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Site: TCCG Moodle
Course: TCCG Moodle
Book: Trinity Catholic College - Links
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Date: Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 3:59 AM

Table of contents

1 Before You Start

These things must be seen to before you start using any ICT Services. If you haven't already completed these steps, please do so now - you won't be able to access anything until you do:

  1. Obtaining an appropriate computing device for use at the College
  2. Complete the Acceptable Use Policy process
  3. Getting your device configured by ICT Services

2 Do You Even ICT?

ICT stands for Information & Communication Technology... it is basically a field that focuses on the uses of technology, such as computers, and ways of working that help individuals and organisations use information and be more efficient. 

ICT personnel usually refer to group of technology and procedures that serve a particular purpose as a 'system' or 'service', (hence 'ICT Services'). For example, communication services, a learning management system, printing services or a backup system. Each system provides a particular service to users.

All the devices and systems at an organisation can "talk" to each other via cables and switches which send the electrical signals around. This is termed a Local Area Network (LAN). If wireless access is used instead of cables, it can be termed a Wireless LAN (WLAN).

Two or more LANs connected together are termed a Wide Area Network (WAN). For example, our WAN consists of all the Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn schools' networks. Now expand that by the number of organisations in a city, times the number of cities in a country, times the number of countries in the world and bam! - you have a world wide web. This collection of inter-connected networks is termed the Internet.

It hasn't taken long for organisations to work out they can make money by charging people to use services on their network. This was the birth of online businesses and, now that we can store a huge amount of files online, cloud computing - that is just a term for using services on someone else's network, because they do it better than we could ourselves, or for free, sometimes, like in the case of Google Apps for Education - an online service.

So that is where we are up to at the College. But, all this interconnection with other people and information poses some problems. There are ethical situations which have never been encountered before, such as the ease of copying music files that we haven't paid for. Cyber-bullying and privacy of your personal information is also an issue... so here are some reminders before you dive in:

And one other thing:

Learn more about Cyber-safety at the Australian Government's Cybersmart website.

Learn more about Computing Ethics at Wikipedia

3 The College's Services

The following sub-chapters will outline the relevant systems we have at the College. It is not all of them by any means - there is a lot of work behind the scenes, but these are what you might be expected to use in your time here.

For detailed instructions on how to use the main services, finish reading this Getting Started "book", then delve into the Core Competencies course in the ICT Services section of the Moodle Learning Management System. Here is a direct link: ICT Services Core Competencies. They are self-paced learning modules, so there is no rush. Take your time to work through them.

Of course, to actually access some of the services, you will need to have had your computer / smart-device configured by ICT Services. They're on the Ground Floor of the Metcalfe Building, near the "Pi Lab". Visit anytime to get help with anything - from borrowing a laptop, to locating information or getting help using Photoshop, we'll do our best to assist.

3.1 Connectivity

Wireless network

Wifi access is available around most of the College buildings. Use is for students, staff and guests only, and your device must be registered with ICT Services before it can connect - even if you know the password! There are three wifi networks; TCCG_STUDENT, TCCG_STAFF and CGCEO_WPALAN. There is little difference between them - it just helps ICT staff organise internet filtering and monitor traffic. Be aware that what you do on the networks can be tracked by ICT staff at the College and Catholic Education Office.

Wired network

There isn't really a need to plug into the network these days with wireless available, but the desktops in the labs still do so, and the servers and switches of the network itself are all connected by cables - it is more reliable and usually faster than wireless.

Internet access

Provided at no extra cost to students and staff, we have a fibre to the premise internet connection. At the time of writing, the provider of the internet plan the school uses is Telstra. That's right - the College has a plan just like a home user, which is why we are limited to a certain speed, and when a lot of people use the internet at the same time, it will seem to "slow down" - just imaging everyone in your family streaming movies at the same time - it is like pushing a golf ball down a garden hose!

