That we had a great day on Monday learning about the Ultranet and Web 2.0 tools?
Despite newspaper, TV and radio commentary to the contrary, we had a very productive day on Monday this week. The Ultranet is a great tool that will allow us to work online with our colleagues from around the state and will provide a very safe and secure online environment for your students. While there were some ups and downs with access on Monday, the Ultranet is much more than just a website: it requires a shift in learning and teaching styles. We need to learn how to use it to its full potential and we need to learn what works and what doesn’t with regards to online tools: blogs, wikis, forums, chat rooms, social networks, email, online assessment, cyber-safety and more! Just because we couldn’t log on for a while on Monday didn’t affect us learning about all of these exciting tools.
The staff at my school participated in workshops throughout the day, experimenting with ICT and discovering how to integrate engaging and educational tools into our day to day programs. When the Ultranet has passed it’s initial phase of introduction, all of what we learnt will be used within the safe environment of the Ultranet.
Victoria is the first state in Australia (and one of the first in the World) to have a custom-built, designed-for-education, online environment that is for not only students but teachers and parents as well. It has it’s teething problems, which of course can be very frustrating, but the big picture is that we need to move with the times and to focus on what our students now need in order to learn and grow effectively. While there was certainly a fair bit of frustration across the state on Monday, the reality is that any system that can hold 1.5 million users at once is going to have glitches initially. We are excited for the next stage of the Ultranet, which is when students and parents will, slowly, be brought online to join the community!