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Case Study

Old Devices Fund New iPads at O’Connor Primary School

By | Apple Devices, Case Study, Education, Latest News | No Comments

iPadLike most Principals, Stephen Delfs is constantly looking at ways to maximize the ROI that he makes for his school, O’Connor Primary.

With budgets tighter than ever, the school looked at ways of raising funds to replenish their old devices. They had 200 aging iPads to replace, so rather than selling the old devices to the community, Stephen looked at ways to be able to facilitate a quicker, bulk sale. When he went to market for a new fleet of iPads, one of the questions he asked vendors was, “are we able to exchange our 3-4-year-old iPads for credit to buy new ones?”.

Solutions IT was the only vendor that replied with a ‘YES’.

Solutions IT’s Technology Buyback Program is a fast and simple process that allows schools to exchange their old and unwanted devices for credit. All devices traded in are data wiped to factory settings, with data destruction certificates available upon request. Schools are part of a global, sustainable environment program with 98% of all equipment received refurbished and re-purposed both here in Australia and in developing nations. 2% of equipment is recycled back into usable materials, keeping harmful waste out of landfill.

Via the Buyback Program, O’Connor Primary School was able to trade in 200 iPad 2s and gain $10,000 towards brand new devices. The extra revenue received, along with Solution IT’s competitive prices, allowed the school to bump up their order and purchase the desired number of iPads without compromising budgets elsewhere.

“Understanding your options is the best way to budget effectively. Solutions IT quickly gave us an understanding of what our credit looked like and we were able to plan from there” Says Stephen.

The Technology Buyback process is simple:

  1. Create an inventory list of the equipment you would like to trade in
  2. Our buyback specialists will review the information provided and produce a buyback indicative quote
  3. Free collection from your school
  4. Fast diagnosis & payment

For more information, contact us today

 

 

How ZuluDesk has improved device management at Excelsior Primary School

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Excelsior Primary School is an Independent Public School located in the suburb of Canning Vale, Perth that teaches Kindergarten to Year 6. The school manages over 170 iPads. Many of these devices are shared between classes and year groups. Roschel Moore, Deputy Principal, explains how using ZuluDesk as improved the management of their iPads and has allowed the school to maximise their return.

 

The Challenge

“We were implementing a 1:1 program for our Year 4s and had a fleet of iPads that were shared throughout the school. Different groups of iPads needed to be managed in different ways. Prior to Zuludesk, in preparation for a class, individual apps had to be added via Apple Configurator and this was so time consuming. We had bought a number of apps for different year groups however as the iPads were shared throughout the school, keeping track both the devices and apps was tricky”

 

The Solution

After consulting with Solutions IT, Excelsior Primary School chose to implement Zuludesk to help manage their iPads

ZuluDesk is a powerful, cost effective Mobile Device Management System for wirelessly managing Apple Devices. Teachers and IT administrators have a convenient tool to administer devices for individual students, school classes, or even multiple institutions, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what this tool can do. For teachers, the feature of choice is that it can control all devices when delivering digital lessons.

 

The Benefits

Roschel instantly found that Zuludesk, minimised her ‘tech’ time and allowed more time to focus on the lesson, “Since deploying Zuludesk, we can easily distribute an app from device to device, over the entire school. Each iPad can be assigned multiple profiles which enables seamless device sharing.”

“We can manage what functions of the device are available, for example disabling the camera. We love that we can lock the iPad to a particular app to prevent unwanted distractions and can provide a filter to block adult web content being accessed on the device.”

“I can monitor what apps are installed and used on each iPad.  If a student forgets their pass code I can reset it remotely for them, simple. Zuludesk has allowed us to maximise the use of each and every device and most of all has allowed me more time to focus on the teaching and learning that this technology can enhance.”