Internet filtering

The internet is filtered by means of a proxy server. When your computer tries to talk to other networks on the Internet, it first has to go through the Wide Area Network (WAN) run by the Catholic Education Office Canberra-Goulburn. So your internet traffic literally goes to a server in Canberra, and this server will accept or deny your request, depending on whether the site you have tried to access is allowed. This is how we attempt to prevent access to sites that are not reputable or productive. Do the right thing, and stick to using your computer for work only while at school.

Note that your internet connection at home isn't filtered this way. So, parents - it is up to you to supervise your kids. Because every home is different, we can't advise how to filter your connection. Be aware also that your children can access the internet through smartphones and gaming consoles these days!

Access from home or abroad

Currently, access while away from the college is limited to Moodle, email, websites, intranet... wait - that's almost everything! The only things you can't access from home are files stored on the network server at the College (your home drive, staff drive, student drive, etc) and some of the specialised applications - mostly used by staff - such as MAZE and MOLE. However, both of these are slowly being changed to work online anyway. You can email work files to yourself, put them in Google Drive or on Moodle or keep a copy on your computer. The applications will be updated to online versions soon too.

The only catch... you need an internet connection at home, or wherever you happen to be staying/travelling. Still, if you keep a copy of files on your computer, you can still do most things...

3.2 Communication

College Website

Public information and news is posted to the College website. This is the place to start learning about the College, checking for news, notices and events on the School Calendar. From here, use the login link to access the Moodle home page - if you can get to the College website, you can be sure to navigate your way to other services, no matter where you are in the world.

Moodle Learning Site

This is the "border" between the public information website and the local network services. This is where you would begin to become familiar with those services, (which is what you are doing now), and start your learning at the College. It is also the point from which you can access all the other services, from the Quick Links section.

It isn't only useful for students and staff - some of the courses on Moodle are publicly available for parents and guests.

Notice Boards / PA System

At the College, there are a number of televisions configured to display daily notices. They are usually turned on for home room in the morning, but can be left on during the day for students to check. Anyone at the College with network access can view the daily notices on their computer too. Make a habit of keeping an eye out for notices relating to you.

The digital public announcement system operates as they always have - you might have heard it around the town! It is quite loud - it also provides the emergency alarms, and can continue to operate for some time even in the event of power failure.

Email

This is fast becoming the preferred communication method for many. If parents have provided an email address to the school, it will be used increasingly into the future as new systems integrate reporting and administration information. Students and staff are all provided with an email address, and are expected to use it every day.

Students are now using Gmail (by Google), which also gives access to the other Google Apps, such as Google Drive. Using this they can collaborate, sharing documents with peers and teachers. Staff use Microsoft Outlook, or its online version 'Outlook Web App'. Students and staff are not permitted to use personal email addresses when communicating.

Be aware that the content of emails can be monitored by ICT Staff at the College and Catholic Education Office. At all times, messages and attachments must remain professional.

SMS notifications / phone

The school is currently investigating services that will allow text message notifications to parents for important events and absences. Of course, traditional telephone calls will continue.

Social Media Sites

While social media sites, such as Facebook, have become massive communication tools in the public, the College believes they are too uncontrolled and susceptible to misuse; that they blur the line between social life and working life, and may compromise our duty of care to students. For these reasons, they are not used. All collaboration is for work-purposes only, and is via the previous methods (e.g. Moodle, email).

Staff are not permitted to use Facebook, nor make connections with students and parents on any such social media. Likewise, students and parents should not attempt to use or make connections with staff via social media.

3.3 Classroom Technology

Interactive Whiteboards & Speakers

There are ten IWBs scattered around the school, and each has a pair of speakers to go with. What makes them interactive? They are touchscreen boards - one may use one's fingers as though it were a mouse pointer. Other than that, they are just a projection of the screen of the attached computer.

Televisions

More recently, the College has opted for large, flat screen televisions rather than IWBs - they have built in speakers, a brighter picture, more connection options, no need for an expensive projector and look much neater (if the cables can be kept down!).

