Archive for December, 2008
This month three of the Eco-schools team came to Optima for Glow training. It was excellent to see people so enthusiastic about the potential of Glow, and how it can clearly make their jobs easier. Despite some of the group not being particularly IT minded they were just willing to have a go because they could see the potential to collaborate with so many like minded people across the country. It is for groups like this that Glow has so much to give; Eco-friendly schools is currently on the agenda of schools across the country and Glow must be the most effective way for them to maintain contact and promote effective dialogue within this area. This could be through surveys (available as ‘eco-friendly’ paper free on Glow), or just through one of the many communication tools Glow has to offer. As long as they are equipped, groups like the Eco schools team have the potential to go out and really promote Glow, just by using it. They have a presence in so many schools already and by starting an Eco-schools national group to collaborate with teachers and staff, this could be an effective way to draw more people to using Glow.
- December 12th, 2008
- Katie Barrowman
- Comments: none Tags: Tags: Events, Expressive Arts, Glow Meet, National, Schools
: Categories Events
I had the great privilege today to attend an event marking the culmination of a wonderful project. The famed Scottish artist, Willie Rodger, has been working with nine schools across Scotland, helping them to create linocut prints of their very own. It all began on Hallowe’en, with Willie hosting a masterclass via Glow Meet from his studio, with each of the nine classes joining in to watch. Over the next weeks and months, the pupils, from P7, right through to S6 Advanced Higher, had further webconferences with Willie, who was able to provide one-to-one advice and comments. In addition, the pupils posted their work as it progressed on individual Glow Groups, and met up in Glow Chat rooms every Friday to leave comments on each other’s work.
Today Angela McEwan from Media Matters, who has been managing the project, hosted a Glow Meet from Learning and Teaching Scotland’s Glasgow base. Willie Rodger was here, along with his family, to take part in the highlight of the event – the opening of a Virtual Gallery of the pupils’ work by Glasgow’s Poet Laureate, Liz Lochhead.
Glow’s very own Marie Dougan welcomed participants, and handed over to Angela to speak to the schools. We joined each school in a live Glow Meet link, and the pupils talked about their work as it was displayed on the shared virtual whiteboard. After we’d heard from each school, Liz Lochhead took the mic to officially open the gallery. We were delighted with her reading of two of her own poems, and a reading of Scottish Poet Laureate Edwin Morgan’s poem, The Computer’s First Christmas Card. The latter poem seemed particularly appropriate in light of both the time of year and the subject matter. When Willie Rodger took the mic to praise the project, the room was stunned by the rapturous applause coming from each of the schools. Indeed, it was hard to tell who had enjoyed the project most – Willie Rodger or the children he worked with. Either way, it was a fantastic success.
Today’s Times Educational Supplement contains an article regarding the event and all the schools who took part, and you can find the Virtual Gallery online at Media Matters. Its final home will be in the Glow National Expressive Arts Group, which is due to open soon. This surely paves the way for more exciting Glow-based projects around the country. Got an idea for one? Get glowing!More
- December 11th, 2008
- Andrew Brown
- Comments: 6 Comments » Tags: Tags: Aberdeen City, Angus, benefits realisation, Midlothian
: Categories Aberdeen City, Angus, Midlothian
Today a small group of folk drawn from Aberdeen City, Angus, Midlothian, RM and Learning & Teaching Scotland got together for a workshop with a consultant to look into the area of Benefits Realisation. Part of the day was spent thinking about the original high level strategic benefits that the rollout of Glow would bring for users and administrators across the country, but the majority of the day was spent investigating how these high level benefits could be articulated in a much more meaningful, practical way for schools and local authorities to make use of.
Early on in the proceedings, it became clear why so often in many projects the area of Benefits Realisation gets placed in the ‘too hard’ tray, and only returned to at the end of the project. Tragically, this would be all too late in the process for many projects to provide any meaningful benchmarking or comparative data. With a project the scale and scope of Glow, production of benefits realisation documentation will be of great value to those tasked with measuring the progress of the project, and investigating how Glow has directly impacted on teaching and learning.
The challenge we face is in producing documentation out of the high level strategic benefits originally scoped at the outset of the project, that provides meaningful guidance for schools, local authorities and national agencies to work with. Not an easy task, but with the benefit (if you’ll pardon the pun!) of Glow, a task that we can make collaborative so that many can contribute?
Early in 2009, we’ll set up a Glow group inside Glowing Potential at the national level of Glow that will look at benefits realisation. In this group, we’ll put the documentation up for all to see as we’re working on it. That way, those with access to Glow can discuss it’s development in the Glow group and help shape it into a framework document for realising benefits that’s of value to us all.More
- December 10th, 2008
- Comments: 4 Comments » Tags: : Categories Uncategorized
Earlier this week I visited Woodhill Primary School in Bishopbriggs to see how they were utilising games based learning, and also Glow. I was very impressed with the variety of projects the school has on the go, including the use of the Nintendo Wii, Dance-mats, Nintendo DS, Beebots, blogs and Glow. The children were very comfortable using the technology, and it was obvious that it was embedded into everyday teaching and learning across the school.