Would you like to find our more about ZuluDesk for your school? Contact us today and speak to one of our Education Consultants to find out more

What primary school teachers love about using Vivi

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Advances in educational technology are opening up more and more opportunities to engage students in innovative and collaborative learning experiences. In many primary schools, this starts from the first day of Foundation, with teachers using screens and projectors to lead activities, and students navigating their way through iPad apps. For kids in the later years of primary school, the use of technology gets more sophisticated, as they start taking responsibility for their own projects and presentations, in preparation for the transition to secondary school. To better understand the role that Vivi is playing in this evolving educational landscape, we spoke to teachers at three primary schools to find out what they love about using Vivi, and how it’s changing the way they teach and the way their students learn.

 

Ease of use for teachers, tech savvy or not

According to Matt Markman, from Melbourne’s Roxburgh Homestead Primary School, Vivi’s usability and seamless screen-mirroring performance have driven greater integration of technology with everyday lessons. “Literally, you just sit down, you open up the application and cast your screen to the TV, and you can use it across any platform,” he says. The school previously used a range of different presentation systems, including interactive whiteboards, but “they were very cumbersome and very complicated for teachers to learn how to use them.” With Vivi, however, “teachers have been able to use it with pretty much zero teething problems.”

He points out that “even teachers who may not be as confident with that sort of technology are able to just pick it up. Technology is definitely being used more as a result.”

 

NatalieusingVivi

Natalie Harris from St Francis de Sales School, a Catholic school in the Sydney suburb of Wooloware, tells a similar story. “Vivi’s used across the school. If you go into another classroom it’s so easy to connect because everyone’s got the same technology.” And for Harris, this ease of use means she can be more efficient, not only saving time that was previously spent fiddling with cables and adaptors, but being able to use her device privately while Vivi is streaming a video or displaying other content to the shared screen.

“I might be wanting to get maths ready, but previously I couldn’t have because the children were using the screen for something else,” she says. “Now with Vivi, I can put a lesson up, go back to my computer and do things without the children being disrupted.”

Ease of use for students of all ages

Vivi’s intuitive design makes the app simple to use for students too, right down to the youngest kids. Harris’s Year 1 students, for example, have one-to-one iPads, and they took to Vivi straight away. “They engaged with it really well. Now I just say open up the Vivi app and they’re really good at knowing that they have to swipe up to turn Airplay on and connect to the classroom.” Markman backs this up. “It’s so easy to use, it doesn’t really discriminate between the young kids and the older kids.”

 

Teachers at St Peter’s Anglican Primary School in Campbelltown in Sydney have had a similar experience. Dean of ICT Stuart Connell helps the teachers integrate technology into their lessons, but also takes his own classes in ICT, so he’s uniquely positioned to see how kids interact with Vivi. “The young kids are like sponges,” he notes. “Vivi is just another app to them. They know where to look for the room code so all they need to do is find their classroom number and punch in the code.”

 

Collaborative learning and student engagement

All three teachers say that Vivi has opened up new opportunities for collaborative work in the classroom. “Having students present their work to the screen allows for immediate feedback from teacher to student, but also student to peer feedback,” says Connell. “We can all collaborate on what that student’s been working on. It’s a new element to the classroom that we haven’t had before.” Markman tells a similar story, with students presenting their work and receiving feedback in real time from their teacher and their peers.

 

From Harris’s point of view, Vivi enables her class to learn together as a group in ways that were previously impossible. “When the children finish a writing task in their books, I get them to film themselves on their iPads reading their writing,” she explains. “Then we pop that up onto the screen and the rest of the class get to listen to their stories. And that’s when we can give feedback and say, that was good, you need to put a full-stop here, etc.” Harris also puts Vivi’s Capture Screenshot feature to good use. “If someone’s written a really good sentence, we use the app to capture it on each student’s iPad and I can say, ‘Can you underline the noun? The verb?’ And so on.”

 

Harris’s young students also use Vivi to lead collaborative learning themselves. In one recent example, the class was working on information reports and one boy needed to find some information about crocodiles. With his iPad connected to Vivi, he started exploring the Taronga Park Zoo website and soon several other students had gathered around the screen to take their own notes. “I didn’t lead that. He just asked if he could search for more information, we connected him to Vivi and it got the other children going, ‘Oh, I needed that too!’”