One may use the televisions/IWBs in a number of ways:

  1. Connect a computer and show the screen. Perhaps stream a documentary via the Digital Video Commander system.
  2. Plug in a USB stick or drive, and display the movies, audio or pictures on it
  3. Switch to the right input, and display the daily notices
  4. Connect an iPod, iPad or other device via the headphone jack and play music

Playing CDs or DVDs

Now this is a point of contest... some believe that compact discs are an obsolete technology, (I am one such!), and that everything should be streamed from a server, online or played from a computer or USB device. However, there may be times when it is necessary to play a disc. Here are the options:

  1. Use a computer with a disc-drive
  2. Borrow a computer with a disc-drive
  3. Borrow a portable, external disc-drive that plugs into a computers USB port
  4. Organise to have the disc played via the Digital Video Commander system (to be confirmed)
  5. Use one of those old VCR/CD/DVD players that are floating around

Digital Video Commander

This is a server, situated in the Library office, that streams video signals over the computer network. This means any computer at the College can access and play videos from it's extensive library, and live TV channels too. Another reason that discs are not as necessary these days.

Of course, one could also stream video from online sources, such as YouTube. Be aware though that YouTube is locked to the educational version, meaning only approved videos are available to students. If there is something you can't access on YouTube, just ask ICT Services to allow it. 

Projectors & Screens

There are a few portable digital projectors at the school, available for anyone to borrow and use. (If you thought I meant those old transparent slide projectors... well, they truly are obsolete! And if you actually want to use one, then you really, really need to update your skills and materials!). Mostly, the digital projectors are used for presentations and meetings, but could be used for other purposes, such as projecting a tracing onto a wall for art students to paint.

Student computers

Students are often required to use computers in class for research and productivity - it is part of the curriculum. Bringing your own device is fine, or continue to use a netbook already provided by the College. At all times you are to use the devices appropriately, and this includes charging them up overnight. We try to avoid using chargers at the school, because powerpoints are limited and the cables pose a trip hazard. If you need to, drop it in to ICT Services to get it charged during recess / lunch.

Note that school supplied netbooks must be returned to the College before you leave! They are College property, no matter how many stickers you have applied!

Teacher computers

Staff are also expected to use computers for much the same reasons. At this stage, teaching staff are required provide their own computer, while administration staff normally have one supplied. In either case, ICT Services usually have spare netbooks to loan out if needed.

3.4 Software & Online Services

Preferred Operating Systems

In most cases, we use Microsoft Windows 7 Professional for computers. This isn't mandatory - some people use Mac computers, and a few even use Linux operating systems. Be aware that Android (some tablets) / iOS (iPads) operating systems are not fully compatible with our local area network - there are some things that will not work. Safest bet is to use a computer with Microsoft Windows. This will provide a computing experience with the fewest problems. Next best is Mac OS or a version of Linux.

Preferred Applications

The latest version of Microsoft Office is recommended for staff, however we are starting to make use of Google Apps, which has free word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. The College also makes use of Adobe Creative Suite, but again, there are free applications that we will start using named Gimp and Audacity, among others.

Other commonly used programs include Adobe Acrobat Reader, Google Chrome for web browsing, VLC player / iTunes for multimedia, and the Digital Video Commander player. These are all free. 

Specialised applications

Specific subjects may make use of their own desired software - music classes often have a variety of preferred applications depending on what the current teacher knows how to use. There is no prohibition on what you can use, but keep in mind that sticking to preferred applications will be easier for everyone, since the file format will be right, and we know that they are compatible with other network services. Also, ICT Staff don't know how to use every program ever made - so if you need help with something we've never used before... it might not happen. Try to stick with the mainstream programs, and you should avoid any difficulties.

Online services

As mentioned, the College is aiming to make use of Google Apps - this is online software that your College username & password can access for free - including students Gmail accounts. This Moodle site is also online, but run by College ICT Staff. There is also the Catholic Education Office intranet site for staff information, and Manga High maths games that seems quite popular. There are many, many more available, and the great thing about them is that they work on any device, anywhere, and are often free.

3.5 File Storage

File servers

The College has a network server that allows a small amount of storage on "home drives". These drives are configured on your computer with the drive letter H: ... use this drive to keep a backup of your work. It isn't available from home, you must be at the College to access it.

