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Technology 4 Learning

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Issue 107 - Term 1 Week 9

Issue 107 - 2024 | Term 1 | Week 9

A monitor showing the T4L Rollout webpage

On 20 February, all schools received an email with the Subject: "2023-24 T4L Computer Equipment Rollout order status". That email contained instructions for schools receiving their ordered T4L Rollout devices. With most deliveries now complete, it is important for all schools to complete the confirmation of deliveries steps as soon as possible. The process is important because confirming the status of your complete order enables the T4L team to:

  • ensure all devices and accessories have been delivered to the right schools, and in the correct quantity
  • follow up on any missing and/or damaged devices and accessories on your behalf, and
  • provide the full asset data file for you to upload into your school's SAP Equipment Register.

If you can't find the email, the steps are listed in the Confirming Device Deliveries rollup at the T4L Rollout webpage.

T4L’s Term 2 online professional learning webinars and sessions are being planned and finalised. The Digital Support Team have developed a range of learning to support the growing needs of teachers in all settings. With report writing just around the corner, our Enhancing Assessment and Feedback with Digital Tools session will be a must. And with reports, comes parent teacher interviews, so learn more about how both Google and Microsoft can support these with our Automating Appointments: Digital Booking Systems for Schools session. The team will also cover your ongoing learning in Apple's native apps, Canva, Microsoft’s Reading Progress and Google’s new features for Meet and Classroom. We'll be launching all these term 2 events for registration before the school break and announce them on Viva Engage as soon as they are live on the T4L’s Events page!

On 11 March 2024, the School Visitor Check-in (SVCI) project team released an update to the concierge app, which now records whether or not the school visitor has read the safety induction provided to them by the school. A new visitor category, "Volunteer/Parent Volunteer" is also now included. To get this update, the supplied SVCI iPad must be turned on and connected to the school's WiFi.  The update should have occurred automatically.  These additional steps can assist if you still do not have the latest app. As well as the app update, the team released updated posters to meet Work Health and Safety requirements. Details for getting the posters for your school are in this announcement on Viva Engage. If your school has questions about the SVCI iPad and its use, please visit the FAQ section of the SVCI website.  Please pass this information onto the front office at your school.

Google is winding down the Jamboard app and their Jamboard touch panels. The Jamboard 55 touch panel will cease to receive automatic software updates and will be considered obsolete from September 30 this year. While the number of 55" Jamboards in NSW public schools is limited, many schools use the Jamboard app on their devices and other interactive panels. The Jamboard app will cease functioning and be discontinued from December 31 this year. Schools still using the Jamboard app will need to start planning to switch to an alternate collaborative whiteboard app. Microsoft Whiteboard is widely used across the department and works as a standalone app, as well as being integrated in Teams. Schools that extensively use Google Workspace may want to consider Canva's Whiteboard, which is featured in the next article.

Canva is an online design and publishing tool with built in templates for easy to create visual content. All staff and students in NSW Education have access to Canva for Education, which provides upgraded access to many of its basic features. Did you know it has a powerful online whiteboard component? Like Jamboard and Microsoft Whiteboard,  Canva Whiteboard allows for live collaboration and the use of various digital manipulatives to present and capture ideas, as well as brainstorming with one another. With Google Jamboard being discontinued, moving your designs to Canva Whiteboard could be an option. So why not give it a try? We even have a QRG on how to move your content from Google Jamboard! Take a look at how to use Canva Whiteboard with this quick video prepared by Tim Cassell and some of our Digital Support Team.

A shocked man looking at his computer

Microsoft Teams is now very widely used across NSW public schools and corporate offices. MS Team is a powerful collaboration platform used by subsets of staff and students. In schools, it is both used to manage classroom activity and as a collaborative space for staff. Every Microsoft Team is not only what you see in the Teams window. It's a Team, it's a Sharepoint site for hosting shared files and folders and it's a security group as well. So what happens if one of the owners of a Team chooses to delete it - either deliberately or accidentally? After responding to the "Are you sure?" prompt, the Team and everything associated with it is gone for all members of the Team. From this point, the 30-day countdown timer starts. If you suddenly realise something is wrong, you've lost important files, or you need the Team back, we only have 30 days to restore your Team before the Team and everything it contained are lost forever. If you or your school ever find yourselves in this situation, don't wait, call EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32 or log a call online, selecting Microsoft Teams under Cloud Applications in IT Support. Provide the name of a Team owner and the name of the Team, and request that it be restored. Your request will be escalated in ITD for action.

