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Ideas, improvements and suggestions

Page history last edited by olliebray@... 12 years, 7 months ago

This page has been locked and the contents passed to the Scottish Government for analysis. Thank you for all your contributions.


How could this site be improved? Who can help with the tasks? If you complete a task cross it out and add your name to take the credit...


  1. Improve navigation on front page (09/09/11: added some prominent links to pages for the 5 objectives @dgilmour)
  2. Agrigate Twitter feed into frond page --put this on social Media page (@johnjohnston)
  3. create social media page to pull in blog posts, tweets etc... Made a wee start added ScotEduBlogs feed and twitter (@johnjohnston)
  4. Create a links page
  5. A, "What Glow 1 got right" page Charlie Love
  6. Change the name of the Wiki - it implies that it is for ICT in Scottish Education. If is is for all sectors e.g. FE, this should be made clearer on front page. Olivia Wexelstein 
  7. Rethink how differing stages access Glow - how can the logon process be improved for early years / SEN children (@amweston) - see http://www.seanfarrell.co.uk/glow/ for ideas on improving the login process (based on Sean's ideas, I knocked up a way to do this (mac/safari only) which is being used in a school or two http://vimeo.com/28826236 my method is certainly a kludge but could be improved mae x=platform by someone who knew what they were doing @johnjohnston )
  8. Can we add a link somewhere on front page to Glow Future tools page Glow - Future Tools  - Charlie has produced great overview of what is glow and what some of the Open alternatives might be  




Comments (23)

FraserShaw said

at 6:30 pm on Sep 9, 2011

ditch GLOW altogether and simply use the same tools as every private school, University , College and workplace already uses - Its called the internet and its open to everyone.

olliebray@... said

at 6:45 pm on Sep 9, 2011

Lets have some examples of good practice and links then Fraser?

FraserShaw said

at 10:58 am on Sep 10, 2011

Ollie - you have the whole Internet to choose from - why are school teachers not simply using google mail or hotmail or Skype to communicate? - As a parent I could simply be copied on any relevant information. I have not worked in education for 20 years -I work in technology and have 2 kids at secondary school - and I am dumbfounded by the lack of effective communications. I chat to customers in Singapore over breakfast and California in the evening using skype - and yet my kids school still stuffs bits of paper in satchels to communicate as if the last 50 years never happened. I applauded the desire to involve parents in education mooted by the education department - However it soon became clear that most people who work in education have been institutionalised and have a language and method all of their own that has NOTHING to do with the outside world. GLOW is a shining example of BAD practise.

olliebray@... said

at 12:24 pm on Sep 10, 2011

I am delighted to see that some of the points you make fit in perfectly with the five objectives:

Objective One - promote technology that is easy to use, cutting edge and free (you mention google mail or hotmail or Skype to communicate).

Objective Four - Encourage schools to take small steps – email communications, publish calendars online, develop school websites (you mention the school bag letter problem).

Now, how will we solve these challenges?

Claire Griffiths said

at 12:02 am on Oct 9, 2011

http://blog.jonudell.net/ Promotes community calendars. Spoke to my BSc Web science course via the UHI vitrual learning system system. Helps schools/ communities all over the US develop their online calendar shared calendars.

Online meeting places- I used Wiggio with my Computing Project group. http://wiggio.com/ It also allows shared calendars within a group. It was great to use and we had no problem with accessing it.

pamsterc@... said

at 1:49 pm on Sep 12, 2011

Fraser Shaw: You make some excellent points that I am sure many people on here will agree with but I have worked with the Glow team for the past year and feel I need to update you on some of the things Glow has done and continues to do, which are already in keeping with your experience in the business world.

