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Continued journey to enhance learning through Ultranet LMS - Part 2

This reflective summary updates our continuing journey across the cluster in the implementation and effective utilization of a managed learning environment using the Ultranet platform (refer to previous reflective summary: Enhancing Student Learning through Ultranet LMS /resources/view/687918/enhancing-student-learning-through-ultranet-lms

We now have 12 out of 13 of our cluster schools using Ultranet ranging from schools who are at the very early stages of implementation to schools who are now in their third year of utilization.  The following is a summary of where these schools are at in their journey.

Waikuku, St Patricks Kaiapoi and Waiau Schools

These schools all began implementation in 2010.  Over the past two years they have utilized opportunities provided by the ICTPD contract to further develop their use of the Ultranet environment and increase teacher capability to utilize Ultranet to support and enhance teaching and learning.

Teaching As Inquiry has been the key tool utilized to drive teacher progress.  Once a term, teachers are allocated time with the eTime facilitator to discuss and reflect on how they are using their online spaces to support the teaching and learning in their class and identifying next steps for moving forward.  The documentation for this process has been used as a part of the teacher appraisal process.

As a result, all teachers are making effective use of the various ClassSpace modules and there has been an apparent shift to a more diversified use of the tools according to the level and needs of the students. It has been really pleasing to observe teachers focusing on the specific needs of their students as opposed to the ‘bells and whistles’.

At St Patricks Kaiapoi teachers are utilizing iPads in each classroom and the focus for their inquiries has been around how to integrate iPad apps with their LMS.  Many teachers have embedded a class blog (using Blogger) within their ClassSpace areas and are using the BlogPress App to blog directly from the iPad to their ClassSpace. Teachers have reflected that the ease of use and portability of the iPad has meant increased enthusiasm to blog about the learning that is going on in the class. Teachers and students are using the blogs to reflect on their learning on a regular basis. Teachers are also discovering new apps that capture learning in creative ways (egPuppet Pals, Explain Everything, iMovie)

Example of teacher inquiry:   Teaching As Inquiry_Alwyn_2012

This year Waikuku School and St Patricks Kaiapoi School have been exploring the potential of the uSpace component as a digital portfolio. At Waikuku School Year 7-8 students have utilized all of the available modules in uSpace.  The Portfolio has been utilized to publish completed pieces of work that have been formally marked by the teacher.  The blog and the media modules have been utilized as areas for students to publish their writing for an audience of their peers.  The students have been encouraged to use the comment box to provide feedback for each other.  As a result, the teacher identified a need for some specific teaching around how to comment constructively on a piece of work that has been uploaded online.

Example of Yr 7-8 Inquiry documentation:  Teaching As Inquiry Documentation - Ali_2012


Papanui Primary

Papanui Primary is in the early stages of implementation.  During Term 3 all staff attended a workshop at eTime that focused on developing their ClassSpace area and aligning to a clear purpose for teaching and learning. Teachers reflected that it was good to have a day set aside to actually work with the tools and develop their environments.

Following this workshop, one day a term was set aside for a more personalized approach to teachers’ professional learning with the eTime facilitator working 1-1 with each teacher to further develop their ClassSpace areas and utilize the modules to meet the learning needs of the class.

The lead teacher held regular staff meeting to reflect on the progress made and reflections were documented to help guide next step learning:

PPS_Teaching as Inquiry T3-4 2012

Hanmer, Waikari, Greta Valley, Rotherham, Omihi, Leithfield and Waipara

These schools have all begun their Ultranet journey during Term 3 this year. They have engaged in Admin training and lead teacher workshops. Two days were allocated for the eTime facilitator to work with all teachers to develop their ClassSpace environments.  These sessions focused primarily on the use of the Page Content, Resources, Media Gallery and Discussion modules to support teaching and learning.

Each school is now at the stage where students are logging in and utilizing the modules.  Teachers are now looking to extend their use of modules and ensure opportunities for students to actively contribute to their ClassSpace areas.

To ensure continued growth, principals and lead teachers have worked with the eTime facilitator to develop an Ultranet Action Plan for 2013;


Ultranet Action Plan Waikari School

Ultranet Action Plan Greta Valley School