Dataview, the company that produces KnowledgeNET are having a conference at Takapuna Grammar school tomorrow and Saturday. MUSAC has had a long standing relationship with Dataview and have worked together on a data exchange pilot with a number of North Shore schools. The resulting interoperability schema is now operating in a number of other schools around New Zealand.
Interoperability is not straight forward, however, Dataview and MUSAC have worked pragmatically to get over many issues to give schools a workable solution. Part of what MUSAC learned during the pilot and subsequently has also driven our strategy which we anticipate should result in interoperability with KnowledgeNET even easier in the future.
Dataview has a neat product and have been in the market with schools for a good few years now. Worth a look.
The two announcements from the Government in the last few days about broadband and school networks is very pleasing. From a selfish perspective it helps us in our overall strategy of providing better services to schools. From the nations perspective - it's about time!
One of the comments made on the news last night was also very significant for me - the $1.5 billion dollar initiative was not about Telecom and what it was or was not doing - it was about New Zealand's strategy for getting the necessary fibre optic broadband infrastructure this country so desperately needs. We seemed to have been fixated with what Telecom is or is not doing - nice to see an end to that.
Yes it is not going to be here tomorrow and no not everyone is on the roadmap, but we're (NZ) not sitting on our hands and we're not trying to legislate Telecom into or out of something. Thumbs up from me.
The challenge now for schools is to understand the timing and the possibilities and risks associated with such capability. It is a good time to sit down and start thinking about ICT strategy. It's here that we must be very careful. Teaching and learning must drive the school ICT strategy - not the other way around. All too often in ICT the tail wags the dog.
Following a record number of calls to software support during February and March 2009, we're getting prepared in advance of 2010 by training up a batch of additional people to help out at this high pressure time at school.
In recent times you may have heard new names at the end of the phone when calling MUSAC software support - names like Roy, Bruce, Kelly and Amber (although Amber has been here previously).
We're taking the opportunity at a quieter time of the year for the newbies to get their software support drivers license well in advance of crunch time. We appreciate your patience as they get up to speed and assure you Jackie, Rebecca, Phil, Phil and Alister are right here in the background helping them out and ready for referrals if they get stuck.
Already after one day, we have entries to our Paint it Green Competition!!
See all our entries so far, here on our Twitter and on our flickr photostream so keep an eye out! And get your entries in before the 25th of September.
Also an update on the rules, A couple of schools have asked us 'pretty please can we submit more than one photo?' We thought, sure, why not? the more photos the better! We do however plan to keep the one prize per school rule.
Also, just a quick clarification - Schools with primary and secondary students will be put in the 'secondary category'
We look forward to seeing some more of your photos!
Every year a number of you write to us requesting donations for school prize giving in which students are recognised for achievement, service and diligence. This year we thought we'd make it a little more fun and turn it into a competition for the funds.
We're offering 3 lots of $500 for secondary schools and 5 lots of $200 for primary schools. Maximum 1 prize per school.
The theme is "Paint it MUSAC Green" - figuratively speaking, although if you want to literally get painting that's cool too - students ask your teachers first!
The rules, which I'm sure you'll all bend:
The entry must be a photo in jpg format no bigger than 2mb email to: email@example.com including your school name and contact person
Entries close 5pm 25 September 2009
Winners announced 12 October 2009
Payments will be made to the school, not individuals
All monies should go towards student prize or prizes
MUSAC may use the photo in it's marketing and promotional material and the school transfers all rights to the photo to MUSAC
In submitting the entry the school will have ensured the permission of all people in it has been granted - including caregiver permission
1 prize per school
If the winner is a MUSAC school or signed up for 2010, we'll add 20% to the prize!
MUSAC reserves the right to award any, all or none of the prizes
Judges decision will be final, no correspondence will be entered into
Bonus points will be awarded for:
Incorporation of MUSAC green marketing collateral e.g. t-shirts, mugs, logo, brochure, software
Use of the MUSAC green colour
Demonstration of service, excellence, achievement or diligence
It was our pleasure to sponsor the biennial NASDAP conference held in Hastings at the Opera House last week. The venue and conference management was fantastic. We were able to access wireless broadband from the iMac on the MUSAC stand and Mal exploited the opportunity to do a few impromptu demonstrations of our web product. Seemed to be plenty of nodding from those circled around the computer.
We had plenty of give-aways - watch this space for an upcoming competition where you can use some of them to win your school some cash for end-of-year prize giving!
Furnware hosted everyone on Wednesday night with a tour of the factory and a few quiet drinks with Ian Smith - former New Zealand wicket keeper and now commentator with Sky Sport - yep, Ian now has a t-shirt too. Great team at Furnware and a fantastic New Zealand manufactured product. Thanks Furnware!
One couldn't visit the Bay without a trip around a few wineries. We visited Mission Estate, Matariki and Unison wineries. Got the low-down on the Gimblett gravels and superb tastings. Most credit cards took a hammering! Rude not to really.
Thursday was conference dinner night. Good meal and danced the night away to a great local band The Naked Gun.
We had a great time catching up with customers and hope to be able to sponsor a few local NASDAP conferences next year. Otago team have us lined up for Cromwell 9-10 September 2010. See you there!