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ON 23 SEC LINE Wh URI y mu schoTY
st k ols up eep
What to expect
in tech funding
Becoming a tech-savvy teacher
+ tech gear + software + security + cloud + eClassroom
contents news 06 EduTECH conference
Teachers talk about technology Who should pay?
EDITORS Antonia Maiolo (02) 9963 8618 email@example.com Amie Larter (02) 9936 8610 firstname.lastname@example.org JOURNALIST Aileen Macalintal email@example.com PRODUCTION MANAGER Cj Malgo (02) 9936 8772 firstname.lastname@example.org GRAPHIC DESIGN Ryan Andrew Salcedo email@example.com SUBEDITOR Jason Walker (02) 9936 8643 firstname.lastname@example.org SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES (02) 9936 8666 email@example.com PUBLISHED BY APN Educational Media (ACN 010 655 446) PO Box 488 Darlinghurst, NSW 1300 ISSN 1834-7967 PUBLISHER’S NOTE © Copyright. No part of this publication can be used or reproduced in any format without express permission in writing from APN Educational Media. The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication, does not indicate the publisher’s endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the publisher, its agents, company officers or employees.
08 Dispute over laptops 10 Skipping school
New app tracks truants Teachers give NBN an A+
12 High speed learning
feature 14 Policy outline
Online education and the election
tech gear 18 iPad alternatives
Low-cost options for schools
software 20 Manage learning
Free software connects teachers and students
security 23 ICT protection
The importance of staying up-to-date
cloud 27 Emerging technology
30 Cloud computing
The sky’s the limit
What you need to know
eClassroom 32 Blurring the lines
Social media in the classroom Creating tech-savvy teachers
35 Embrace e-Learning
June 201 3
Things to know about
Most business cloud users sign up for an account with a cloud provider and pay them a monthly or annual fee, but fortunately in the education sector, there is a vast range of cloud services that are free or very low cost, sponsored by governments, and increasingly, by philanthropists worldwide. A good example of a cloud provider is Google, which offers a free email service. Users of their business service are charged about $50 a year for each ‘Google apps’ user. These users pay to use software as well as hardware, in the form of space on Google’s hard drives. Google does offer enterprise-wide cloud services and it is rumoured that at least one Australian education department will sign up for this in the near future. Another great cloud service is Scootle, already available for teachers across Australia.
2 You are probably already in the cloud
use photo storage sites like Flickr, Picasa or Snapfish or if you’ve uploaded something to video site YouTube. Teachers who use Scootle or Moodle are cloud-savvy already.
Do you understand the cloud? If not, you’re not exactly Robinson Crusoe. Where do you start? Right here. By Fran Molloy
It’s not in the sky
loud computing is drifting everywhere, and there’s lots of hype about its potential to deliver real benefits in the classroom. Cloud computing needs only a browser and an internet connection; and as the NBN rolls out across the country, more schools are climbing on board. But before you start introducing cloud computing into your classroom – you should have a good grasp of what it actually means – so our cloud 101 primer for teachers should help.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing means that you use computer software and computer hardware (such as disk space) that is located somewhere else, and is delivered via the internet. Usually you only need browser software and a computer or, increasingly, other devices like tablets or mobile phones, which can access the internet.
June 201 3
About half of the estimated 2.4 billion people who access the internet are regular users of the cloud – and most have been “in the cloud” since long before the term ‘cloud’ became commonly used. If you have an email account with Gmail, Hotmail, or Yahoo – you’re a cloud user. Ditto if you
Cloud providers are companies which run big data centres, which are warehouses full of computer technology that sell disk space and expert technical management services. Most cloud services are metered – you pay for how much you use. These data centres are often enormous, with the biggest of them holding hundreds of thousands of servers – small, strippeddown computers stacked in huge racks. They use huge amounts of power to run and to cool the computer stacks and install all kinds of safety features like dual power sources and battery banks. Recently, the trend has been to install energy-saving systems and green ratings have become a big selling point for many cloud providers. Because transferring huge amounts of data is expensive the further you go, and accessing data from an international server can be slower, many cloud companies are now setting up services in Australia to serve local customers.
