As many of you will be aware, work has been underway at Ultranet HQ over the past year on a radical new update to our learning platform. Earlier this term, we launched the first peek of this in a closed beta test programme, with the build named “Ultranet Beta”.
So what exactly is Ultranet Beta? In brief, this is the first component of a new and refreshed Ultranet platform suite. The initial focus of the suite is a completely revised Virtual Classroom module. This will be followed in the new year with a revised ePortfolio solution.
For us, this project has been a natural progression in the ongoing evolution of the Ultranet platform. It boils down to three foundational principles that we feel are really important in good software: usability, scalability and extensibility.
In other words:
- It has to be super easy to use;
- It has to cater to the needs of its many varied users;
- It has to work neatly with other related software/devices.
In order to best deliver this, we needed to rebuild and modernise the foundations of the Ultranet platform to make it more flexible and powerful.
We’ve been swirling around sketches and ideas for the new platform for a wee while and it’s been really exciting to see the plans come together, and to be able to start sharing it with a wider audience.
We currently have over a dozen Beta Programme participants testing the new environment, and our development team continues to pump out new components of functionality. In general, Beta software usually remains in that state until it is deemed sufficiently stable and closely matches its final release form. At this stage, we anticipate having three beta phases of work before approaching final release. We hope to have the product out of beta by the end of Term 1, 2013.
In the meantime, here’s a sneak peak at how easy it is to work in the new Personal Profile editor.