Recently added to the department's Google Workspace for Education Plus service is the ability to share classwork and class templates in your Google Classrooms with other teachers at your school! You don't need to add them as a co-teacher in your Classroom - just choose the classwork you want to share and send them the share link. When other teachers preview your shared classwork, they can:

  • Select which materials they want to use
  • Import shared materials into an existing or new Classroom of their own

Teachers get their own copies of your classwork and attachments and cannot make any changes to yours. When they preview your class, student information, such as assignment submissions, comments, and grades are hidden.  Watch the video below, inform your teachers about the new feature and give it a try!

Microsoft released several new features in Forms, with two in particular, fitting nicely for use in the classroom. Practice Mode is designed to enhance students' learning experience by offering a fresh way to review, test, and reinforce knowledge. With practice mode, questions are presented one at a time. After answering each question, students immediately see if their response is correct or not. If a student answered incorrectly, they'll get another chance to answer, strengthening their grasp of specific concepts. The second new feature for the classroom is the integration of a Forms quiz in an MS Stream video. Students watch an informational video and are quizzed at selected points in the video, to capture their understanding of the content. Just build your Forms quiz and insert it at any desired point in the video. You'll get all the responses from each student automatically! Find out more about these and the other new features in the quick video below.

Join Apple online for an event dedicated to Mac users. Whether you’re a seasoned Mac expert, or using a Mac for the very first time, discover valuable tips to boost your productivity. Explore how to get started with Mac, key macOS terms and features, intuitive time saving gestures and shortcuts, how to navigate macOS efficiently, as well as learning how to personalise your Mac to work the way that best suits you. Register to secure your place in this live session, running at 12:00PM on Tuesday, 26th March (that's tomorrow!). If you miss out on this special event, you can still take your Mac skills further - why not explore the Teaching With Mac series available on the Apple Education Community?

This Easter Sunday is also World Backup Day. While enjoying some chocolate, ensure your personal backups are set up and work. Imagine if you lost your device and all your files and photos with it! While we hope that never happens, what a relief it would be to know you have a digital backup of all your content! Store backups in the cloud, on an external hard drive, or memory stick. But remember, it’s important to consider more than one backup, in case there is an unexpected failure with your plan B. To ensure your work files get backed up by the department, save all your documents and data to your network share or one of our cloud storage solutions (Google Drive, OneDrive, Teams or SharePoint) - and not to your device.

A hand is reaching out from the computer screen towards the computer user's wallet

Thanks for reporting remote access scams!
They’re one of the fastest growing online crimes in Australia and we need to know about them. Here’s how remote access scams usually start:

  • a virus alert warning pops-up on your device advertising a number to call to resolve an issue
  • A Google search offers a webpage that looks like the correct site, but includes a phone number to scammers
  • you receive an unsolicited call from an authority or a telecommunications service provider.

If you call the advertised number, or take the incoming call, the scammers will ask you to download software, claiming they need remote access to ‘help’ you. But in reality, they’re snooping through your files looking for personal or financial information to steal. If you encounter these scams:

  • do not call the number
  • never let anyone outside of the department remotely access your work device

If you’ve seen a pop-up security warning and you're unsure how to safely close it, or you suspect you’ve been scammed, call EDConnect on 1300 32 32 32 (option 5 for IT) and they will guide you through what to do next. You can find more information in this scam alert.

We released Windows 11 to all schools as an F12 rebuild option at the end of 2023. With most schools now opting to install Windows 11 on their brand new T4L Rollout devices, we've seen a big chomp taken out of the giant Windows 10 pie that's been growing since it was first launched in November, 2016. Term 2 will see further increases in the take-up of Windows 11. Following successful testing, in the first few weeks of term we plan to release Windows 11 v23H2 as an optional F12-build. Then toward the end of Term 2, following further successful testing, we plan to release Windows 11 v23H2 as an in-place upgrade. This will automatically deploy to compatible Windows devices in schools and maintain existing programs and data.  Keep an eye on news.T4L in weeks 3 and 6 for updates!

Six years ago, ITD launched the stem.T4L loan kits, and a library full of STEM resources
for all schools across NSW to access. Initially, we offered and freely loaned out six different kits for an entire term, before being passed onto different schools. With their techy contents safely packaged in rugged cases, every stem.T4L kit has criss-crossed the state multiple times. Schools get exposure to a variety of digital equipment and devices for the classroom, allowing for a taste test before committing to significant investments in these technologies. With every kit fully booked out every term, we know schools have feedback to share. To help us plan for the next phase of stem.T4L, tell us about your school's experience with these loan kit(s). It's only four quick questions - your feedback will help us greatly.

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?