TP-LINK PowerLine Network Wi-Fi Range Extender Review

TP-LINK home products both inexpensive and easy to use. They offer a rich set of technical features making them good value when you consider all their features versus cost ratio. Generally speaking there are plenty of regular firmware updates as well as community support and help available when you need it. (I’m a fan of TP-Link for home use, but not for commercial use).

Currently I’m use two TP-LINK AV200’s with two TP-LINK AV500’s and yes they work well together. In fact you can even mix different speeds with different vendors, so for example you can mix a TP-LINK AV500 with an EDIMAX AV200 (of course it’s never a problem till it’s a problem, my view is that technology should just work, and I have no hesitation or regrets about mixing them).  

Another great feature of the TP-Link gear is that the AV200, AV500 and AV1000 offer  Energy Savings of up to 85%.

  • TP-Link TL-WPA4220 KIT (AV500)
  • TL-PA211KIT  (AV200)

Thoughts: 

I’m more than happy with TP-link, easy to set up, easy to find support, easy to locate products, easy to upgrade or dispose of if they do not quite work as expected.

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Jamf Roadshow – Sydney 2017

We enjoyed an informative event in Sydney today, Friday, 17 November 2017, with a very early 5:15 am start and due to traffic we boarded the 7am Qantas flight to Sydney with a narrow margin.

Why go to Jamf Roadshows? 

Jamf Software is pivotal to our school environment and we use it to manage 1500+ Apple Devices.  Without jamf software we would be very hard pressed to achieve some of the results we currently archive.

We are the kind of school which installs new software upgrades as soon as they are released, so while my team have normally already experienced all the new feature being discussed it give us an opportunity to network with other schools and organisations and see if we have over looked or left anything out.

Jamf 2017 Roadshow Sydney.png

Visiting the jamf roadshows is our way of remaining up to date on all things jamf and catchup on any news and gossip, and to ensure that we have all Zero Days updates applied to our infrastructure and services.

What did we learn?

Dean Hager always presents well, so for me the biggest take away was the first session by Dean Hager and the last session by a jamf user / it manager / mac administrator who also presented earlier this year at JNUC – the  Jamf Nation User Conference. 

  • empower people with technology which puts people first
  • create a product which people love and buy repeatedly
  • BYOD is not an it invention it was brought about by users who demand there favourite tools products.

Summary 

If you ever want to visit a school which uses products simply and effectively without creating an overburdening dependence on any single product, skill or staff member please feel free to come and visit our school on the Sunshine Coast.

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We enjoyed an informative Technology Showcase at Mueller College today

The showcase was hosted by Mueller College and was sponsored by CompNow

Mueller College is a distinctly Christian school located a Rothwell on the Northside of Brisbane and promotes a seamless education from Prep school to Year 12.

We started the event with an intro to iOS11 expertly delivered by Dave Wells.

Anthony the IT Manager at Mueller explained about how iPads have enhanced and facilities Education at Mueller College. After the talk Anthony kindly responded to a number of questions raised by the audience.

  • iPad have transformed Learning and Teaching.
  • Apple is the device or choice.

Technology Showcase at Mueller College

Mueller Technology Showcase November 2017.jpg

Dave Well continued the session by explaining advances in the new Apple Caching serve and followed with ad demonstration of the TVOS

  • With every new release of TVOS you can much more with MDM.
  • Can easily cast a student iPad screen to the Apple TV.
  • Zero Touch configuration.
  • Can easily run Applications.
  • Advised us to run Location Services

Fred answered a number of questions about JAMF Pro

Julian Critchlow was pressed for time but still managed to offer a provisional overview of ExtremeWorks.

  • “The Network is Strategic Asset”
  • “Advance Analytics is a key “Extreme” differentiator”
  • Simplified SDN Software defined networking

Harrold explained what CompNow can help implement and support key projects.

  • Large footprint south for Brisbane
  • Work very closely with JAMF
  • Development Branch
  • Have made Apps for Samsung

Dave wrapped up the event.

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Our iBook and a Podcast by Kate Arnott

Not only was the iBook about Teaching and Learning in our College recently published on iTunes, but we also attracted some attention from Kate Arnott, a podcaster who spoke at the Apple Distinguished School Conference 2017 about change.

Hi all

I would like to commend two recent GCC associated publications to you.You will recall that, as part of our application to be admitted  as an Apple Distinguished School we were required to prepare an iBook. The iBook is a collation of some of the exciting ways we are marrying technology and education here at the College. You would have seen the iBook in its last iteration but the final version is something really fantastic. I would commend it to all of you.