We use Adobe Connect for the same kind of web conferencing you use Skype for and Glow users have communicated with global destinations as well. We have just launched GlowTV which uses this web-conferencing software to broadcast a whole host of events/presentations to Glow users and allows them to 'watch again' in their own time. There are also many examples of schools using this tool to great effect. Why not take a look here: http://cookbooks.glowscotland.org.uk/blog/category/glow-components/glow-meet-glow-components/

We have deployed Wordpress, Mindtouch and PHPbb to provide OS solutions to blogging, wikis and forums and we are also seeing some great use of these tools to benefit learning and teaching. These are additions to the original Glow product (sharepoint 2003) that are globally-recognised solutions with EVERYTHING to do with the outside world and they have been driven forward to enhance the user experience of Glow. Glow is very much more than just Sharepoint 2003 and there are

I think it sounds as if your children attend a school that has not taken Glow forward but your experience is not everyone's experience. Does this raise another question for us? Is it right and acceptable that some schools can benefit their pupils by using ICT (Glow or not) and others can choose not to?

Is it maybe a bit too easy for schools to hear others decrying Glow as 'clunky' and for them to use that as their excuse for not taking it forward? Maybe you are right to feel that you witness 'bad practice' in your experience with education but there is a great deal of evidence of good practice using Glow for exactly the type of communication you cite in your examples.

shirley campbell-morgan said

at 7:40 pm on Sep 13, 2011

It certainly isn't the case everyewhere! My primary School has not been sending paper notes home for years-we use an edublog. That links to some open homework glowblogs. Those link to individualpupil eportfolios that are safe and secure and only accessible by Glow users! We are in the process of designing Glow wiki eportfolios for use by middle primary pupils. Glow allows all of this and interest is growing. If we abandon it, we will have only a few like minded people accessing Google, Skype etc! Good quality open source resources could be included but need to be harnessed within Glow to make them available to all teachers, who would otherwise not find them. Hope this makes sense!

FraserShaw said

at 5:18 pm on Sep 12, 2011

Pamsterc - I know there are some people using it - and we could take the "its better than nothing" view. Sorry but your links result in blank pages for me - I would be more than happy to look at them. My fundamental point is that GLOW is NOT inclusive, its about censorship its about control. Why why why are you re-inventing the wheel? Is this an ego trip - or a gravy train? Glow TV? come on are you serious? whats wrong with Skype? why were my taxes spent on doing something thats already been done in a far more inclusive way. Is the truth that education people don't want to leave their ivory tower - they don't want to mix with the real world? Google succeed by being open - AOL failed by trying to control - there was always something better somewhere else than on AOL.

John Johnston said

at 8:10 pm on Sep 12, 2011

"Glow TV? come on are you serious? whats wrong with Skype? "
Glow TV is just a badging of Adobe connect. Does a few useful things that Skype doesn't, as far as I know: shared whiteboards, more usable interface for combining text & video chat and makes it easy to broadcast from one classroom into many. Can skype pull in a couple of hundred folk to one call?
I've a fair number of criticisms of glow, been making them since it was piloted, but GlowMeet/marratech/Adobe connect even if renamed Glow TV has been pretty good.

FraserShaw said

at 7:56 pm on Sep 12, 2011

Can I make suggestion - can people in education learn to speak English . Can you not choose to give every wee thing a snazzy "name" can you please just call a spade a spade. Simple communication please. No wonder people don't want to use the stuff - I got the links to work and was frankly horrified - it was in esperanto! - it certainly wasn't English. I know its not just ICT it happens all thru education - but please try to set an example. This should not be an ego trip for some teacher or webby person - this is our kids education why are education people so bad at communications. Unbelievable.

olliebray@... said

at 9:53 pm on Sep 12, 2011

Fraser - to sum up, you don't think we should reinvent the wheel, you think we should use the tools that exist already on the web, you think we should use plain language, you think we should invest in bandwidth, you don't think we should filter and people who work in education need to learn to speak English. Have I missed anything out?

Now, how do we also make sure we get the views of as many pupils, teachers and parents as possible here? At the moment, it feels like a conversation amongst just a few of us, when we know there are a lot of people with something to say on these issues.