 

It’s a neat illustration of how Vivi gives students greater control over how they learn. By sharing their work, responding to their peers’ work or using interactive features like Capture Screenshot on their own devices, they become proactive rather than passive, and this helps to keep them engaged with lesson content. It builds their self-esteem too, as Harris points out: “When a child’s done well, we can put their work up on the screen and they’re proud of it, seeing their work up there.”

 

Giving teachers the freedom to move

A big change that all of the teachers have noticed is how Vivi has freed them up to move around the classroom. They can now leave the front of the room and interact with individual students without interrupting their lesson or giving up control of the screen. “Most of our teachers were so used to having their laptops set up on their desk or on a table right near the screen, because that’s the best Wi-Fi spot or it’s where the HDMI cable is,” says Connell. “It’s just been so easy, and so much better, for them to be able to walk around, have the kids interact with the iPad that the teacher’s holding or use their own devices to project to the screen.”

 

At St Francis de Sales it’s completely changed the way their classrooms function. “Gone are the days that the teacher’s behind the desk and stationary,” says Harris. “We don’t have a desk at our school anymore! We just have a device and move around the room, instead of being stuck to a desk and stuck to a hole in the wall. The only time I have to plug my laptop in is when my battery dies!”

 

It’s a far cry from the rigid old model of the teacher dictating lessons for rote-learning by passive students. In a Vivi-enabled primary school classroom, teachers can be much more flexible, responding to the needs of their students and bringing lesson content alive, with technology and with human interaction.

 

New opportunities for tech integration

Vivi’s potential for education and inspiration isn’t confined to individual classrooms. One of Vivi’s most powerful points of difference is how it brings a school’s screens and devices together as an integrated network. Vivi features, such as Digital SignageAnalytics Dashboard and Emergency Broadcast, make specific use of this. But the network can also be used for whole-school communications that bring the school community together. For example, Roxburgh Homestead use Vivi to broadcast footage of their principal reading a book to the entire school. And in a digital-age nod to Harry Potter, they’re planning regular whole-school broadcasts of their house points leaderboard!

 

Yet another Roxburgh Homestead initiative gives arguably the most exciting indication of what’s possible with Vivi – the time they connected Vivi to a drone and put on an air show! “We were able to fly a drone and give the students a bird’s-eye view of the school,” Markman explains. “All we had to do was have the iPad that was controlling the drone connected in to Vivi, and we were able to cast that to a screen. It was fantastic!” Proof then that for Vivi-enabled primary schools and creative educators, the sky really is the limit!

 

Interested to see how Vivi can offer a solution to your schools’ screen mirroring needs?

Kearnan College students learn skills to ensure they thrive in the classroom and beyond

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Kearnan College has almost 450 students spread across Kindergarten to Year 12. Located in Manjimup, 300km south of Perth, the school has a relatively large catchment area and many older students travel by bus, some for over an hour.

Mindful that today’s students’ learning horizons need to extend beyond the four walls of the classroom, and be more flexible, the college has embarked on a digital transformation program, providing older students and teachers with a Windows 10 Lenovo device equipped with touch and a digital pen.
It’s a flexible, reliable, and highly creative technology solution that promises to give students an excellent learning environment – where and when they need it – and an important grounding in the skills that they will need to thrive in the wider world.

Eyes beyond the horizon Kearnan College students have been learning skills to ensure they thrive in the classroom and beyond.

The rationale is simple according to principal Jason Meynell; “It’s essential that kids leave school as haves, not have nots, in relation to technology.”

When Meynell was appointed principal in 2017 he found that Kearnan College lacked a consistent technology platform. Instead, computers of all vintages and form factors – PCs, Chromebooks, iPads and iMacs – were being juggled by teac hers and students. Some were in labs and used infrequently, few were accessible out of school hours.

