School information technology managers from schools from across the nation gained insight into the latest learning opportunities and challenges in the area, at a conference held in Armidale on 12-13 November.
The Managers of Information Technology in Education (MITIE) hold an annual conference in Canberra, but Armidale, rather than Sydney, was the venue for the term meeting, hosted by The Armidale School, New England Girls’ School and PLC Armidale, which was attended by 47 delegates mainly from metropolitan schools.
“The day was largely organised for professional networking opportunities, but also to showcase the great opportunities and work being done in the Armidale area,” TAS Director of Information Technology Martin Levins said.
At a dinner on Thursday night, Armidale-based Adrian Wood of Whitehack described the current information security landscape, with a particular focus on the Internet of Things. This is the term given to the network of physical objects or things embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity, where devices in industry, hospitals and the home will be connected to the cloud, hence exposing any inherent security risks to compromise.
On Friday morning at the University of New England’s Smart Farm, Michael Price outlined the use of technology to monitor performance of cropping, meat and wool enterprises, and the significant opportunities for students to engage in this rapidly growing field in the areas of engineering and software development.
Over lunch at the university’s Booloominbah, Australian Academic and Research Network (AARnet) CEO Chris Hancock spoke of the exploding growth in video conferencing and the opportunities now available to regional centres in both learning and employment in Smart and interconnected systems.
The day concluded with a demonstration of the UNE Rural Health initiative, Objective Structured Clinical Examination, an in-house, web enabled measurement of competencies by Associate Professor Amanda Nagle and a tour of the StemmEd Lab housed in the School of Education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Medicine Education), hosted by Dr Sue Gregory.
“The day clearly showed the great opportunities that exist for students in regional centres such as Armidale,” MITIE president Ian Ralph said.