“Anyone can put a CD-ROM into a computer and say: ‘Watch this animation, kids.’ But when students have their own laptops, you need a different strategy.” The school has developed interactive curricula using products such as OneNote 2007, Office, Encarta and Solutions IT’s Scholaris Learning Gateway, which is based on SharePoint.
The school has classrooms equipped with roof-mounted data projectors and every room has wireless access. Long term, Frankston would like students to even sit Year 12 exams on computer rather than by hand, Smith said.
Frankston High School principal, John Albiston, pointed out that students entering high school now will probably start their first full-time jobs around 2015.
“Some will be working in jobs that do not exist currently,” he said. “Many will work from home or for employers in different countries. The whole scenario of work will change dramatically and the application of technology will certainly be paramount.”
Integrator, Dimension Data, this year completed a server consolidation and virtualisation project using Microsoft’s Hyper-V technology at the University of Canberra. According to the University’s Windows systems team leader, Tom Townsend, server management needs have been halved for the 9000-student, 2000-desktop university as a result.
“The network was vulnerable to student’s personal laptops on site. Someone could pull the network cable from the desktop and put it into the back of their machine. If there was a virus or worm on the machine, it would get straight onto our network,” Townsend said.
He said it had been taking too much time to get new servers into production due to the extensive re-configuration of ports and the like needed for security purposes. Students work much of the time in computer labs so they can receive teaching material directly to their machines.
Dimension Data deployed Windows Server 2008, which has Active Directory Domain Services expected to ease security issues at the university and improved server configuration features. It also has Hyper-V functionality that meant the server environment could be further virtualised and centralised.
Previously the university had different group policies for different purposes, but this was unwieldy and inflexible. “We just needed a more manageable server environment. We spent all our time fighting fires and fixing problems,” Townsend said. “Right now, I am ordering two new Hyper-V servers to replace 13 production servers. And I will still have slack.”