Meanwhile, Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) was about to roll out its Leading Lights solution for 163 Catholic schools, intended to transform education across WA, and Meynell was enthusiastic about its potential.

“Leading Lights came at the right time, we needed to think strategically about how to use technology,” he says. Kearnan College opted to be an early adopter of Leading Lights’ Office 365 roll out, and needed a solid platform to tackle that, so turned to Solutions IT for advice on suitable devices. After a rigorous consultation process with Solutions IT, the school found a device that met all their needs.

Recognising the power of both technology consistency and capability, Kearnan College has now invested in Windows 10 Lenovo devices for students and teachers to use in school, at home, or en route (an important consideration as 50 per cent of students travel to school by bus – many for an hour or more).
Solutions IT deployed a first tranche of 300 devices, with a follow up order for 60 more, ensuring a one-to-one device ratio for students in the secondary school.

Applications making a clear impact already include Office 365, Paint 3D, Microsoft Teams and OneNote, and Minecraft Education Edition is being explored in the junior school.

“We have seen a huge transformation in how we teach since we committed to using these devices,” Meynell says.

Access to the pen and digital inking has had particular impact; “Students recently wrote lyrics to their own song, they created their own album cover using Paint 3D. This is amazing work, creativity.
“The next phase is a project to create a community newspaper with the primary schools that we are affiliated with.”

The transformation program also provided real world experience to one tech savvy Year 12 student who Kearnan College employed as an IT trainee for a day a week. To help migrate to the new environment, Solutions IT used the Setup School PCs app and Windows Configuration Designer that ensured devices were primed to connect to the school network and access key software applications.

According to Meynell the teaching staff are on board with the transformation plans and have embraced the Leading Lights Office 365 roll out, particularly for the collaboration opportunities offered by Microsoft Teams.

Joseph Claes is the college’s leader of innovation and a health, physical education and science teacher. He says that having one device across the senior school has had a streamlining impact for teachers who now only have to develop one set of content.

The adoption of OneNote has been so widespread across the college that there has also been a clear impact on the school’s print budget with a significant reduction in paper, toner and technician call outs, simply because teachers are using OneNote rather than relying on printed handouts.

“It has also reminded teachers that teaching is constantly evolving, and evolving with technology,” Claes says, adding that it has “reinvigorated” some teachers who have really engaged with the new technology. “Some hesitant to embrace the computers and are now using them for every class.”

While it’s still too early to have developed any learning metrics to gauge the impact of the new devices – Claes says it would have to isolate some learning indicators to be able to do that – he feels that there are signs of greater learning engagement from students.

For example, they are keen users of Microsoft Teams as a collaboration platform. “They are using it as a knowledge base – and before the teachers can even get to a question someone has already answered it,” he says.

As Meynell notes; “Our students and teachers have embraced this technology. We have a strong sense of direction now and the possibilities for teaching and learning are endless.”

Learn more by contacting us.

Identity Management

Identity Management for St Mark’s Anglican School, Perth

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Identity Management (IdM) is the process of controlling information about a user from initiation to termination across a number of platforms, in a simple and cost-effective way.  Such information includes detail that authenticates the identity of a user, and information that describes information and actions they are authorized to access and/or perform across multiple platforms. IdM workflows can influence all activities of a user and can propagate name changes, security levels and ultimately the user’s digital identity.

 

The Challenge

Like most schools, St Mark’s Anglican School works with a large number of systems and prior to IdM, tasks such as multiple account creations, provisioning of home directories and email set up, account termination were a manual exercise, per user. Each system then had to be manually updated if there was a change to a user’s details or security level. This was cumbersome, and a drain on the school’s ICT Team so they looked to Solutions IT to simplify the process to create a cost-effective solution.

 

The Solution

As part of the IdM project, Solutions IT designed and built a business rules driven solution that allowed St Mark’s to automate processes that control a user’s identity. The solutions leveraged Microsoft’s identity management server (MIM 2016), a platform that allowed the school to control user’s profile across multiple systems from a central area.

