Virus rescue on a stick

With hundreds and often thousands of users accessing school IT networks every day, preventing virus infections is a never-ending challenge for ICT staff and teachers.

Avira, which has 150,000,000 users worldwide of Avira AntiVir, has introduced a handy tool to rescue students who arrive at school with a laptop or notebook that will not boot and is probably infected with one or many malwares.

Avira AntiVir Rescue Stick is both simple to use and easy to keep up to date. The USB stick has a Linux based system to boot and updates can be downloaded to the USB from the Avira website which is updated as many as eight times daily.

When needed, The Rescue Stick is inserted in the USB port before the computer is switched on. Checking first that the USB drive is the first boot device, the computer is started and will boot from the Rescue Stick.

Easy to follow instructions guide the user through the process of detecting and removing malware and repairing damaged files.

The USB stick uses the awarded winning Avira AntiVir scan technology and sells for $129.00. Rescue Stick comes free when schools purchase Avira AntiVir solutions for education.

SecureSoft Distribution tel 1300 400 501

School App to keep busy families informed

It’s always a challenge for parents to make sure that their children go to school with the right things on the right day. Does Jane need to take her violin on Wednesday for Band practice? Is Michael’s swimming lesson tomorrow? What about the Choir concert?

Of course newsletters and notes are sent home, but do they make it through to the parents? And if so, in what state?

Digistorm Education has come up with a range of iPhone and iPad apps that harness the technology available today and deliver important news, timetable information, newsletters and much more, in a informal manner that can be updated as the schools desires.

Director of Digistorm Education, Tim Oswald says “the education sector is embracing social media as a way to communicate with their school community, our school app range is a natural progression of this.”

The iPhone School App was launched for Kings Christian College on the Gold Coast late in 2010 and Digistorm Education has since been overwhelmed by the response, with interest coming from afar afield as the US and Asia.

The App currently has a 4.5 star rating on the Apple App Store. Digistorm is working on iPhone, iPad and Android applications for educational institutions around the country.

Digistorm Education tel 0420 997 479

Folding tables that really stack up


Folding tables are not what they used to be. Gone are the days of heavy plywood or particle tables on shaky frames.

Nufurn has developed a range of highly durable and lightweight folding tables that come with a 12-year commercial use warranty. The tables are made from 100% recyclable materials and are up to 40 per cent lighter than conventional tables. With OH&S policy in mind, the tables’ lower weight reduces risk of injury.

The 1830 mm Round Event Pro-Lite table is the first of its kind to attain the highest safety certification currently possible from the Australian Furniture Research and Development Institute (AFRDI).

Event Pro-Lite tables can be found in many Australian hotels as well as in the Parliament of NSW and The National Gallery of Australia.

The range is now available for schools to purchase at direct trade pricing. 

Nufurn tel 1800 650 019

Scholarships for NSW teachers

Logitech is offering two $10,000 scholarships through the NSW Premier’s Teacher Scholarships. The scholarships are for the study and investigation of new and emerging technologies and how they can be applied to foster innovative teaching practices.

The Logitech New and Emerging Technologies Scholarships will fund travel to universities, schools and educational institutions for the study of exemplary practice in new and emerging technologies. They are open to all teachers in schools and TAFEs in NSW.

The Department of Education and Training Premier’s Teacher Scholarships were established to enable NSW’s teachers to advance their knowledge in their specialist field. Teachers are selected through a rigorous process involving the submission of planned studies, itineraries and proposed future benefits.

NAB Schools First supports student ideas

Since 2009, NAB has awarded over $10 million to Australian schools through the NAB Schools First program. This year, in partnership with the Foundation for Young Australians and Australian Council for Educational Research, NAB has launched the inaugural NAB Schools First Student Award.

“The award is a natural extension of what we have been doing in schools for the past two years in rewarding Australian schools for their innovative and effective partnerships with the community,” said Jodi Cryan, Head of NAB Schools First.

“In the past two years we have seen first hand the outstanding contribution that students make to these partnerships, so we wanted to provide them with an opportunity to have their ideas and creativity recognised and highlighted as well.”

Up to five student awards will be allocated in 2011, with each winner receiving a combination of benefits designed to help provide them and their schools with the support and resources required to help turn their idea into a reality. 

Each winner will receive:

• $2000 for the applicant’s school to help implement their partnership idea

• An introduction to a community or industry leader who can help the student develop their idea and skills 

• An introduction to a previous NAB Schools First winning school to help guide the development of the school community partnership

 • An invitation to attend the Student Award Workshop, to be held in Melbourne in November 

• An individual prize.

The applications will be assessed by a panel from the media, corporate, sports and arts sectors. Panellists include Will Teare (2009 Lions Youth of The Year); Joel Selwood (Geelong Football Club); Zahra Smith (co-founder of The Creative People’s Collective Inc., Young Social Pioneer); Andrew Killian (senior artist, The Australian Ballet); Elliot Costello (co-founder and CEO of YGAP, Young Social Pioneeer); and Nathan Bazely (host of Behind the News on ANC 1, and BTN Extra on ABC 3 and ABC News 24).

Applications for the Award open on 9th May and will close on 27th May via

Nossal High School students to present in Prague

Nossal High School’s principal team, Roger Page, principal and Toni Meath, assistant principal, and two Year 10 students, Elsie Huynh and Jun Kuang, will present at the 19th World Council Gifted and Talented Children Conference Making a World of Difference for Gifted and Talented Children, which will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, 8th–12th August, 2011. They will be accompanied by Monash University academics Leonie Kronborg and Margaret Plunkett.

