by Hamish Barwick

Saint Ignatius College considers iPod Touch rollout

Apr 13, 2011
Computers and PeripheralsEducation IndustryInnovation

Saint Ignatius College, a co-educational Catholic school in Drysdale, Victoria, is currently trialling 30 iPod Touches among Year 7 students and five first-generation iPads.

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The school’s network manager, Paul James, told CIO Australia that the iPod Touch was easier for students to carry around on class field trips than the iPad.

“They can take videos of class work to produce podcasts,” he said. “Eventually, we hope they will upload these videos to the podcast server we run and they can have an assignment completed before they return.”

Other benefits noted during the trial were that students could type easily on them using the touchscreen, a high-quality camera and long-lasting battery were also advantages.

James said it was “too early” to say when the rollout would happen, but it may take place next year.

Saint Ignatius College has a supplier deal with Apple, and uses 700 Mac computers at present, with plans to acquire 200 more computers next year.

The proposed rollout follows the school’s upgrade of its network security system a year ago to a unified threat management (UTM) 500ia unit from security vendor Cyberoam.

The upgrade, which was aimed to prevent against an intrusion, included a prevention system, content filtering, bandwidth management, and protection against virus attacks.

“The school has student records that contain a great deal of private information related to student loans, scholarships and other data,” James said. “I also wanted to safeguard administration records and financial information.”

James said the upgrade involved replacing the school’s old Draytec system, which had been running for five years and was unable to keep up with its load balancing requirements.

He explained that the school had three internet connections provided by three different Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to cope with the demand for high bandwidth.

“Our Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) comes via an older exchange so we needed to run several ADSL lines and combine them,” James said.

“The last unit we were using was getting confused between the lines and the lines were not able to load balance properly.

“That was the main thrust of us moving to this unit, but then we found all the other [security] features on it were fantastic.”

While Saint Ignatius College is still moving users off its old proxy server to the unit, James has plans to deploy a second Cyberoam unit.

“We may put in a second unit and allow for redundancy, because it is such an important thing and I would hate to have a unit fail.”

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