Ultranet Ready?

Today our region got a glimpse of the Ultranet.  Being an Ultranet Coach last year, I was very keen to see what it had to offer.  From what I have seen it looks like there has been a good push towards student learning and collaboration, which is great.  There are many aspects to the Ultranet that were described today.  Key features that have stood out for me are –

  • Home page – a “landing’ space that can be personalised by each student and teacher, a bit like iGoogle.
  • The Learning Portfolio – a place for the students to reflect on their learning journey, with examples of their achievements and work samples.   Teachers can also use a portfolio to reflect on their practice and professional learning.
  • Collaborative spaces – where teachers can set up spaces for projects to happen with other students in the school or with other classes across the state system – a chance to learn with others beyond the four walls of the classroom.
  • Learner profiles – student will be able to see their own progress and learning plans and tasks.  Teachers will be able to view their students’ profiles and parents will be able to access their own child’s profile over the course of their schooling in the state system.  All this will be fully secured.
  • Web 2.0 – blogs, wikis, video conferencing, forums and instant messaging look to be part of the Ultranet too.

What I am not sure about yet –

  • Access to the www and possible Internet restrictions through the Ultranet.
  • Its ability to keep up to date with the rapid changes in technology in order to sustain interest and relevance for our students and teachers.
  • How global partnerships will be supported in this environment?

Ultimately, I see the goal for our schools will be to create richer learning environments for the students that allows them to be at ‘the centre’ of a connected network.  I think there are exciting times ahead.