cloud provider is responsible for everything – software, hardware, usually backups. You only provide a browser and usually even your data is stored on the cloud hard drive. • PaaS means that you use the cloud provider’s operating system and hard drive space, but you install your own software onto their system (this is an option popular with software programmers). • IaaS means that you maintain the operating system and software, and use the cloud provider’s hardware and tools to maintain the hardware. (This is more common with corporations, and some large education departments may operate this way; however, to the user, it will be pretty seamless).
Three types of clouds
Tech gurus often talk about different aspects of cloud computing, but for most users, it is actually a really straightforward transaction – you log in through a browser, and just use the service, perhaps paying a monthly or annual subscription. Cloud computing is usually divided
into three types: Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – and for most small-scale users, SaaS is the way to go. • SaaS is the most commonly used type of cloud, especially in education. The
Clouds are secure
Cloud computing has lots of advantages – including better security. New users often
Installing video projectors or classroom LCDs?
You need JED controllers!
jed microporsessrs JED Microprocessors, Melbourne, designs and builds low cost wired remote controllers (in Australia) for video projectors or large LCD touchscreens in classrooms, laboratories, meeting rooms, churches and lecture theatres. They can mount on a lectern, desk or wall. The JED T460R is a simple control panel pre-programmed to control projector functions from just four clearly labelled buttons. Compare this with complex, handheld remotes, which get dropped, lost or stolen. The ON and OFF buttons turn the projector on and off! (The ON button also scrolls between up to eight sources). The VOLUME UP and VOLUME DOWN do just that (or can become Mute and Freeze toggles). It comes in a number of finishes, e.g. blue, beige (shown) or a stylish metallic. The simple-to-use controller is preprogrammed with the codes for over 1800 different projectors, and can be updated with new codes. It is used identically for all projectors, and has a bright OLED display showing status: Warmup, Cooldown, or the current source (VCR, computer, camera etc), Audio Volume and Lamp Hours. The T430 and T440 are low-cost, simple controllers with 2, 4, 6 or 8 buttons labelled by function, and LEDs for status. They are simply setup with switches on the back. A new stylish controller family, the JED T450 series is packaged in a metallicfinish molded case with 4 to 10 tactile keys, which can be customised to suit any installation. It can also control TVs or DVDs. Two keyboard units can control one T452 interface from two locations. All units have built-in timers, which save power and bulb life by preventing the projector from being left on when a PIR detector finds everyone has gone home.
JED Microprocessors Pty Ltd Boronia, 3155 (03) 9762 3588 www.jedmicro.com.au
worry about privacy with the cloud. For ultra-high end users such as banks, private clouds are used – where the services and infrastructure are delivered via a private network rather than the internet, which are far more expensive to maintain. However, a recent report by the Cloud Security Alliance in San Francisco shows that cloud servers overall have tight security, and the biggest threats are from theft of user credentials – log in ID and passwords – usually from users on lesssecure home or school networks. Privacy issues around blogs and social media use in education can be addressed by choosing cloud services that have inbuilt privacy designed with schools in mind. Some examples include Edublogs and Edmodo.
The ability to outsource backups and other key operational features is another advantage.
Clouds save money
Clouds are scaleable
Clouds are serviced
Cloud computing has remarkable scalability. Because a cloud provider has many thousands of computers in racks, they can cope with unexpected demand by sharing things like hard drive space and processing capacity to deliver smooth response times if, for example, one website suddenly gets a huge number of hits. In a school situation, this allows heavy use of a particular area of a cloud-based resource without the system locking excess users out, meaning that you can be sure that your system will handle multiple users and let several classes – even a whole school, work collaboratively on a project.
