Category: NSW DET

BlogEd Promotional Youtube Clip

By , Tuesday, 14th December, 2010

Here is a Blog Ed Promotional clip that was created by the Department. I was asked to be part of this as I had been using BlogEd and blogging strategies in my Year 2 classroom.

Should the video disappear from YouTube, you can still see it here.

Gmail for students

By , Tuesday, 24th June, 2008

From The Australian comes this report. It would be very handy if we could have access to all the other Google Apps as well – Chat, Docs and Calendar.

GOOGLE has edged out some of the biggest brands in the enterprise IT services market to pick up another major contract win in Australia’s education sector.

Google partner SMS Management and Technology has emerged as the leading bidder to supply the NSW Department of Education with 1.5 million student email services using a customised version of the search giant’s Gmail service, Acting NSW Minister for Education and Training John Hatzistergos said.

“This commitment is a further demonstration of the NSW Labor Government’s commitment to equip teachers and students with the best possible means to compete successfully in the constantly evolving world of information technology,” he said.

NSW education department chief information officer Stephen Wilson said the department was yet to finalise its contract with SMS but confirmed that it had lodged the winning bid.

SMS will be the prime contractor alongside Google and Telstra to fulfil the contract, valued at $9.5 million over three years. It’s expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

The department rejected bids from Hewlett-Packard, Telstra subsidiary Kaz, and incumbent provider Unisys, to award the contract to SMS.

It’s understood that the contract will be one the largest private deployments of Gmail in the world.

The win is Google’s second major victory in the academic sector after Macquarie University signed up for Gmail in September last year. It could have massive implications for the Australian software market, as it places Gmail’s online word processing software, Google Docs, in a strong position to challenge Microsoft’s Office software suite in the education sector.

Mr Wilson said the agency had no plans to switch on Google’s online word processing software at this stage.

“We haven’t made any decision there. This contract was just email,” Mr Wilson said.

SMS chief executive Tom Stianos said the trend towards providing software as a service was “unstoppable”.

However, the Gmail deployment at Macquarie University hasn’t been without controversy.

Gmail is hosted offshore and the university chose not to extend the service to staff due to concerns that it would generate excessive bandwidth bills retrieving messages.

The education department’s Gmail roll-out will increase current email storage allocated to students by a multiple of 170 times from 35MB to 6GB.

The department is also deploying extra security filtering, which will be carried out locally.

“You have to remember we’re the largest consumer of internet traffic in NSW by a long way.

“We’ve modelled it so we can grow substantially on the current email traffic and still have a cost-effective solution,” Mr Wilson said. Students will not be given access to Gmail’s chat service and NSW teachers will be moved to the agency’s corporate email system rather than being allocated Gmail accounts.

Mr Wilson also said Google may host some of the email storage locally, further easing pressure on international bandwidth requirements to operate the service.

Mr Stianos said Google was examining local hosting options.

“I understand that they are talking to other state education departments in Australia and as part of that they’re looking at the potential of establishing a centre in Australia to host Gmail,” Mr Stianos said.

Where am I working?

By , Monday, 19th November, 2007

It was recently brought to my attention, that the signature details I was using on my NSWDET Corporate Email Account were incorrect – they listed me as still working at Carinda Public School, Carinda, and included a little statement encouraging people to see exactly where Carinda is:

See where Carinda is, using Google Maps >


At the moment, I am actually working at Orana Heights Public School, in Dubbo (about three hours south-east of Carinda).

Internet Filters

By , Tuesday, 23rd October, 2007

The NSW DET has, of course, implemented an Internet Filter to keep us all nice and safe. 🙂

This URL ( show how wonderful Internet Filters can be.


I especially like the reason given for blocking this site:

It (The Wee Waa High School website) has been classified in the category not very interesting.


Learn to Juggle

By , Wednesday, 3rd October, 2007

Circus Arts has been a fairly major initiative within the Western NSW Region of the NSW DET, originally starting out at Dubbo West Public School as early as 1991. Since then it has grown with many other schools becoming involved. I just came across this video demonstrating how to juggle, over at Further information can also be found at

Quick Proxy

By , Thursday, 23rd August, 2007


At school I have to use a proxy address to gain access to the internet. This is OK when I use web browsers like Opera or Safari, because they pick the proxy details up from the System Preferences under Mac OS X, so I can just use different locations. However, with Firefox the proxy settings are set within Firefox’s preferences – which means a trip to the preferences pane, visiting advanced and network options, changing the proxy, reloading it and clicking OK.

I had been using SwitchProxy Tool, a Firefox extension to manage this, but didn’t like the fact that it took up extra space at the top of each window. But at least I didn’t have to make that trip to the preferences window.

Through the MacEd Listserve though, I recently discovered the QuickProxy Firefox extension, which puts a little button in the status bar of the window (so doesn’t take up valuable real estate) and is a simple on/off switcher, rather than SwitchProxy Tool’s – select proxy, click apply process.

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