Loop and LoopRSP August Newsletter
Hi everyone - This is just a quick update on Loop and LoopRSP
Transition to N4L.
Thanks to a mammoth effort by N4L, the Loop engineers,
school technicians and Network Tasman Limited (NTL) we have successively moved
all schools onto the N4L.
Four quadrants of Loop activity had to be accommodated in
a new model:
Connectivity, internet, firewalls (for
those who chose) and filtering –
have passed over to N4L
“Edserf “- the colleges’ shared server
system, now operates over both the ‘legacy Loop’ (provided by NTL) and the
“Crystal” - the Loop’s cutting edge IAM,
SSO and provisioning service, has been established as an independent
service now available through the cloud to any NZ school.
Advice, guidance, advocacy and LoopRSP PLD….
is in limbo until we see what comes through Learning Technologies Advisory, the
IES programme and whatever else becomes available.
This has not been without its challenges and there are
still a few teething problems but the vast majority of feedback has been very
positive indeed. We believe we will meet
the key objective of no school receiving a lesser service than it did when on
I can’t speak highly enough of N4L’s commitment to
finding effective solutions to complex challenges. They have worked their butts
off to ensure a smooth transition and in following up when issues occur. Likewise we are absolutely indebted to the
commitment of the Loop team who have worked tirelessly on this project.
We hope that for most schools, this has been a relatively
seamless process. Remember, that from
August onwards, that instead of paying a Loop fee you will now be invoiced by
Edserf and Crystal if you are using their services.
accounts have been audited. Given that
we started the resource-hungry transition planning in November and it gathered
pace through February and March, the small $5000 deficit recorded for the year
to March 31 is a very pleasing result. The accounts are attached.
Finally, can I just thank those who have written to the
Loop team expressing their appreciation for all that has been achieved for
schools. These endorsements have been
Next steps for the Loop.
While the Loop has now ceased offering services for fees,
it still exists. The expertise and
relationships developed could still be leveraged to help schools – it’s just a
matter of seeing how this might be best achieved. So, once the dust settles and we have tidied
up the Loop’s financial and contractual obligations, the directors and the Loop
Trust will be looking at the “where to next” questions. You can expect a communication in Term 4
outlining the possible options and seeking feedback.
The LoopRSP Programme.
Essentially, the LoopRSP formally ended at 30June – at least as a programme funded by the MOE. However, we have at least three immediate initiatives
still in play. These include:
two repositories of information, resources and links. The first is the LoopRSP website - which, while a little out
of date, still has information from presenters and the various initiatives we
have undertaken. The second is the Future
website which I am gradually developing as a repository of the best learnings
and resources gathered over the last few years.
It's still very rough and a “work in progress” but there are a number of
resources that people might find interesting.
Examples include: Talking with your community, “Platting the Weave” and Defining Future-focused learning.
is a commitment to maintain two interest groups - although these will need to
be self-funding. One is for the
secondary school ICT Directors and the team of people they work with. The other is a primary Lead Teachers’
forum. The intention is to foster the
relationships that have been established and offer an opportunity to collaborate
around pertinent issues. However, exactly
how these two groups will operate is a little uncertain at this point so “watch
third initiative is in response to requests from a number of schools for support
with after-school PLD sessions with staff around the use of Google Apps for
Education. As part of building ongoing
sustainability, we have primed up a small team of local Google Apps experts
(“GAFE Busters”) to offer schools PLD events tailored to the needs of
individual schools. If you are interested in using the GAFE Busters as part of
your professional development programme then just drop me a quick email.
One of the very clear messages from schools has been
their desire to maintain the collaboration around learning with digital
technologies and future-focused learning that we have initiated through the ICT
PD clusters and LoopRSP. Exactly how we
will be able to achieve this is unclear.
I am taking a break now – but will be back on deck at the
start of October (after the election!) to begin working on how we might
leverage government initiatives to help us sustain support for schools
Hope this is a useful update – and please email me if you
have any questions.
