I wanted to focus on one thing related to Glow (the Scottish schools digital network project).
One of the Glow team said:
"Glow is not about content it is about tools."This provoked some consternation. A number of people argued that there had to be content. Content that would bring people to Glow and that it would have to be good to ensure that they keep coming back. Content was described as, "The glue that makes teachers stick to a system." To give teachers Glow without content would be like giving them blank sheets of paper but no text books and telling them to teach.
Now I can see some logic in this position but I remain unconvinced. It reminds me of the old reasons people gave back in the 1980s to explain why computers were in the school but not used extensively: "There's not enough subject specific software." My feeling is that computers are used much more extensively now but the software that is used most often is the general purpose, content free stuff like word processors, graphic packages and (especially now) web browsers, rather than subject specific software.
It also seems to me that there is already a load of good "content" already available but that it is not used as widely as it might be (e.g. Scran and GridClub).
Finally, there are models out there of tools that when made available to teachers, are embraced and used effectively (e.g. the Exc-el network of blogs in East Lothian).
So what do you think? Does a desire for content come from being stuck in the Read Only Web of the past? Am I expecting too much from most teachers in believing they will embrace the read/write web and be happy to go content free? Do we need the glue of content to make teachers stick to Glow?
Technorati Tags: Glow, conent, tools, Read/Write Web, Web 2.0, DavidDMuir, EdCompBlog
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