Roll-out of PC's for National Secondary School Computer Fund - Parade College

GTcentral helps Parade College reach a 1:1 ratio of computers to senior secondary school students 1 year ahead of schedule.
Parade College, Melbourne Australia

Business Challenge
Parade College is a dual campus Catholic boys’ school of 1800 students in Years 7 to 12.

In 2008, the Federal Government initiated the ‘National Secondary School Computer Fund’ (NSSCF) as part of the $2.4 billion Digital Education Revolution (DER) program. DER seeks to contribute sustainable and meaningful change to teaching and learning in Australian Schools to prepare students for further education, training and to live and work in a digital world. The NSSCF aims to have a national 1:1 ratio of computers to students in Years 9 to 12 by the end of 2011.

To meet the DER target laid out in the NSSCF, Parade College needed to purchase, install and commission 580 computers. This represented a 300% increase in the number of PC’s and an increase in IT support distributed across the college’s 2 campuses.

Services Overview
As an existing client of GTcentral’s Managed IT services and solutions, Parade College was confident in meeting the NSSCF targets.

GTcentral carried out system and infrastructure design, IT strategy and planning, and assisted the college with its funding submission to the NSSCF. Following approval, the implementation was carried out over the Christmas break to minimise any disruption to students and staff.

GTcentral supervised the entire implementation from procuring PCs to organising and scheduling subcontractors for air-conditioning and electrical works. This included working with the College’s in-house maintenance team for modifications to benches.

GTcentral used a proven hardware-independent PC imaging, deployment and system management solution to significantly accelerate imaging and deployment of the new PCs. The new PCs were commissioned with Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 while the 144 existing desktops and 39 laptops at the Bundoora campus were upgraded to the same standard. This enabled the domain to be upgraded to Windows Server 2008 running in native mode.

Some of the new PCs were installed in 19 existing classrooms. 18 further classrooms were earmarked to take new computers where none had been installed before. The new infrastructure included network cabling, air-conditioning and associated electrical wiring. 21 network switches were configured to give greater control over connected computers, printers and servers enabling networked devices to talk to each other efficiently.

The existing 1 gigabit/sec fibre links between building wings were trunked to utilise all available bandwidth. This provided the backbone of the new system with a minimum of 3 gigabit/sec capacity.

The IT expansion also involved upgrading 3 equipment racks from 12 Rack Units (RU) to 6ft high full size 42 RU where they were re-cabled from a clean slate.

Outcomes

  • Parade College students were able to capitalise on the DER program a full year ahead of the NSSCF target.
  • The college was able to rely on external IT experts to meet the NSSCF targets, while focusing on its core business of education.
  • The new server domain grants greater control over student desktops via a group policy.
  • The new network upgrade also supports 47 security cameras to increase safety and security on campus.
  • The existing Managed IT services contract with GTcentral helped Parade College deliver on the most difficult aspect of the NSSCF, i.e. the ongoing IT support of networks and servers.