 

The Results & Benefits

Not only has IdM been beneficial to manage staff and student users, but the school can also manage their parent portal using part of the MIM offering. Parent users can reset their passwords easily using a self-service automated process created by Solutions IT. Parents simply click on a link when they forget their password and an email will automatically be sent to them to allow the parent to reset their password. There is no impact on the ICT team.

 

“Solutions IT were great to work with in configuring the system and working with us to achieve our desired outcomes” Mark Dodd, IT Manager, St Mark’s Anglican.

 

For help with your IdM project, contact us

A Managed Service for Amity Health

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Amity Health is a not for profit organisation that has delivered a range of healthcare services to rural and remote areas of the Great Southern for over 20 years.

The organisation is a long-term partner of Solutions IT and has grown considerably since they first became a client. From a standalone practice in the heart of Albany, the organisation now has 6 locations and over 60 staff, 20 of which are based remotely.

Having a mix of onsite and remote support has allowed us to keep costs down. We don’t always need someone onsite and it’s great to get a quick fix to an issue remotely via the helpdesk when needed. However, due to our complex organisational needs, having a real person who knows our systems, someone who can also help us plan, is very valuable to us too. We get the best of both”, says Sian Bushell, Office Manager.

In 2015, the office in Albany moved premises to accommodate their growth. Being a trusted partner, Solutions IT was a critical part of the planning phase. Sian recalls,we were out of the old premises on the Friday, and fully operational, running clinics at the new building on the Monday morning. Our IT systems are critical to our operation so we were delighted with how smooth the transition was”.

In late 2017, now with 5 remote locations, Amity Health needed a better way to access and manage their email and shared files, “our account manager Stuart suggested we migrate our email to ‘the cloud’ to offer a better experience to our remote users”. The staff were using a remote connector to access their emails and were finding it clunky and slow.

Solutions IT migrated their accounts to Office365 which freed up their server and gave a faster and more enhanced experience to their remote users.

The next phase to this project is to use OneDrive to store all our shared documents. This will help with version control and enable our remote users to access documents when and where they need to. What is also appealing about Office365 is being a not-for- profit organisation, the license fees are heavily reduced and this means we will experience savings for years to come.”

We are very happy with our support package. Solutions IT knows our organisation, they are our own IT department. They keep our organisation protected and efficient. No matter the need, they will always try to find the solution!”

 

Crypto Virus Scare for Southern Aboriginal Corporation

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Southern Aboriginal Corporation provides services and programs for the Aboriginal community of Albany and the South West region of WA. The organisation’s programs include family violence prevention and support, health promotion, training and employment as well as housing.

Prior to implementing regular managed support with Solutions IT, the organisation was targeted by a crypto virus scam. All data was wiped, lawyers could not access their client files and cases were put on hold.  All staff were affected, and the business came to a virtual standstill. Over 35 years of data was at risk. It was chaos.

Solutions IT promptly responded to the situation. Asha Bhat, CEO recalls, “Solutions IT guided us to be able to quickly recover our data and get operational again, it was a great relief”.

Ransomware is malicious software that can cripple any business that is not adequately protected. To prevent such incidents occurring in the future for this organisation, a full security review was conducted which resulted in offsite backups, robust antivirus and continuous monitoring. Years later, Southern Aboriginal Corporation still boasts a secure and reliable IT environment.

This is enhanced further using Office365, “Office365 has improved our business systems considerably” says Asha, “Staff overseas and in remote areas now have easy access to their emails. Downtime has been reduced dramatically, it’s fantastic”.

“We have a long-term partnership with Solutions IT, the technicians are so easy to work with, and we particularly like the fact that they have a helpdesk. Being able to solve a problem remotely has saved us money and of course downtime in the office, we would highly recommend them to any organisation wanting a professional IT service”.

 

Want to talk to one of our specialists about safeguarding your organisation? Contact us today
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