Glow - Future Tools

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Glow has been a major part of our nation's development in technologies for learning.  Some great work has been carried out with Glow and many resources have been created with it.  It has given many teachers and pupils a safe and closed environment to explore tools that the on-line world can provide. It allows secure sharing and collaboration across the whole of Scotland.


The announcement asked us to consider the best free services and tools which we could use to extend Glow.


Current Services and Future Replacements


Current Service  Possible Replacement 1  Possible Replacement 2  Possible Replacement 3  Possible Replacement 4  Possible Replacement 5    
Glow Groups  Google Sites  Google Groups  Wiggio A Wiki Farm, most of glow groups functions can be replicated on a wiki. Office 365 Edu SharePoint 2010 Online  
Discussion Forums (phpBB) self hosted phpBB forums Facebook    Live@edu /Wordpress Office365 Edu SharePoint 2010 Online  
Blogs self hosted Wordpress MS Blogger Live@edu / Wordpress Office365 Edu SharePoint 2010 Online  
GlowMail GMail Hosted mail solution  Live @ Edu  Live@edu Exchange Online Office 365 Edu Exchange Online  
GlowMeet continue with Adobe Connect Solution (but open up the mobile app too) Google+/Google Talk(?)  JaNet Desktop VC  Live@edu Live Messenger or Adobe Connect Office 365 Edu Lync Online  
Kelidos (VLE) self hosted Moodle self hosted Sakai   Live@edu Moodle Integration Office 365 Edu SharePoint 2010 Online  
Shibboleth (authentication service) Agreement with OpenID Google+ Twitter 
Windows LiveID /Shib/SAML lots of options ADFS/SAML/OpenID lots of options  
Wikis (MindTouch)  MindTouch (few problems with mindtouch at the moment, swf files. Video...) MediaWiki Google Sites  Wikispaces     
GlowLight iGoogle       SHarePoint 2010 WebParts  
ePortfolio (currently using WP Blogs) Mahara (possible integration with Moodle) also keeping current WP blogs My Showcase  (has a Moodle plugin) wordpress without glow complications Live@edu SkyDrive Office 365 Edu SharePoint 2010 Online  


New Services 

New Service  Possible Provider 1 Possible Provider 2  Possible Provider 3  Possible  4  Possible 5 
Video (including transcoding of uploads)  YouTube (Edu?)  Teachertube    Office 365 Edu SharePoint 2010 Online
Document Editing/Online Office Tools  Google Docs  Office 365
Live@edu Office WebApps Office365 Edu Office Web Apps
Activity Stream  Google+ Buddypress   Facebook  Live@edu Windows Live Office365 Edu SharePoint 2010 Online
Achievements/Rewards System Mozilla OpenBadges Buddypress Achievements      
Learning Object Content Repository  ??      Live@edu SkyDrive Office365 Edu SharePoint 2010 Online
      Live@edu Push/Pull e-mail on Mobile ActiveSync or Apps Office365 Mobile/Push/Pull on mobile, ActiveSync or Apps



Many of the services above would fall under the Google Apps for Edu service. Offered free to education these tools could become the new "core" of Glow and make use of our single sign-on. Another alternative could be the Microsoft Live @ Edu offering.


Other thoughts 

How do we take forward the best of the services of the web together with our single sign on? Which of these features should we retain? What other online services could we use as replacements.  Is there scope for partnership with providers to have Glow landing pages and sign-on at other services sites?   single sign on? 

How for instance to we maintain links between current service and National Assessment Resource ( NAR ) and also build links to on-line assessment like SOLAR. There will too be some content that may be hosted remotely but will require authentication.- ideally authentication that can differentiate between teacher and learner.

How do we make best use of pupil and staff data recorded in MIS (Management and Information Systems)? The current Glow pulls through teaching group structures, attendance stats, tracking and monitoring information- should this remain? Is there an opportunity, with 28 Local Authorities using the same MIS, to look at nationalising it?

Could we include a method of formal reporting to parents?

Do we need to develop/obtain a Glow API so that third-parties can develop applications that use Glow content? Could a third-party API (such as that used with Google Docs) do the job for us?

Is there an opportunity to provide facilities that support staff development- tie in CPD Find, booking CPD, the PRD (Professional Review and Development) process, Teacher Induction Scheme, GTC notifications of change?

How do we avoid the support overheads of plugins and software updates for some of the "free tools" that have been suggested? Should we set a minimum requirement that all services must be hosted to reduce support and updates required on individual devices?

How do we encourage the use of mobile devices when some plugins aren't available for browsers like Chrome, Opera, Safari and HMTL 5 not supported until IE9 (which cannot be installed on WinXP)?



Other points of reference

Lots of great content and examples of great use has happened inside Glow. But what about outside? Where is the great practise which we should consider when looking to the future?