Vic schools get 24/7 ‘Ultranet’

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Vic schools get 24/7 ‘Ultranet’

Platform for students, teachers and parents ‘up and running’.

The Victorian Department of Early Education and Child Development (DEECD) has delivered its 'Ultranet' web portal, providing "all school information" to parents, teachers and students.

The $61million e-learning initiative was launched in 2007. Implementation began in 2009.

Ultranet was designed as a centrally hosted, web-based system that served attendance records, report cards, test results, curriculum information and educational resources.

It facilitated teacher collaboration across the state, while enabling parents to monitor their children's progress and students to access curricula and communicate with teachers and peers.

The platform used encryption, firewall, username and password systems, and was underpinned by a Cisco wired and wireless network.

DEECD's deputy secretary of resources and infrastructure Jeff Rosewarne said Cisco was "integral" to Ultranet, which would "help strengthen our education system to build the workforce of the future".

This week, the department announced its decision to standardise on Cisco networking equipment for 1,000 primary and secondary schools across the state.

The deal extended a $7 million wireless agreement inked in 2009, and provided for a single, converged, "education-grade" Cisco network that would connect schools and classrooms.

The network was expected to pave the way for future one-to-one computing, high-definition video and other digital learning facilities.

A Cisco spokesman declined to disclose financial terms, stating: "Cisco continues to have a solid relationship with the Department."

Rosewarne said the State Government had invested more than $120 million on ICT this year, giving students access to more computers and high-speed broadband.

"The Ultranet - a 21st century online learning platform that will connect students, teachers and parents in every Victorian government school is now up and running," he stated.

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