice on this change. If your school uses Chromebooks for NAPLAN testing, please follow the advice at these above links, sooner rather than later. For department-enrolled Chromebooks, Google Play and the new LDB app will deploy automatically.

For other devices in your school that are intended to be used for NAPLAN, it's possible that they may still be unused since the school holidays. 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, as detailed at the first link above. To be doubly sure, each device intended for use should be checked and confirmed first by trying a demonstration test, well before the actual test.

If you didn't complete your end-of-year maintenance on your Google Classrooms or Microsoft Class Teams, it's important to jump onto it now!  Your past students will appreciate their consoles being cleaned out by archiving the classes you owned/managed. All teachers will also benefit by keeping their cloud resources manageable, year on year. ITD's Digital Support Team released two new videos to assist teachers at your school with both Google and Microsoft classrooms! Please share this information with all teachers using these digital classroom tools.

Apple’s Swift Student Challenge has given thousands of high school students around the world the opportunity to showcase their creativity and build real-world skills to take into their careers and beyond. Since 2020, students aged 13 and over who participated in the challenge have joined a worldwide community of developers using Swift - the same programming language used by professionals - to create the next wave of groundbreaking apps. Does your high school have any budding app developers who could benefit from a respected avenue to showcase their skills? This year's challenge opened on February 5th 2024, so there's only two more weeks to register any interested students. This year includes a new category that will recognise 50 Distinguished Winners, who will be named for their standout submissions. Find out more about how the Swift Student Challenge works and give your standout students a fantastic real-world opportunity to create an app on iPad or Mac!

Adobe's tools are a great addition to your classroom. Kick start 2024 with a new series of Wednesday Webinars from the Adobe Edu team throughout Term 1, starting Wed 7th Feb at 4 PM. These 45 minute sessions include:

  • Video Making with Adobe Express
  • Infographics with Adobe Express
  • Digital Portfolios with Adobe Express
  • Insights from Adobe Creative Educators
  • Student Podcasting with Adobe Audition
  • Introduction to Safe Gen AI with Adobe Express
  • Visible Thinking Routines with Adobe
  • Project Based Learning with Adobe

Register for any or all of these sessions using the link above. Recording links for on-demand access will also be provided to those that cannot attend.

Many teachers and staff have discovered the value of producing video content that incorporates capture of the computer screen with their own audio narration and/or camera feed. Creating quick instructional or informative videos can be simple if you have access to the right tools. Normally this requires installation of specific software or using an online subscription service. Recently, Microsoft added a very handy set of new features to Stream, which is built into Microsoft 365. One of these makes it very easy to quickly start capturing the screen of any program, include your own "talking head" webcam feed or just use a voiceover. Use the feature to include in your lessons for students, or to show other staff new processes that work well for you. Microsoft Stream has eight new and useful features including screen recording. All of them are now available in our Stream service and all are explained in this quick video below.  Give it a try!

A parent watches as her three children access the Internet at home.

One lesson that schools and the government learned from the "learning from home" periods in 2020 and 2021 was that not all students had access to effective and reliable internet services. As a result, many students were strongly disadvantaged, impacting the continuity of their education. Did you know that the Australian Government in conjunction with the NBN, offer the School Student Broadband Initiative to address this gap? If your school has any students that live in an area that can access the NBN, but do not currently have an NBN service at home, please let them know about the initiative. Eligible families will be provided with home internet service at no cost until 31 December 2025, through a participating internet provider over the National Broadband Network. The link above provides all the necessary information for eligible families to take advantage of this initiative.

With the department's Google domain now hosting well over 125,000 enrolled Chromebooks, we are in need of a better way to identify and tally them. Previously, staff enrolling Chromebooks into the domain would set the Device Location field when prompted. In some cases, they might type "Library" or "Trolley6", which is centrally unhelpful. From Thursday 15 February, a process will be centrally run to reset the device location of every enrolled Chromebook to the four-digit school code where they are located. No action is required on the part of any school and no real change should be noticable by users.

After the long end of year break, schools are now receiving their T4L rollout devices. Remember that 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 each device is correctly joined to the department's network allowing for 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. If you did this with any new Windows devices, you'll need to F12 rebuild them, before they can be managed.

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? 

Related content