Today in class we learnt how to use our new word processing system, Berwick Fields Docs. It uses the Google Docs system to allow us to work on documents and spreadsheets together. You can access Berwick Fields Docs through the button on the sidebar.
To sign in to your account, you can use the same username and password that you use to log on to our computers at school.
The screen below is what you will see when you log in to your account. To create a new file, click on the ‘Create new’ menu. For a word document, select ‘Document’. If you want to create a spreadsheet (like Excel) you can, or a presentation (Powerpoint).
You can now type in your document just like you would using Microsoft Word. You document will automatically save itself every now and then, or you can click on the ‘Save now’ button (see the picture below).
Docs has a very special feature; we can work on files collaboratively. This means that more than one person can use the file at the same time and work together. This will be especially handy for writing our production scripts. It also means we can work on our files at home.
To work collaboratively, you need to add some users to share your file with. To share, you need to click on the share button.
You will see a box like the one below. To find someone in our grade to share with, start typing their first name in the box. Their name will come up in the menu! Make sure you have the ‘Can edit’ option selected, and then click ‘Share and Save’ at the bottom of the screen. You will both be able to see your document. You can share with as many people as you need to. You will also need to add me so I can help edit your work.
lf you find any tips or tricks to use with Docs, post them below. You can also ask any questions you might have.
Below is a copy of information that went home on Thursday about student privacy and the Ultranet. Keep an eye on the blog for more information about what we are doing and how it works!
The Ultranet is here!
Next week, some classes will log into the future with the Ultranet, a new online learning system for schools. The Ultranet is a state-wide, secure site that teachers, parents/guardians and students can access via the internet.
Our students and teachers will be able to collaborate in the Ultranet using online tools such as wikis, blogs and discussion forums. Students will be able to create their own online learning portfolio and take part in online learning activities. Teachers will be able to access and share valuable online learning content across Victoria.
At some point in the future, the Department envisions that you will be able to log on and see information about your child and our school. This information will build up over time, creating an ongoing record for each student. These records will travel with your child from year to year and school to school.
Between now and then, we will give you more information about the system and how you and your child will be able to use it.
The pupil-free day on 9 August last year gave our teachers some time to become familiar with the Ultranet. Staff have continued working since this date to skill themselves up with this new technology as it is released by the Department. Our school’s timeline for introducing students to the Ultranet
This is how we plan to introduce the Ultranet into our school:
Teachers are currently learning how to use the Ultranet.
As of next week, students in 56C, 12D and 12F will begin to be introduced to the system as a trial for Berwick Fields, so that we can learn more about how the system works and how to manage student access. Other grades will gradually be introduced to the system.
The Department predicts that as time goes on, you will be able to log in and see some information about your child such as attendance. Prior to this, you will receive a user manual and a letter inviting you to register for your login and password to the Ultranet. To register, you will need a valid email address.
Some basic privacy information about students using the Ultranet
The Ultranet is accessible to school staff, teachers, students and parents/guardians in Victorian government schools. It is a closed website that can’t be accessed by anyone else on the internet.
The Ultranet will not store health or welfare information about your child. (Health or welfare information includes medical, behavioural, birthday or contact details.) In fact, the only personal information about your child in the Ultranet will be their name and school photograph (unless you notify the school and request the photograph is not used). All other information on the Ultranet about your child will be specific to their learning.
Between now and when parents are introduced, learning information about a student can be seen only by that student and teachers at our school. In the future, you can see information about your own children, and teachers can see information about students at their own school. Who can see student information on the Ultranet?
Express Space – A personal space for students and teachers to capture, share and reflect upon their learning.
Collaborative Learning – Where students can take part in online learning activities set up by their teachers. Students use a range of Web 2.0 tools for learning, including blogs, wikis, message boards and polls.
Community – Where students can find the latest school news and events and get involved in school-based groups, clubs or activities.
Today our grade logged on to the Ultranet for the first time and find out about some of the features of stage one. The graphic below gives us more information about what the Ultranet is. It comes from the Ultranet Student Guide which we will look more closely at in class.
In the video, they refer to ‘me, we, see’ spaces. These terms describe who has access to the different information on the Ultranet and how it is different to the regular internet. The below graphic sums up the idea behind the spaces.
Me Spacesare spaces that are private and only the person who has created the content can see. No one else has access to this information. On the Ultranet, this includes your home page and your ‘My Content’ folders.
We Spaces are spaces that are seen with people who have permission to be there. For example, our school intranet. You can only get in there with your username and password. On the Ultranet, there are lots of We Spaces to get invited to join, such as our Brainy Bunch Collaborative Learning Space. Only people we invite can see and participate in the space. Your online portfolio is also a We Space, because only you, your parents, me and your learning contacts (friends in the grade you choose) can see it.
See Spaces are spaces on the world wide web that everyone can see. There are no See Spaces on the Ultranet, because you need a password to access anything. Our blog is a See Space, because everyone can access it on the web. So is the school website, or other sites like YouTube.
If you have any questions about the Ultranet (parents or students) feel free to post them here and we can see if we can answer them!