There are also a handful of shared drives, most notably the "Staff drive T:" and "Students drive S:". The staff drive is where staff store and share work with each other. The students drive is where staff provide files to students, but students cannot save anything to this drive. These drives are not available from home either, you must be at the College to access them.

To submit assessments to teachers, either upload the files to the Moodle course for your class, or email the files to your teacher using your school Gmail account. For very large files, such as film clips, consider using a USB stick - ICT Services usually have a few available to borrow, or they can upload the files directly to a teacher's home drive for you.

Note: DO NOT save personal files to these drives, especially movies and music. The storage space is limited and is only for work purposes. Personal files will be deleted by ICT staff if they are found - we do check occasionally.

Online storage

There is some storage available for courses on the Moodle server, and also on Google Apps for Education using Google Drive. There are other providers around, but these are supported by the College, free and in the case of Moodle, are backed up regularly. Again, only use these for work purposes - don't hog the internet speed by downloading / uploading personal files, music and movies.

The great advantage of online storage is that you can access it from anywhere that has an internet connection - at home, McDonalds, Bali resorts, etc

Backups

As mentioned previously, the network server with the home drives, staff and students drive are backed up by the College, so are files on Moodle. You should be pretty safe if the work on your computer is copied to either online storage, one of the network drives or a USB device. If your computer breaks, you will be able to retrieve a copy from those backups. 

NOTE: Computer malfunction is not an acceptable excuse for late submissions! Save often, and keep a second copy that isn't on your computer!

USB devices / Discs

An external USB hard disk drive, or a good thumb drive/stick is a good option for backing up all your work, and personal files too, including movies and music. Not ideal to be carrying around all the time though, so probably just as a backup.... and check your pockets before doing the washing, USB sticks don't like getting wet.

Discs are not recommended; many devices lack a CD drive these days, and they are susceptible to scratching. If you want to archive a backup for long-term storage however - this could be an option.

3.6 Security

Antivirus / Anti-malware

Computers provided by the College (and our servers) have Microsoft Endpoint Protection installed. Please don't install any other anti-virus/malware software on these computers, it will just work against the other and slow things down.

Personally owned devices are your responsibility to protect from malware. At the time of writing, ICT staff suggest using AVG Free, or Microsoft Windows Defender. Linux computers might use ClamAV. These are all free and work well. Again, only use one antivirus program - you really don't need more than one, they are just trying to make money off you!

Operating system updates

The College regularly updates servers and computers. Tuesdays are referred to as "Patch Tuesday" - this is the afternoon we restart the servers to install the updates.

You should likewise keep your personally owned devices up to date, installing the updates at least once per week. This will help to prevent malware and glitches.

Application updating

Just as for the operating system, individual applications usually can be updated. Often under the Help menu, there will be a 'Check for updates' option. Some will automatically check for updates every time they are used. Keeping apps up to date also helps prevent malware and glitches.

MobileIron

This is a program the College will be using to help secure mobile devices. A device is registered with the MobileIron software, from which point certain controls are possible, such as locking or wiping the device if it is stolen. Only authorised ICT staff have access to these functions. More info will be provided about MobileIron once it is implemented.

Usernames & Passwords

The College provides a set of credentials (username and password) for staff and students, which are used to access all the private services including Moodle courses, email, school computers, intranet sites, admin systems, etc

NEVER EVER SHARE YOUR PASSWORD

If someone uses your username to access a system, YOU are still at fault for everything they do.

Let me repeat this advice:

NEVER EVER SHARE YOUR PASSWORD

4 Extra Learning

ICT Services will provide more varied and possibly more challenging courses on Moodle in the Extended Competencies section.

Also visit these recommended sites for online tutorials, or simply search the internet to find your own:

5 Huh? I Need Help!

Confused? Can't find something? It's just not working?

First, to fix a technical problem, try restarting your computer (this really does work in many cases!)

Second, check the Common Problems and Solutions page

Finally, contact ICT Services for assistance:

  1. Email: ict.tccg@cg.catholic.edu.au
  2. Visit: Ground floor, Metcalfe building - near the "Pi Lab" (the circular computer lab)