Archive for August, 2008
- August 13th, 2008
- Comments: 3 Comments » Tags: : Categories East Lothian, Events, Probationers, Uncategorized
My colleague Karen-Anne McAlpine and I were presenting in Campie Primary School in Musselburgh today. We made four presentations, over the course of the day, to probationers from primary and secondary schools across East Lothian. To do this, we teamed up with Elizabeth Cowan, Key Contact and Iain Stewart, Glow mentor and ‘head of science’ in Preston Lodge High School. I felt part of an extended Glow team. As the day progressed the presentations evolved but they followed the same format: I talked about the Glow big picture and pedagogy; Karen-Ann, gave a live demonstration of the Glow portal with a focus on the National site and the National Parks Glow group; Elizabeth, concentrated on showing the East Lothian noticeboard, a probationers Glow group and the Glow Scotland site; and Iain, shared his long experience of using VLEs and recent experience of developing Glow groups at Preston Lodge High School.
While Karen-Anne was showing the Glow portal I made some notes about our presentations. My introductions focused on the aspirations of Glow: building communities of learning and supporting new approaches for teaching and learning. I was answering my own questions: what is Glow, what is in Glow and what can it do? But I was also thinking about how the accepted definitions of ‘digital natives’ and ‘digital immigrants’ are not so clear with this group of teachers, because of the mixed age group and mix of experience. These teachers have passed through university with a higher order of digital skills for learning and they actively use technology for social purposes. Some of these probationers are starting a second career and may have experience of earning a living useing technology. All of these new professionals are being encouraged on day one, in East Lothian, to experiment with technology and to build communities of learning with Glow.
Elizabeth demonstrated this, when she accepted an offer by Jody Greig, an ICT probationer teacher, to administrate for the new East Lothian Probationer’s Glow group. And all even before any probationer has a Glow log in. Some probationers have had an introduction to Glow during their postgraduate studies as part of an ICT elective course and are very keen to use Glow as soon as possible. I think it would be an advantage for student’s, like Jody, to have a Glow log on during their studies and carry their work between schools, virtually.
Karen-Ann summed up her tour of the Glow portal by using a PowerPoint slide showing an iceberg. This was a picture which she had developed from an idea we had discussed with Dave Gilmour . The purpose was to place what probationers know about existing technology in the context of Glow. K-A described what is visible only to the Glow community, below the water line eg Glow groups; what is on the water line eg email; and what is visible above the waterline to the public, such as blogs and the Glow Scotland site. She also described how East Lothian’s existing online learning community, edubuzz, can be incorporated into Glow. Elizabeth and Iain illustrated this important point further during their presentations, showing that existing good work can be displayed in Glow in a variety of ways. Iain also emphasised the large benefits of using Glow to share websites and to develop new teaching materials collectively: locally, regionally and nationally.
Before leaving Campie, I chatted with Dave Gilmour (Key Contact) about the National Parks Glow group and the important contributions that East lothian can make. He had been telling probationers all about edubuzz in a neighbouring classroom. Campie is a group member of the John Muir Trust and is helping to raise awareness of wild places but other schools in East Lothian are equally active…… but that is another post.More