8 Cloud use is growing in education
Those surveyed in State of the Cloud who used cloud resources and applications, reported savings of around 13 per cent of their budget, on average, with most projecting their average savings at around 25 per cent of the budget over four years. Hardware costs alone can be prohibitive for schools, so using cloud services can replace ongoing capital costs (or recurring leases). Cloud computing can let schools avoid upfront infrastructure costs.
10 Clouds encourage collaboration
The technical expertise and the expense of maintaining computer networks in schools take resources from face-to-face teaching. Using cloud services reduces the workload on local computer staff because routine maintenance such as software, operating system and hardware upgrades are taken care of by the cloud provider. Schools need only maintain the computers or tablet devices and ensure a secure and speedy internet connection.
While comparable statistics have not yet been collected in Australian schools, US technology reseller CDW recently published its 2013 State of the Cloud report which surveyed hundreds of school IT professionals and found that 40 per cent of K-12 schools used cloud storage in 2012, and in one year, cloud adoption had grown by around 15 per cent.
Using cloud-based systems can encourage communication and collaboration between students, teachers, even parents and school administrators. Cloud technology can allow students across a classroom to access the same information, contribute to a class forum or page, and even work together on a homework project outside the school, with an audit trail showing various versions and allowing teachers to check who has made which contribution. n
AUNET SCIENTIFIC EQUIPMENT
Dino-Lite AM2011 USB Digital Microscope Unlike a traditional microscope which involves fiddling around with slides and mirrors, and taking turns to squint through a single eyepiece, the Dino-Lite Digital Microscope plugs into your computer via a USB cable and displays the image on your monitor. Simply point the lens at the specimen, focus the knob on the side of the barrel; built-in LED lights around the lens provide the illumination. Simplicity of design and ease of use make it ideal for children to explore the microscopic world, viewing the tiniest details of everything from banknotes to butterflies, from flowers and insects to the foods they eat. Features include: Magnification 10x-50x fixed at 200x, image capture, live and time-lapse video, annotation, full-screen viewing capability on interactive whiteboard. Comes with software for both PC (Windows 8,7, Vista & XP) and Mac computer (OS 10.4 or later) AM2011 $145 +GST • Use with Interactive Whiteboard • Windows & Mac Compatible • Easy to use • Capture picture & video • Record time-lapsed video • 10x-200x Magnification • LED Illumination • DinoCapture Software included Aunet offers a “Try Before You Buy” service simply call them for a Dino-Lite and stand to be sent for a no obligation evaluation. ASK ABOUT OUR 15% EDUCATIONAL DISCOUNT Visit www.aunet.com.au or call 1300 125 000 for more firstname.lastname@example.org
June 201 3
Deluxe Headphone with Headphone/Microphone Combo Connector – (LS-H-4)
More and more iPads, tablets, ultrabooks have been using in schools. These devices normally come with only one audio jack, which is called headphone and microphone combo jack (TRRS connection). However, traditional PC headphone comes with two connectors. One is for the headphone, while the other one is for the microphone. This creates a problem - we cannot use the PC headphone’s microphone in iPads, tablets, or ultrabooks, since there is no separate microphone jack in those devices! Little Sun International, a specialized student headphone supplier, has introduced a new headphone model to solve this problem! It is our LS-H-4 – Deluxe Headphone with Headphone/Microphone Combo Connector. The combo connector (TRRS connector) in LS-H-4 can be plugged into the audio combo jack in iPads, tablets, or ultrabooks, making the headphone and microphone in LS-H-4 can be used at the same time! LS-H-4’s also feature a pair of high quality speakers for crystal clear sound and a handy in-line volume control making it much more convenient for student’s to control the volume without having to touch the computer (or tablets). LS-H-4’s also feature a “tangle free” flat 1.2 metre cable; an in-line microphone with fewer moving parts, which means less part to break. At $12.90 ex-GST, again, Little Sun offers unmatched value good quality headphones to schools!
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