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Many schools give parents mixed messages about technology?

By | Education, Latest News | No Comments

Schools often give parents mixed messages about technology integration into learning, and it comes at the detriment to schools.

 

Inwardly schools often promote to teachers and students, the importance of technology for learning and preparing students for their future career and study. Outwardly however, the dominant message they give to parents is that technology is dangerous for children. This message can undermine and hinder the technology based learning that is happening in the school.

 

Let me explain this more.

 

Schools often hold regular parent information nights that focus on cyber safety. Online safety is of course highly important. These talks detail to parents the potential risks for children online, and the need for parents to be vigilant in protecting their children from technology. The speakers may provide relevant information however the underlying message to parents is that technology and the internet is dangerous for children. This instils fear in parents and a lack of confidence in technology holding any real benefit for their child.

 

This message of danger by schools is in direct opposition to technology integration in classrooms. It hinders parents’ support for technology use in learning. This is an important deterrent for school executive and teachers as parent buy-in is needed for it to work well!

 

This understanding comes from my extensive research with families regarding educational technology, and in response I have developed an online program that schools can provide for their parents that takes a more balanced and empowering approach. The interactive program “TechClever’, takes an hour to complete, and focuses on helping parents to understand and manage the risks for children online, as well as helping parents to understand the key learning, social and health benefits that technology can hold for children when it’s used in quality ways. The program can replace the traditional cyber safety talk or it can supplement it. 

 

The ‘TechClever’ program shifts beyond traditional cyber safety talks to provide parents with a healthy approach to children’s technology use at home and at school.  Parents can do the program at home, and it builds understanding of what schools do with technology and why. The program is designed to enhance confidence in parents, not fear. Think of it as an excursion for your parents. To find out more go to https://www.techclever.com.au/

Dr Joanne Orlando

Do our schools support students and families to use technology in ways which actually enhance learning?

By | Education, Latest News

We’re starting to have some real conversations about the impact of screen time on students’ development.   From one-to-one computing initiatives and using AI in the classroom to digital textbooks and education apps, the growth of technology in our schools represent a substantial shift in K-12 education. With this shift comes responsibility. What do we know about AI in education?  Do we understand the implications that technology brings to our schools? What research is out there and what does it mean for our students?

 

To help answer these questions we are absolutely delighted to have Dr Joanne Orlando as our opening speaker for the WA Education Summit.  

  

Dr Joanne Orlando is a leading analyst and commentator in the field of children, technology, and learning. Her work focuses on the evolving nature of children’s technology use and the ever-changing implications for their learning, social relationships, identity, and well-being. A key aspect of Joanne’s research is gaining first-hand perspectives from children on why they use technology in the ways they do. What she finds out in her research is often surprising and not what adults assume or expect.

 

A key element of Joanne’s work is applying her analysis to a wide range of real world scenarios. Joanne works closely with leading technology companies,  sharing her research and insights to assist in the development of better products and practices to ensure children’s technology use is positive.

 

Joanne will be sharing her research on trends on children’s uses of AI and the implications for school learning and engagement. She will focus on the uses of artificial intelligence, the advantages of their uses, the skills and knowledge students are losing and gaining, and how their increasing reliance on these new directions in technology is effecting their learning and engagement in schools.

 

Dr Joanne Orlando

See more information on Joanne’s work here

#WAES19

Should games, game design and playfulness be a staple in today’s classroom?

By | Education, Latest News | No Comments

Educators are increasingly seeing the potential in games and their ability to keep students engaged. Games encourage many of the behaviours we want to see in our students, including curiosity and persistence. And tapping into those elements of game design that provoke increased levels of concentration can be a way to stimulate student engagement.

Taking one step further beyond playing games is actually creating them, turning kids from consumers into makers. Dr. Kate Raynes-Goldie has been working in this space for more than 12 years, and has seen first hand in her work how teaching kids how to make games is a powerful way for them to learn, through direct hands on experience, key transferable skills that are critical for the future. These skills include problem solving, communication, team work and even better listening skills. Game design is also an excellent entry point to getting kids, especially girls into STEM.

