So what is it? The Ultranet is,
‘The Ultranet is an online student-centered learning environment that supports high-quality learning and teaching and connects students, teachers and parents. It’s a 21st century online learning platform that takes learning beyond the walls of the classroom and provides a rich knowledge management framework for schools.’
Home – Community – Design – Express
‘Release 1: provides users with access to Web 2.0 applications and tools in many of its spaces.’
‘Release 2: introduces the Learner Profile and Learning Tasks. Learner Profile is the place to find and record up-to-date information about students. Learning Tasks is a place for teachers to plan, deliver and access learning activities.’
I recently attended a two day Lead User Professional Development as a Lead User to learn about Release 2. I’ve taken a few days to process my learning, and here is a brief reflection, and a couple of recommendations.
On the second day, I spent the morning with one of my Prep students. The student was asked to log on to the Ultranet with their password. They then had to locate their task, complete their task, save and revisit. The timed log out was an issue as we spent longer on the task than expected. We were learning together. My student did complete the task, and I was able to review her work.
This is probably when I realized the potential of the Ultranet for teaching and learning, and eventually reporting to parents. Assessment is ongoing, and I can see great value in this. I enjoy working within the Ultranet, and have recently used its features as part of the Teacher Professional Leave reviews. I’ve now spent quite a lot of time in the Design Space, joining a discussion, completing a poll and uploading a criteria reflection. I’m starting to feel more comfortable in the Release 1 Spaces.
What will support teachers? My Recommendations:
1. Increase timed log out time for students, or have a ‘draft save option‘. If this is available, it isn’t clear.
2. Have a play space for teachers. I would feel more comfortable learning in a space where I can make mistakes as I learn. Is it possible for a teacher to become a member of their grade ( invented pupil), so they can set tasks, complete tasks, make comments and assessments… and delete?
The Ultranet coaches have the option of using a practice space. This is what teachers need. Maybe someone reading this will make a recommendation on my behalf. I see this as integral to the Ultranet’s success.