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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

East Lothian Was GLOWing This Morning!

This Morning East Lothian was GLOWing, and not because it is Halloween!

Scotland has 32 Local Authorities, eight have been chosen to trial the GLOW portal. Out of the eight, three have been selected to trial the portal before Christmas (the other two being Renfrewshire and Dundee City).
The first schools within East Lothian to be selected are Knox Academy and Kings Meadow Primary. Today Leann McMillan (Kings Meadow), Dave Rawson and I (Knox) were able to see the portal in action. This allowed us to gain a vision of how the initiative will be used to aid Teaching and Learning.

“Glow is the national intranet for Scottish schools, linking Scotland’s 800,000 educators and pupils. Glow is a powerful set of tools for learning and teaching, sharing and collaborating which will be provided within a safe and secure on-line environment accessible from any location.”


The Portal was demonstrated by Paul Smyth and Dawn Adams, both Educationalists, and Tom Gregory, the project manager. (Pictured to the left).
Phase One
Initially the portal will have a very basic set up. Each participating pupil and member of staff will have a user name and password. This will allow them to enter into the GLOW Intranet. The initial facilities that can be accessed within the GLOW Intranet will include:
• Pupil site
• Staff site
• Establishment site.
• GLOW groups within your establishment that you are a member of. (i.e. sports clubs/homework clubs)
• Local Authority Site
• National Site
• Your own personal site.

If you can imagine how your own school server operates (i.e. emailing, sharing resources, the daily bulletin) this will give you a small idea of what is to come. But, let me reassure you, GLOW will be far easier to use. We as GLOW mentors will be here to help you!

GLOW Bulletin

It might not be very clear from the images that I have posted, but on signing into the portal, this is an idea of what you should see. (Pictured above)
There will different themes for different age groups. When I say theme, I mean appropriate aesthetics. Primary themes will be more icon based, while secondary will be more text enhanced.
For those of you who have been lucky enough to see the GLOW Movie, you will recall that part of the GLOW intranet will have such things as instant messaging and video conferencing? For the trial of the portal, and the initial implementation of the initiative, the setup will be far from any of this. (These are tools which will be implemented during later phases of GLOW) GLOW is not solely about ICT. Indeed, as our Educationalists pointed out this morning, GLOW will develop with its users. GLOW is an initiative that is being designed and developed to enhance Teaching and Learning in Scotland.

How are Knox Academy and King's Meadow Primary involved?

Phase one of the GLOW trial will involve four classes (three Secondary and one primary). These trials will test the usability of GLOW.

What is easy to use and what is not?
What is understood and what is not?
What is missing?
Why did or didn’t that happen?
I have a vision that these are the questions that are likely to be answered.

GLOW Lesson

Each class will be given a trial lesson which will involve each pupil interacting within the intranet. Pupils will have to upload images and create their own individual pieces of work during the trial lessons. This will be tailored to the specific age group. The purpose of this trial is allow RM and GLOW to find any defects that internal testing may have missed. It will also test the internal systems and processes in practice (i.e. support, infrastructure etc). In addition, staff and pupil feedback (both positive and negative) will be requested. This will be fundamental to success of GLOW.

"Phase 1 is not the final version. We expect users to find defects. It is not the whole of GLOW. It is being run from a smaller but equally secure environment".


The GLOW pilot should be available as of Monday 6th November (Knox Academy and Kings Meadow Primary) The pilot will run Monday – Thursday 0830 – 1800. During the other three days of the week, the portal will be serviced, updated and developed by RM. There will be a remote support (GLOW Helpdesk) that will operate when GLOW is available. Our trials will commence the following week. Of course I will keep you updated with our progress.

On behalf of East Lothian, I would like to thank Paul Smyth, Dawn Adams and Tom Gregory for their time and presentation today.

I hope this post has been informative. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions.

After five and a half hours on my PC, I am afraid that I am all GLOWed out for today!


At Wednesday, 01 November, 2006, Anonymous OllieBray said...

Looks really interesting - can't wait to hear how you get on. Ollie

At Wednesday, 01 November, 2006, Blogger Tess Watson said...

Hi Ollie,
Yup, it is all very interesting and exciting! I am 'champing at the bit' to get my pupils and own hands on the trial!

At Wednesday, 01 November, 2006, Anonymous Catriona said...

Well done Tessa it all sounds very exciting! I confess that your computer skills and interest have not been inherited from either of your parents however!

Catriona Watson (Animal Care Lecturer, Barony college)

At Wednesday, 01 November, 2006, Anonymous Don said...

Really enjoyed reading this post. It does seem that things are starting to take off

At Thursday, 02 November, 2006, Blogger Tess Watson said...

Well done Catriona Watson (AKA Mum!), and welcome to blogging. We will have to get you your own blog soon!!

Here is a Link
Barony College

At Thursday, 02 November, 2006, Blogger Tess Watson said...

Thanks Don. It should be 'all go' next as of week. I will post more info as and when.

At Saturday, 04 November, 2006, Anonymous Robert Jones said...

Fascinating to get another glimpse. I wonder when the rest of us Glow Mentors will get the opportunity for some hands-on? Not that I'm jealous or anything ;)

At Saturday, 04 November, 2006, Blogger Tess Watson said...

Hi Robert,

The portal was installed at Knox on Friday but we have no passwords yet. I am very much hoping to invite all GLOW Mentors to Knox ASAP! I might have to be after the trial lessons though. I will speak to Management and Dave Rawson on Monday.


At Wednesday, 08 November, 2006, Anonymous Neil Winton said...

Hi Tess,
I'm pure, dead, jealous! I can only second what Robert said.
I'm really looking forward to hearing how you get on and how useful you actually find GLOW... looking forward to real warts 'n' all updates from you!

At Monday, 13 November, 2006, Blogger Alicia MacFarlane said...

You've been busy. Thanks for the update on the pilot, great to see how it was rolled out and managed. Static shots also gave a good idea of what things will look like.

At Monday, 13 November, 2006, Blogger Tess Watson said...

Thank you for your comment Alicia. I am really excited about glow. Our First trial lesson is tomorrow. Fingers crossed all will be go.... Or should that be glow!



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