The team at Newington is now three years into our cloud journey. We had a fairly simple start.
As with most other stories of our e-learning journey, the story starts in late 2011. At that time the server infrastructure at the College was in a fairly sorry state. Some examples:
- Exchange 2003 server – unpatched, running on ‘bare metal’
- Network login times 1 – 5 minutes
- No tested/verified backups
- No real standard processes, procedures, conventions
For us at that time, cloud meant Software as a Service (SaaS). Our first real candidate was an exciting new learning platform: Instructure Canvas. The Instructure team took the bold step of supporting an Australian customer; in 5 minutes they had our entire environment provisioned (in Amazon Web Services in the US).
Read all about our Canvas journey | Our first Canvas post by Terence in October ’11
Next cab off the rank was Google Apps for Education. With some quick admin work in Active Directory and the Google Apps Directory Sync we were off and racing with collaborative learning tools. For good measure we reviewed and selected a tool for SAML single sign-on: OneLogin.com had the right price and in just a few hours we were off and racing.
It hadn’t been particularly ‘strategic’, but cloud (Software as a Service) was an important answer to our question: ‘How can we quickly get good, reliable tools in the hands of teachers and students?’. Three and a half years down, now, and it’s clear it was just the ticket. It gave us the speed and agility to respond quickly to needs and start building the confidence and capability of our teachers.