You can link to it directly here.  https://itun.es/au/oEEblb.l

DeLorean Project Podcast

While we were at the Apple Distinguished School conference recently we attracted the attention of a podcaster who runs an education and technology podcast called Leading Change. She was a former journalist with the ABC for many years.The podcast really captures some of the excitement the aims and the successes around the DL project in an extensive interview with Rob, lecturers from USC and some of the DL kids. It is good stuff.The Leading Change Podcast on the DeLorean Project is now live on all the podcast sites. We’ve embedded it on our website with links to iTunes and Podbean for iPhone and Android users respectively, but it can be played directly from our webpage:

http://www.deloreanproject.com.au/press/

It’s exciting to be part of both these projects and to see how the Lord as blessed us and far we have travelled over the past 17 years.

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Apple Distinguished School Summit 2017 (Gold Coast)

The Apple Distinguished School Summit was a significant milestone in our “Apple Journey” and was of particularly enjoyable for the following of reasons.

  • As a ‘Mac Evangelist‘ I feel that the effort invested in moving our College over to Mac has has been rewarded, not only in academic achievement but also in recognition.
  • It served as clear and distinctive progress indicator in our journey which began in 2009/2010, when we first introduced Macs to our College.
  • It brought the team together for few days to reflect on where we have been and to look further ahead to where we are going.
  • It was an opportunity to share and network with other ADS schools.

Sideshow:

  • Lengthy discussions about Artificial Intelligence in the car.
  • A chance to catch up with Geoff Powell who advised me at the start of our journey (circa 2010/2011) .

Date:  Thursday 13 July – Friday 14 July 2017
Location: St Hilda’s School

#ADSsummit2017

My Sessions

Day One:
Workshop 1: King’s College – iTunes U in the Classroom
Workshop 2: Corpus Christi College – Creating Teaching Resources

Day Two:
Workshop 1: Technical Update
Workshop 1: Anyone Can Code

Thursday 13 July

8:30am  Registration, Morning Refreshments, and Networking
9:30am Welcome and Introductions
10:15am Keynote: Mark McCrindle
11:15am Morning Tea
11:35am Leadership workshop
12:40pm Lunch
1:30pm School-led workshops
3:45pm Queensland Showcase
5:00pm Day one close
Networking Drinks and Canapés

Friday 14 July 2017

7:45am Coaches depart hotels
8:30am Day two welcome
8:35am Keynote speakers
10:30am Morning Tea
10:50am Apple-led workshops
12:50am Lunch
1:30am Regional Meetings
2:15pm Keynote speaker
3:00pm Day two close

My personal doodles of the Apple Distinguished School Summit 2017 PDF for what they’re worth or you can just look at the pretty pictures below, which I use to jog my memory.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Aruba Wireless vs Rukus Wireless (2017)

Over the next 12 months, (sometime in 2018), I expect to test, select and install an new wireless solution of the college and the solution will most likely be one of either Rukus, Aruba or Ubiquiti.  I’m also searching for and robust ‘on-boarding solution‘, our two main contenders are CloudPath and ClearPass

Reliable wireless is a modern day challenge.

No only is reliable wireless is a challenge to implement but once it’s installed you’re stuck with what you chosen for up to 5 years.

I’ve installed a number of different solutions since 2009 when I installed my first school wide wireless which was a D-Link Solution, which caused me no end difficulty.  You can read about my D-Link experience here, or about my Xirrus experience here or my HP Wireless experience here

Wireless Specification (Wish List)

  • Easy to manage
  • Easy to identify clients
  • Easy and sustainable on-boarding
  • Massive Data Capacity and throughput
  • Solution to be sustainable for 5 or 6 years
  • No Surprises

Aruba

  • Aruba is an HP company
  • All my switches are currently HP
  • Clearpass for access control and Single Sign on
  • AirWave for management
  • Aruba Instant Product for quick start without a controller

Aruba Marketing

If an attacker secretly breaches your schools network perimeter security defences with compromised credentials, how do you detect and stop them before they do serious damage?

Rukus

  • Unique Technology

Rucks Marketing

Ubiquiti

  • Very affordable (more so that Aruba or Rukus)
  • Proven history

Onboarding Solutions

Cloudpath vs Clearpass

Last Updated 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

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Thoughts about Document Management

As a college we have been considering document management for a number of years and we have been very careful to brush off numerous attempts by venders enticing us into a dark netherworld of document management.

In my opinion there are only two occasions when it’s right to venture into document management.

  1. When your business absolutely demands it,  (i.e massive volume of paper or to produce a body of evidence, or significant cost saving.)
  2. When it can easily be down without entrapment or risk, and there is sufficient information to show that it will improve the business process.

Benefits

Cost Saving: Significant cost savings are suggested by most vendors.

Speed and Efficiency: I understand how and why technology offers significant improvement, however if not done well it easily introduces unnecessary problems and frustration.

Concerns:

Continued archival requirement:  You will always need to keep backups and archives, this comes at a cost. Once you venture into document management, you will need to manage and keep managing a number of additional systems and software.

Staffing: Every new system brings with it a dependancy on staff and skills, I like to cross train my staff, this is not always possible.

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