Dr. Kate is game designer, innovation facilitator and explainer of the future. She has spoken at top academic and industry conferences, including SXSW (Austin), NXNE (Toronto) and TEDxPerth where she also worked as a speaker coach, and has been featured on MTV, NPR and in the pages of ELLE and the Australian Financial Review. She recently completed an Australia-wide speaking tour, hosted by the Australian Computer Society, where she spoke about the importance of playfulness, compassion and diversity in preparing for the future.

During Kate’s session at The WA Education Summit, she explains why games and play are critical for preparing for the future. This talk will show how understanding and leveraging games as a culture, a mindset and as a process are critical to preparing for the future of work and education. And overall, uncover why we need playfulness now more than ever.

#WAES19

Learn more about the WA Education Summit

 

iPad

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

 

 

New Apple MacOS for SOE4.x Schools

By | Latest News | No Comments

Solutions IT have been deploying our easy to manage Apple MacOS image to DOE SOE4.x schools.

Our customised image provides schools with an easy method to re-image, set up and configure new or existing Apple MAC Laptops or Desktops.  Users can use their standard network credentials to log in and all drive mappings  and access to the internet via the schools internet gateway will be authenticated transparently.

Some settings can be set using the Schools Self Service Portal.  Applications can be installed automatically or users can have access to a customised portal to install authorised applications.

Our deployment methodology lines up with current Apple deployment guidelines and makes using Apple Macs in a DOE SOE4.x school simple.  Talk to Solutions IT today about how we can help your school simplify your fleet of Apple devices.

Learn more Contact us today
Cryptovirus-Infected-One-Million-Computers

The Age Of Digital Transformation Is Upon Us

By | Commercial, Company, Latest News | No Comments

Digital Transformation (DX) is not on the horizon. It’s here, and it’s already making an impact on a growing range of industries. Organizations that want to stay in business can no longer afford to pretend DX is a trend. It is fast becoming the norm for organizations of all sizes. Today’s customers are digitally savvy and require instant everything. Any organization that doesn’t offer digital solutions risks losing business to the competition.

According to a recent IDC report, “One-third of the top 20 firms in industry segments will be disrupted by new competitors within five years,” meaning it’s a case of “transform or perish.” The importance of DX initiatives for business success is clear, yet IDC predicts that, by 2018, “70 percent of siloed digital transformation initiatives will ultimately fail because of insufficient collaboration, integration, sourcing or project management.”

DX will transform the customer experience and, in the process, every company vying to serve those customers. Which is why organizations need to be proactive in every step of their DX strategy. But crucial to any successful DX initiative is ensuring every employee has the right tools at their fingertips to deliver a remarkable customer experience with every interaction.

THREE KEY OBJECTIVES OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

  1. Enabling workers to be mobile and productive

…means putting flexible systems in place to enable every end user to work effectively and in a manner that suits their needs, whether they’re in a traditional office, a group-work social space, on the road, or working from home

  1. Streamlining internal operations

…leverages advanced technology solutions such as virtualization to provide better system uptime, allow more IT flexibility, and enable better hardware utilizatio

3. Ensuring seamless collaboration

…is a crucial component of DX, giving local and remote workers ready access to the tools and technologies they need in order to do their jobs from start to finish

To achieve these objectives, organisations must develop and execute the right DX strategy. They need to create an environment that empowers the entire workforce to better serve the customer at every opportunity. They then need to provision that workforce with the devices they need to improve the flexibility, capability, and productivity of each and every user across the organisation, and Solutions IT can help with such a strategy.

Has your business implemented a Dx strategy? Learn more and talk to one of our business consultants today

How ZuluDesk has improved device management at Excelsior Primary School

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

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

By | Case Study, Latest News, Wireless | No Comments

 

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?

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