Becoming a Microsoft Lighthouse School
Since 2014, Oxley’s evolving, best practice learning management system has standardised 1:1 device use across Senior year levels and all teaching staff. The school’s commitment to a Microsoft ecosystem for learning and administrative areas maximises the return on its investments.
Adding a managed services and procurement partner.
With the growing dependence on technology, “we recognised we also needed to find a partner with expertise across all areas of technology, including training, to help us achieve our digital learning program goals. We interviewed many potential candidates but CompNow stood out as the best fit,” Charmaine says.
To extend the life of equipment, at every three year device refresh, the older staff machines are cascaded to students in the younger years as part of the school’s expanding 1:1 digital program.
The latest refresh
Now on the third refresh of Surface Pro equipment, CompNow and Oxley’s latest procurement project oversaw the rollout of 157 Surface Pro 7 devices with Microsoft’s Office 365 suite, as well as fully integrated 50” Surface Hub interactive whiteboards into the newly opened Junior School. Oxley’s ongoing building program includes a new middle school, due for completion in 2022, which will incorporate 13 of the large 85” Surface Hubs.
Integration of Pros and Hubs
A fleet of Surface Hubs was the next natural step. The move away from unreliable, inefficient interactive whiteboards, data screens and projectors to the Hubs removed the constant need for teachers to do time wasting calibrations.
Synergy at work again
The integration of the Pros 7s and Hubs saves additional time and reduces class disruption. Between the Surface Pros and Hubs, Microsoft Teams functions like Chat and Breakout Rooms are used to recreate classroom environments for remote learning. And the Whiteboard App is proving to be an ideal presentation tool for sharing ideas and content.
While working with students remotely can have its challenges, Oxley’s teachers can be in the classrooms teaching as they would normally, Charmaine says. “The difference in having the integrated Surface Pros and Hubs makes it as close to the real thing as you can get. With the Hub view, all the faces are up and clearly visible so teachers have a better chance to read those vital, small expressions and body language. It allows for connection, engagement across the class. Everyone is energised.”
Tuning Oxley’s environment
Microsoft’s InTune is the management suite for the College’s Surface devices. Charmaine says of the recent rollout of new staff devices “it would normally take us two weeks to do the asset tagging, imaging etc for 150 machines. InTune has cut that device preparation time by half. It’s a great solution for us.”
Day to day, InTune keeps all devices and security up to date. “And it also helps us with other demands such as when we go into NAPLAN. We can remotely push the browser lockdown to all devices and schedule InTune to automatically remove it later. It tracks all devices to see if there are any problems and fixes them remotely,” she says.
Hot swapping because learning time is precious
“Class time is very precious to us. We have so many support structures in place to ensure that technology is always a plus, that it has no negative impacts on student learning,” Charmaine says. One of the key services delivered by CompNow is to provide an on campus hot swap so if a student brings in a faulty device it is fixed or swapped out within a day.
Making it easy for parents – the CompNow portal
As part of its service portfolio, CompNow designed a mandated portal through which parents purchase their children’s devices. “It makes it so easy. They don’t have to worry about what to buy – all the information is there for each Year’s digital program requirements,” Charmaine says.
Synergy with CompNow
“I love the fact that I can pick up the phone to our Account Manager at CompNow and say ‘We have this problem and CompNow will go the extra mile with a lot of enthusiasm to fix it,” she says.