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Thursday, October 05, 2006

SCHOLAR: A Mini Glow?

Whilst at this year’s SETT conference I and my colleague, Dave Rawson, attended a rather interesting seminar:
‘SCHOLAR: A Mini SSDN’ Gerry Toner, Heriot-Watt University.

Quote: Scholar Website

‘Heriot-Watt University is rapidly becoming a world leader in creating the inclusive and supportive e-learning environment that helps people to learn at the times and in the ways they choose. Drawing on its special expertise in interactive and distance learning, SCHOLAR materials have been specially written by subject specialists from schools, colleges and the university. They bring together the best of innovative learning with tried-and-tested educational approaches’

Having been a keen and active user of the Heriot Watt Programme, I was very curious as to what Toner had to say. His comparison of SCHOLAR and the vision of Glow was of no surprise to my own preconceptions.

Online resources and tools available on a private Intranet anywhere anytime.
Sharing Ideas, expertise and resources nationally for both Teachers and Pupils.
Online assessment that can be accessed by Teachers and Pupils.

In the short term, my opinion is the biggest difference will be the number of persons involved (50,000, Scholar: 800,000 approx, Glow). I feel ‘Glow’ will initially embark with the majority of attributes that Scholar maintains. Eventually, in the longer term, Glow will succeed in revolutionising education. It will be a Premier, National, Education based intranet. This will prove to be fundamental to the ‘Curriculum for Excellence' and an invaluable asset for pupils, staff and eventually parents alike.

Bring on Glow!


At Thursday, 05 October, 2006, Blogger Ewan McIntosh said...

But does Scholar have anything like the collaborative tools Glow will have? It's been a while since I was teaching French through it but if you want v-conferencing, internet telephony, chat groups, interest groups and so on then Scholar doesn't bring that, does it?

When I saw the seminar title I was a little sceptical. If anything I've seen in the past few years is like a "mini Glow" it's the interest groups and technologies used by those in the blogosphere. The only thing we don't have (yet) is a single sign on. Yet even in this area things are moving. Just one example: I can blog direct from my Flickr account and can post to my Flickr account direct from my mobile.

Interested to see how Scholar has changed teaching, too. My bet is that much of Scholar is used for homework and valuable class time used for practical things (speaking, listening, experiments, explanations - i.e. traditional teaching).

At Thursday, 05 October, 2006, Blogger Tess Watson said...

I Agree. Scholar Lacks all of the latest web based tools. However, until the GLOW portal is piloted, Scholar is the only web based, collegiate, interactive, resource we have

At Thursday, 05 October, 2006, Blogger Kenneth... said...

You said, "Scholar is the only web based, collegiate, interactive, resource we have" you probably meant "... resource that you were aware of."

It depends how far you want to turn back the clock and in which subject areas you look. I recall using a Bulletin Board System in the Renfrewshire area of Strathclyde to share email, files and messages amougst the Computer teachers of that division. During the Higher Still development various Groups were set up originally on OneList and then on Yahoo, for messages files links etc.

I also used FirstClass to access email and Newsgroups for educational purposes during the early 90s.

The technology has been there but perhaps not promoted as widely as Scholar or Glow. In fact Ewan and yourself have stepped outside Glow to do your own thing. The blogs you create are "...web based, collegiate, interactive, resource"



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