Friday, January 18, 2008

Glow - Jan Pollok


18/366: Thinks!
Originally uploaded by DavidDMuir
{This blog post was typed live during the presentation. I've now edited it a bit and added a photo but there may still be blips in the information because of the original live capture. :-)}

Glow is connecting pupils, teachers and parents across Scotland. In the first instance there will be 8000 users. {Is that right? 8000. I think now it might have been more but I can't quite remember.} However, it's not about the tech - it's about the teach! Jan is very keen to make it clear that her job is to think about and promote learning and teaching within Glow.

When you login to Glow, the first thing you see is relevant, targeted news. As a Glow user, you will belong to groups and these groups will dictate what you see. You can also access selected Glow resources through this front page - for example learnnewsdesk which will be freely available in Glow. New email messages will be shown here too. The expectation is that teachers will login to Glow first thing every morning to catch up and see what's happening.

Glow Learn

Glow Learn is the Virtual Learning Environment where resources (lesson plans, pictures, videos, documents...) are stored and shared {either nationally or locally I think}. Teachers can prepare and share work as well as set homework, deadlines, tests etc. {I would like to have seen more of GlowLearn. See a bit more about how it works and the kinds of activities it supports.}

School Information

School based information is available, such as notices and events but other information can be pulled in directly from school/authority MIS systems and displayed in Glow. For example, a teachers timetables and cover periods can be pulled in and displayed. (Not old information pasted in some time ago, but the most up-to-date information from the MIS server.)

Featured Resources

There will always be a featured resource. (During this demo, it was Gigajam.) It will be used to feature interesting resources and will change regularly to encourage people to explore the available resources.

Glow Groups

Pre-Glow you could go to an in-service event and not get the chance to use the skills/knowledge until some time later. By the time you need to use the knowledge and skills, you may have forgotten it and you are not with a community of educators with similar interests. Glow groups allow you to form and access people around a topic at the time you need it. These groups can be local to the school, to the authority or nationally. Pupils can also set up their own groups (although not every authority will allow this). Various web apps can be incorporated in the Glow pages, for example survey tools.

Chat Rooms and Glow Meet

Many authorities were threw up their hands in horror at the idea of chat, so Glow have tried to alleviate the fears in a number of ways. For example, a transcript of the chat is automatically kept for a minimum of 7 days. The chat facility was used during the pilot to help prepare children for their Higher examination. The meeting room can be set up to be just a click away because Meet can be added into Group, or other Glow web pages.

Glow Meet uses Marratech video conferencing to link schools with other schools (not necessarily within Glow - example given was of linking a Scottish school with one in Malawi). Museums and other bodies are also very keen to link by video with schools.

My Glow

As well as using the areas of Glow provided for them, Glow users can also customise and use how they like.

Examples

{I liked these example uses. Again it would have been good to see a bit more of this kind of thing and perhaps a bit less of the information portal side of things.}

Clackmanshire primary school had a seaside theme. Children drew pictures of the seaside, uploaded the pictures and then discussed them online. Aberdeenshire did a Myst project with Tim Rylands. East Dunbartonshire had a number of schools reading the same novel who chatted about the novel with other schools. Linked to the novel the primary schools were reading, a secondary school music came onboard and talked about {and performed?} Japanese music. One primary school made a special study of Japan and became the "experts" that other schools questioned.

Quote from pupil: "I liked how you are learning things but having fun at the same time."

Conclusion

The hope is that Glow will be a one stop shop that provides easy access to all the tools that will support learning and teaching.


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1 comment:

Bob Hill said...

Perhaps a bit late to comment, but I feel strongly that too much emphasis is given to teachers collaborating through Glow groups. We should be thinking about how these groups can pull together a learning experience for pupils. The group can provide the links to resources, a means to discuss work and ask questions and to present draft work to be peer reviewed, not to mention all the Curriculum for Excellence heading such as collaborative working