This new page introduces Crystal - the tool the Loop and LoopRSP are sponsoring to help schools manage life in an increasingly cloud-based environment.
Just a quick heads up!
Here are two events that may be of
· Orewa BYOD
· Ulearn 2014
Also, a number of schools are
grappling with Modern Learning
Environments. Remember that Core
Education has a great set of resources here.
Chromebooks for Trial
To date three schools have borrowed
the project’s two Chromebooks to try in their schools. It’s Marlborough’s turn
next so if you are interested drop me a quick email at email@example.com
Tentative Details of the Mark Osborne Visits – the full
schedule is here. Please click on the hyperlinks to
There is one unallocated
timeslot - Morning (9:00 -
11:30 am) Thursday 8th May.
Fee $400. Email me if interested.
have scheduled three community evenings
for boards, parents and interested community members:
Nelson – Tuesday 8th of April
Blenheim – Tuesday 15th of April
Motueka – Tuesday 3rd of June
More details once arrangements are
are offering for events for principals
and senior management:
Principals Breakfast in Nelson – 7:30 to 9 a.m. on
Thursday 10th of April.
will be followed by a morning for senior management teams. People can choose
to attend both events if they wish.
Blenheim - Secondary Principals' Breakfast 7:30 till 9:00 am on
Tuesday, 15 April.
Forum for Primary Principals and Lead Teachers 12:30 to 3:00 pm. on
Tuesday 15th of April.
For teachers we have two general
all interested teachers on Thursday, 8th
May in Nelson from 12:30 till 4:30 p.m.
Lead Teachers’ afternoon in Nelson on
Wednesday 4th June 12:30 till 4:30 p.m.
I will be circulating more details as
arrangements are confirmed – but please note these dates in your diaries now.
"Managing in the Cloud"
One of the emerging challenges for
schools is managing the supervision and provisioning of students across the increasing
number of cloud-based applications teachers are using. This is rapidly becoming a major headache especially for larger schools!
To support this dimension and to
automate as much of the process as possible, Geoff Scrimgeour and Barry Benbow have
been doing a huge amount of work with the leading schools to develop an
effective IAM and provisioning service (tagged "Crystal" - http://www.crystal.school.nz/Crystal/Crystalindex.htm) that can manage identities,
provision accounts and provide management tools to help those with IAM
This will be
a focus on the planned Forum for primary
schools. The LoopRSP programme and a Loop are supporting this work as it is
becoming mission-critical to effective teaching and learning In the Cloud.
Taking Nelson to Gig
You may have
heard that Nelson is currently third position in Chorus’s Giga-town
Mail article). Yes, it’s part of
their marketing strategy. However, it’s a great opportunity for Nelson, the
e-Town and birthplace of the Loop to become the G-Town!
But we need
your help by encouraging participation in the schools’ competition for both
Juniors (years 1-8) and Seniors (years 9-13). (Details here) Check it out and help ensure the ‘next
generation’ is able to study, work and live in a connected Nelson. Also, if you haven’t registered your support
for Nelson then please do so here. Sign
up, encourage at list one friend and hit the hashtags. Every vote counts!
Change of address for LoopRSP invoices.
restructuring their accounting services, responsibility for the Loop and
therefore the LoopRSP accounts now lies with the Loop. Rhonda Andrews is continuing to manage the
day-to-day accounts while Elaine Osborne is handling our monthly reporting and
end of year accounts. To that end the LoopRSP Accounts address is now:
℅ Rhonda Andrews
27 Aston Place
Email to firstname.lastname@example.org
End of a chapter
On a sad note – the LoopRSP contract is drawing to a close on 30 June so these will
be the final events. Support for “Crystal” (see above) and the strategic work I
am doing with schools will continue till the end of Term 2. After that, who
knows......... that will be the next challenge we face.
comments, questions or suggestions then drop me a line at email@example.com
Loop Update for September 2013 - posted here
Want to try out your options - The Loop has two Chromebooks and two iPad mini's that schools can borrow to try out. Email me if you are interested.
Next Events confirmed or on the drawing board - please note the dates!