Today every student in the government school system in the state of Victoria has a holiday, while the teachers are all being trained in the new wonders of The Ultranet… a web-based resource that all teachers will HAVE to use. It allows collaboration, lesson sharing, on-line discussions with classes, podcasting, pdf sharing, parental access… in brief, everything technological that’s related to teaching will be at our fingertips. Every school in the state will be connected to it and every teacher will have their range of resources dramatically expanded. It’s a Brave New World.
Currently it’s midday. When 40,000 teachers tried to log on to get started, the system crashed. What a surprise.
It kept on crashing. This is despite the government declaring that the system was ready to go and could take 500,000 people at a time. (And this is only the teachers trying to log in. Imagine when all of the students and parents are allowed access…)
We persevered for a little while, then tried to log on to a stupid “epotential survey” about our personal use of technology that again, EVERY teacher has to fill out. This was obviously the default position of every other school in the state because that site has crashed too.
Another new government site that has many ideas/sites/lesson plans on every topic under the sun was our next port of call. It has the same server as the Ultranet so that was down too.
We’ve given up. We’ve been sent back to our desks to get our real work done so the day isn’t a complete waste.
When I was starting to write this, I asked a younger teacher how I could describe the ultranet. “A big wank” was the reply.
You’d think that a gradual rollout across the state would be more sensible. But no…. in an election year this had to be the Grand Unveiling. What idiots. Because of their incompetence, any learning about the Ultranet will now have to be undertaken in our own time, because I can’t see them giving us another day to learn it. There’s so much to get our heads around and it will take hours to learn to drive this thing. When it’s driveable. What a waste of time and energy today has been.
As delightful as a day without students is, this one is incredibly annoying. Blind Freddy could have predicted this would happen. Unfortunately, my name is Frogdancer, which means that I’ve left all my marking at home. I’m going to give it till after lunch, then if it still isn’t up and running I’m going to duck home and pick it all up. Darned if I’m going to fritter away the whole day….
And for teachers who haven’t seen it yet, a youtube clip… “Hitler and the Ultranet.” Enjoy.