ElaineF said

at 10:40 pm on Sep 12, 2011

I agree that it is imperative to gain the views of teachers, pupils and parents on here rather than only those 'in the know'. However, those in the know have not been looking through rose coloured glasses and have been very honest about the plus and minus points that we have witnessed with Glow. It has a jagged profile, with some using it really well with great results. I think Pamsterc makes valid points and I agree with John on the benefits of the new Glow Meet using Adobe Connect. I've taken part in a very successful national Glow Meet with over 100 participants and then used breakout rooms smoothly. Using blogs for eportfolios and school websites has seen success, with wordpress being an industry standard tool. However,  I fully understand that via Glow we don't have the options of as many themes, plug ins etc but for teachers who are new to wordpress too many options can confuse. Many teachers working in schools want things to work rather than be concerned about bells and whistles. We need to use this chance to work together and get the opinion of all - focus on the positives rather than the negatives. 

FraserShaw said

at 12:00 pm on Sep 13, 2011

Not familiar with Adobe connect - but am I correct in saying its not free? - how many times do you need to connect to a couple of hundred people in 1 go. Are we talking about making a teachers life easier and promote communications between schools or improve the teacher/pupil/parent interface? Because they are very very different things - 1 is effectively the same as a big corporation employing thousands of people trying to be more effective - and the other is whether or not wee Johnny gets Pythagoras. Both are obviously important and can dovetail to some extent - but I am not so interested in the former - other than the general taxes well spent aspect. Is this part of the problem that those entrenched in the system don't see the difference?

John Johnston said

at 12:56 pm on Sep 13, 2011

Connect is not free.
"how many times do you need to connect to a couple of hundred people in 1 go"
More than you think perhaps.
GlowMeet/marratech/Adobe connect can bring in to classrooms experts and experiences that are not easy/cheap to organise otherwise. These experts and experiences can help 'wee Johnny gets Pythagoras'.

FraserShaw said

at 1:00 pm on Sep 13, 2011

Ollie - I have been cutting and pasting the link to these pages - to as many places as I can. As you can probably guess - this has been a major source of irritation for me for a long time - I wish more people outside education cared enough to raise their voices. But to be clear I am calling for the shackles to be taken off. Frankly I don't care what you do with GLOW - as long as you allow open access in parallel so that its a free market. Open access and freedom to choose will instantly achieve something, and if GLOW has some good bits then they will emerge as winners How long has GLOW been going - how much has it cost? 50% take up is an abject failure - a scandal. what I can't understand is why anyone ever thought it was a good idea to force everyone to use use one thing - surely every teacher has a right to teach in their own way. You are trying to inspire children not make IPODs in China. All I want is my teachers to have access to good material and to tell me whats going on, and for the kids to be comfortable using IT in every aspect of their lives.

FraserShaw said

at 1:24 pm on Sep 13, 2011

John - help me understand - Expert? What did you have in mind - do you have and example that really happened? Or are you talking about something separate from actual teaching - are you talking teacher training ? I don't have a big opinion on how you go about that - I am sure there are many many good examples of that - and frankly you can all speak Chinese and use Sinclair spectrums for that if it works for you. But when you are interfacing with the outside world ( me and my kids) I feel you have a duty to speak plain English and use commonly available tools of the type that are useful outside education. The adobe thing is a great example - on paper sounds great - they probably will have all kinds of profit projections for it. But it may well fail completely or almost as bad end up an obscure tool used by large corporations ( and government departments) the small sections of the net who will actually pay to use something. Meanwhile millions and millions of people use "the other tools" So you have to weigh up the fact that you are using a non mainstream tool - is it that good that its worth the isolationist aspect of its use?

