Queensland's Department of Education, Training and the Arts has revealed it is most of the way through one of Australia's largest roll-outs of a standard desktop PC and server operating environments, including a standardised Apple Mac installation.
(Credit: Kevin Dooley)
According to its latest annual report, the department provides public education for almost 480,000 students through about 1,240 schools, with the majority (more than 900) of those being primary schools up to year 7.
In a statement published on its website in mid-August, the department said the roll-out of version 2.0 of its "managed operating environment" (MOE) had touched 906 schools as at 18 August this year, as part of a project expected to take 18 months.
The environment consists of a standard configuration of Apple's Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" and OS X 10.5 "Leopard", as well as Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003 R2. The agency's mission in rolling out its new MOE is to centralise support and cut costs.
DETA has partnered with Apple Australia to create the Mac portion of the MOE. Other benefits expected from the standardisation initiative include automating patching, remote software deployment, improving wireless security, and simplifying access to systems.
Version 10 of Symantec's antivirus solution is being used to maintain security. Schools have been allocated a regional MOE coordinator to facilitate the project and help students and teachers throughout the deployment.
The department also has a number of other large technology projects ongoing, according to its website.
For example, it is currently rolling out a new Web portal, dubbed "OnePortal", which is targeted at all students, teachers, corporate staff, parents, guardians and other community members. The site allows users to build their own profile, accessing learning information and publishing personal documents.
The department's website says the portal was first rolled out in pilot form to IT staff in March through July of this year, with other administrative staff gradually receiving the functionality through to the end of 2009, and 40,000 teachers getting access in December through to February.
DETA was unable to respond to ZDNet.com.au's questions at the time of writing.