Jun Kuang, 16, was born in Hubei, China and moved to Australia in 2007. She is studying Japanese, Maths, Biology and Chemistry and other subjects. Elsie Huynh, 15, was born in Melbourne. Her family background is Chinese and Vietnamese. She is studying Japanese, Psychology, Biology and other subjects.

A $20,000 grant received as part of the $62.4 million National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Program (NALSSP) will pay for the students’ travel. The title of Nossal High’s NALSSP Grant is Nossal High School as an international student voice.

The students’ presentation is titled Learning an Asian language as a student at Nossal High School – a new Australian select entry school. They will present their perspectives on studying Asian languages in high school and the way in which studying at a select entry high school influences their studies and perspectives. The school has adopted Howard Gardner’s Five Minds for the Future as an underlying philosophy and the two will discuss how this enriches their studies.

A symposium titled A new selective high school: what makes it effective? will be presented by Leonie Kronborg, Margaret Plunkett, Roger Page and Toni Meath. They will explore the school’s creation and opening in 2010 in the light of research gathered from multiple perspectives.

Lots of links for school websites

Toni Meath will be presenting her research from her doctoral studies (The University of Melbourne) which informs the development of curriculum at Nossal High School. Titled A case study of the implementation of the VELS Thinking Processes Domain for gifted learners in Victorian government secondary colleges, the study’s aim is twofold: to investigate the opportunities the VELS has created for teachers to utilise ‘thinking’ as a strategy for the enhancement and extension of learning for gifted learners; and to explore possibilities the VELS offers for differentiating the curriculum to meet the needs of these students.

What is the purpose of your website? As an information brochure or  valuable connectivity tool between your school and its community? WEBiTLinks provides immediate access to over 500 lonks for your website covering homework, help, parenting links, teacher resources and kid games.

WEBiTLinks is maintained by trainee teachers who makde sure all links are active (no broken links) new links are contantly being added. Yo can see the most popular links  and vote for those links you find most helpful – this helps other users find the most suitable resources for their needs.

WEBiTLinks is simple to add to your website. you can he up and running in minutes. Usually $195.00 per annum, yuo can have the remainder of 2011 using WENiTLinks for $195.00.

tel (02) 9533 9233

Software protects children from Facebook threats

ZoneAlarm® SocialGuard is designed for parents who want to protect their offspring against social threats on Facebook, such as online predators, cyberbullies, hacked accounts and malicious links. 

The software enables parents to monitor their children’s Facebook accounts for illicit content in status updates, wall postings, messages, and friend requests – providing them with real-time alerts when suspicious activity is detected. 

All activity in the child’s Facebook account wherever they use Facebook, including Windows PCs, Macs, iPads and other mobile devices can be monitored.

By scanning profiles, communication and friend requests within the monitored account and using unique algorithms to identify threats, SocialGuard will send real-time alerts to parents by email or through the SocialGuard interface when suspicious activity is flagged. 

It runs silently in the background, only alerting parents to specific dangers based on customised security settings, keywords or pre-defined categories. It enables parents to protect their children against social threats, while still respecting their child’s privacy as they cannot see or comment on children's wall posts or join in their conversations.

Facebook accounts can be monitored for a variety of social threats, including: 

Cyberbullying Identifies inappropriate or threatening content sent to a Facebook account in private messages, status updates and wall postings – alerting parents when the child may be exposed to illicit content, such as violence, sex, drugs and suicide.

Age fraud Detects false reporting of ages through advanced search and scanning – ensuring children are not befriended by adults outside of their networks and posing as children or teens. 

Friend requests Calculates the degree of social separation, identifying and alerting parents to strangers outside of the child’s network.

Hacked account Closely monitors for signs that a kid’s Facebook account may have been hacked by flagging unauthorised status updates, suspicious profile changes or other explicit content on the user’s account.

Link safety Flags dangerous or offensive links sent in private messages, status updates and wall postings to prevent malware attacks and access to inappropriate content. 

ZoneAlarm SocialGuard can be purchased from the ZoneAlarm website for an introductory pricing of $A1.99 per month or $A19.99 per year.

Program will support children of
parents diagnosed with cancer

A first of its kind in Australia, the CanTeen Offspring Support Program has been funded by a $1.5 million grant from nib foundation to provide a range of support services for young people aged 12 to 24 years.

CanTeen CEO Andrew Young, said the ongoing increase in cancer rates in Australia, combined with a lack of targeted, age-appropriate mental health support services, has created a significant need for such a program.

“Having a parent with or dying from cancer can have a devastating effect on the lives of young people. On average, young people who have a parent with cancer show considerably more psychological distress than young people who have cancer themselves,” Mr Young said.

Over the next three years the program will provide support to hundreds of youth through the provision of a multifaceted program, such as specialised counselling service (face-to-face, telephone and online/email counselling), information resource/books and practical skills development, respite, recreation and peer support.

Research conducted by CanTeen, in conjunction with the University of Sydney, has found that young people who have a parent with cancer report a complex array of needs, many of which go unmet. This group has also been found to be at significantly higher risk of psychological distress. It also showed that one in two people surveyed who had a parent with cancer reported levels of psychological distress that were severe enough to merit psychological intervention.

The counselling service has also begun in two other pilot areas in Newcastle and Queensland. If the program is successful, CanTeen will look to expand the program to offer a national service at the end of the three years.