John Johnston said

at 3:41 pm on Sep 13, 2011

A couple of local examples. Recently as part of learning in the context of the International Children's Games we had Scott Leach, former professional footballer, go into a primary school to talk about his career, working in sport, and the International Children's Games. Using pretty minimal kit; an old mini tape video camera and a mic, we broadcast this to about 50 other schools. The children their could watch, ask questions and see.hear the answers. Many of the schools let us know they found it a useful experience. Previously we had broadcast a children's author in the same sort of way. Both of these folk could not have visited and interacted with the number of children that were involved with via video conferencing. There are many example of National meets where schools round the country have joined in. These two are just ones I've had personal experience of.
Previously, while teaching in a Glasgow primary, I did a fair bit of video conferencing, between my class and a class in Holland, and with experts, for example, from the National Archive. This was using IP video conferencing and again, in my opinion, the pupils got a lot out of it.
Skype is a great tool, I've used it for informal cpd, group podcasting and just talking to folk but I don't think it is the tool for this type of job.
I am not defending this software because I've swallowed the glow pill, I was using free and self hosted stuff (blogs, wikis, podcasting) with my classes before Glow and if I was still in a classroom I'd be using some of those rather than the Glow alternatives.
But I don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water, there were some good tools in glow, and some others (blogs & wikis), later add ons that have give many staff and pupils a way in to using things that they would not have had either the confidence, knowledge of, or indeed permission from their LA to use.

shirley campbell-morgan said

at 7:46 pm on Sep 13, 2011

Lasy year we took part in a technology Glow Meet from the Museum of Flight. The 'expert' was standing beside Concorde. Before long we were in groups designing a glider, in competition with pupils from all over Scotland. Later we reconvened to feedback and judge. That was an excellent example and the pupils spoke about it for a long time afterwards! I could cite a few other very good examples too!

amweston said

at 5:05 pm on Sep 13, 2011

Having used Glow meet for CPD sessions I find it invaluable. It has improved with the introduce of Adobe connect - my only concern with Adobe is the amount Apple computers in LEAs and will it continue to work.
Although I have not used Glow meet in the class room I agree with John in that is it allows many schools access to something or someone that may not have been possible. Examples are the author meets, Dr Who meet, Santa meet to name a few.
I hope to get the chance to use Glow meet with a class in the near future.

FraserShaw said

at 6:17 pm on Sep 13, 2011

John your kids are obviously very lucky to have a teacher who makes so much effort well done - your example whilst good. falls into the 1% or less of the class contact time bracket. Did all 50 schools get to answer 1 question each ? or was it a token 2 way connectivity? was it 50 pcs or 1000. At that number of people surely a webcast plus text in would be more appropriate? and dare I say it cheaper. My question however was more general - why are you backing any one horse especially one that is costly? Which leads me onto a question - who are the people deciding all this stuff? How do they get paid?

John Johnston said

at 1:01 pm on Sep 14, 2011

Fraser, I guess I am not going to convince you;-)
1pcs & a projector per class, last meet with 50 schools probably answered about 50 100 questions. From all accounts pupils felt involved and were engaged. Adobe connect is a video + text + interactive whiteboard + polls + lots of other things I've not tried yet.
I an not backing one horse. Never said that I would just use connect.
I used to bring in copies of the Metro, grabbed as I got off the train ,for my primary 6 to read sometimes. Useful resource and free. I also used the school reading books that we had paid for.
I've used FlashMeeting to video conference, it is free but limited to about 25 seats. I've not used Skype in class (always been blocked). I would have if I could have *when* it was appropriate.

FraserShaw said

at 2:10 pm on Sep 14, 2011

Ah Im nit picking - Im just glad there are some teachers who actually "get it" Sadly too few are in my kid's school. On the whole Im heartened a bit by the responses on here - but I don't have a lot of faith in seeing an open approach ( that doesn't mean you allowed to stick with chalk and talk BTW) any time soon. And when Russel has created one body that is both poacher and gamekeeper - I don't have faith in the inspectorate any more.

Fiona Johnson said

at 11:49 am on Sep 18, 2011

I've used glow meet with my class and it was great fun. We connected with a school in Shetland and exchanged info about local wildlife which we discovered was very different! I've also used it as a homework tool and lots of the children managed independently to log onto glow at home, open up glow meet and chat away to others - these were P.6/7 kids. I find, sadly, such a negative attitude coming from my HT colleagues to even give this type of technology a try. It is so motivating for the children and the learning experiences and possibilities are endless. If I could have my wish though, I'd like to just be able to use skype in the classroom. So easy!

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