Principal embarks on ICT ‘game-changer’

by Robert Ballantyne27 Jun 2016

Inaburra School is an independent, co-educational K-12 school in Sydney, 1,000 students and 100 staff. On the outside, it is just like any other school.

But what’s happening within its walls is something rather special.

Currently in the works is an ICT overhaul that promises to be every bit as revolutionary as its goal – to allow any device to access almost any type of software.

The school’s deputy principal, Dave Collins, said this represents a ‘game changer’, not just for his own school, but for broader issues plaguing other schools’ ICT infrastructure and students’ accessibility of innovative software.

Collins, who was formerly the school’s head of technology and director of innovation and learning, told The Educator that transitioning the school’s administrative infrastructure to the Nutanix platform has also freed up significant time for staff. 

“Our team looks for anything that can streamline the school’s day-to-day processes and minimise the amount of work going to the ICT support team, and Nutanix has made this possible,” he explained.

Nutanix – a virtual storage system – makes infrastructure invisible, allowing ICT staff to focus on the applications and services that power the school.

Inaburra’s ICT manager, Tim Pinnock, told The Educator that for now, the system is confined to streamlining the administrative work, but once it is rolled out into classrooms, it will overhaul the way that students access important learning software.

“When this happens, programs such as Adobe Creative Cloud Sweep, Photoshop and specialist music software can all be accessed on any device via Nutanix – similar to a student accessing web browser,” he explained.

“Nutanix is also very simple to scale into the future in that you don’t reach ceilings of capacity where the school either needs to buy a new appliance or extra bits and pieces.

“When you run out of storage space, you simply buy another node, plug it in and it expands everything for you.”

This week, the school is taking its Year 12 students on a study camp to Nowra, but there will be no Internet access where they’ll be staying. Collins said Nutanix allows the school to get around this issue in an innovative way.

“Before we leave, we’re making a copy of our server using Nutanix. We’ll be taking a wireless access point and a computer to the camp and fire that up so students can access all of the digital resources as if they were back in the classroom,” he said.

“We wouldn’t have been able to contemplate that before adopting Nutanix.”
 
 

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