The Ultranet is a $60.5 million online portal for teachers, students and parents in Victorian government schools. After years of build up, the Ultranet was officially launched on Monday 10th May and my school was in the first group of schools to come online.
The first stage of the Ultranet allows students and teachers to create personal learning portfolios and collaborate with others across the state. Stage Two, to be released in Term Four will allow parents to log on and keep track of their child’s performance. It will also include features for teachers to plan curriculum and monitor and assess student performance.
While the Ultranet is unique to Victoria, it is not dissimilar to other smaller scale online portals that schools around Australia and the world run independently. With increased accountabilities and controls appearing in various education departments, I would not be surprised to see an increase in Ultranet type portals in coming years.
I completed the two-day Lead User training last week. This “train the trainer” course provided an overview of all the features of Stage One as well as discussions on how to implement the Ultranet in our school. After these two days, I’m still gathering my thoughts on the pros and cons of this new initiative but I thought I would share some initial thoughts.