Community development is seen as an increasingly important role for government and the potential of Web 2.0 tools to aid in community development seems obvious. An experimental technology relating to e-government is being introduced by the State Government of Victoria, Australia. This involves a closed social network called the Ultranet which is intended to support communities of parents, teachers and students in State schools. As the Ultranet has only recently come into operation, this paper cannot present an analysis of its operation, only a theoretical investigation of its possibilities. In the paper the Ultranet is seen as an innovation, and handled accordingly. An ActorNetwork approach is proposed as a potential analytical lens for researching the Ultranet, its application and its social impact. The paper also proposed use of actornetwork theory to identify how the Ultranet might be shaped by future use, and how it could be used to identify problematisations of this new network and the actors that it seeks to involve and hence to identify potential translations of the innovation. Analysis of these potential translations allows the creation of a theoretical framework that permits a sensible review of the introduction of the Ultranet. The framework allows for the possible production of communities of practice amongst teachers, a „door‟ for parental involvement as opposed to the „windows‟ currently common in education, with an ideal that involves a Web 2.0 supported community where all parties (students, teachers, resources provided by the Departments of Education, parents and the local community) contribute. The paper suggests that perhaps this is the future of safe, secure social networking for schools.
Tatnall, Arthur, "Ultranet as a Future Social Network: An Actor-Network Analysis" (2011). BLED 2011 Proceedings. Paper 60.