The Primary 6 Glow Olympics group was obvioulsy well used by the children, and was a great example of how Glow can really enhance a cross-curricular topic and make the most of technologies available; e.g. results from a Wii competition were posted on the Glow group. But the thing that really impressed me was that the school had trained non teaching staff to use the technology with children. A classroom assistant was doing a sterling job managing a French blog and using various software with the children, and the office staff were all using Glow regularly for admin purposes. It made me think that schools could give support staff who are confident in the use of ICT more of a chance to manage areas within Glow (within reason of course!). The benefits of this would surely include non teaching staff feeling more involved, teachers being able to use Glow more efectively, and subsequently, pupils having a better learning experience at the school. Something to consider??
- December 9th, 2008
- Lorna Arbuckle
- Comments: 1 Comment Tags: : Categories Uncategorized
On Saturday 29 November 2008, a group of 25 teachers and Quality Improvement Officers met in Optima in Glasgow, to look at the development of the National Mathematics/Numeracy Teachers Glow Group.
The national glow group has been up and running and open to all teacher in Scotland, since October, with the initial population having been done by the LTS numeracy development officers, in collaboration with the glow team. The main purpose of the group is to share ideas and encourage collaboration amongst teachers across Scotland, in order to support national initiatives, particularly Curriculum for Excellence. It was felt that rather than having the responsibility lie solely with development officers, it would be useful to gather together a group of practitioners to look at how the national glow group can be grown, in order to capture the best of current classroom practice. So on Saturday, the group, which consisted of Primary teachers, Secondary Mathematics teachers, a Secondary Physics teacher, QIOs with responsibility for mathematics, and a representative from adult education met with eager anticipation and enthusiasm.
Bringing with them a wealth of experience and expertise, this group from across a range of Local Authorities was named the Glow Getters Group – or G3. Following the initial welcome and introductions, led by Peter Gorrie of LTS, the day began with a look at the national Mathematics/Numeracy teachers glow group. Joanne Connolly, Educational consultant on the Glow team, led this session, taking questions about the structure and purpose of the group.
Next, John Sexton, a Mathematics Teacher from the James Young High School in Livingston, West Lothian, spoke to the group about his use of glow with the pupils in his S4 Credit Maths class. John uses the group to share learning and teaching resources with pupils, giving anytime, anywhere access, but also to facilitate peer support, with pupils helping one another with homework, by means of the discussion forum. John also explained how he and the pupils are to use Glow Chat to enable supported study on Sunday, prior to their prelim on Monday. There was much interest in John’s experiences, and the group were very pleased to hear of the ease at which the pupils had taken to glow.
The group were then led towards their first task of the day. Joe McLaughlin from LTS, explained to the group the main reasons for them being brought together, and talked through some of the ways it is envisaged that glow will support teachers, with particular emphasis on supporting Curriculum for Excellence. The group was split into four smaller groups, to discuss different areas of numeracy – Number processes; Fractions, Decimal Fractions and Percentages; Data Analysis and Ideas of Chance and Uncertainty; and Numeracy across the Curriculum.
The groups were tasked with coming up with ideas on how glow can support these areas, as well as thinking about the use of the glow group as a whole. Each group launched wholeheartedly into their task, and after an hour-an-a-half came back together to feedback on their ideas. There was a tremendous response, with lots of excellent ideas being suggested. These will now be taken away and incorporated in the national glow group.After lunch (well it was Saturday, so it was only fair that the group were fed!!!), Joanne Connolly showed a numeracy glow group to illustrate how glow can be used within the mathematics, or Primary maths classroom.
This highlighted how glow can support many of the Curriculum for Excellence outcomes, as well as elements of Assessment is for Learning, by providing opportunities for communication, collaboration, peer support and peer assessment amongst pupils – using Discussion Forums, Glow Chat and Glow Meet. There was then a hands-on session, giving everyone the opportunity to explore the procured content within glow. Questions were asked about how teachers can suggest content which LTS might wish to explore the procurement of, and ideas were taken away.
The group was entirely positive about their experiences during the day, and without exception expressed an interest in re-convening in the New Year, to continue the work started. In addition to this, the group were tasked with spreading the word about the national Mathematics/Numeracy Teachers glow group amongst staff within their Local Authority.All in all, it was a very productive and enjoyable Saturday – and with a 3:30pm finish, there was even time for some Christmas shopping afterwards!
You can locate the group in one of two ways:Route
1:1. Click on the National Site link on the left-hand navigation bar.
2. Click on the National Groups tab
3. Click on the Staffroom glow group
4. Click on the Staffroom Groups tab5. Click on the Mathematics/Numeracy Teachers glow groupRoute
2:1. Click on My Glow Groups on the left-hand navigation bar
2. Scroll down to locate glow groups for the National Site
3. Click on Mathematics/Numeracy Teachers glow group.NB: If for any reason your glow account does not give you access to the Staffroom glow group at National level, you will not see the Mathematics/Numeracy Teachers glow group in you’re my Glow Groups list.More
- December 8th, 2008
- Comments: none Tags: : Categories Events
I was chatting to Santa in the Google Earth community recently about how he plots the best routes around the globe for delivering presents. I was also looking for tips on which is the best GPS to buy for my visits to Local Authorities around Scotland. He is a GPS wizard and big fan of Google Earth. He takes a professional interest in what is happening around the world, but he was saying he could benefit from a GE refresher course, so we have given him a Glow guest account. If you are like Santa and need more GE training, dont forget to join our free CPD event on January 19th in Glow Meet, in the Social Studies National Glow Group.
This training is being offered in Glow Meet by the Glow team and Jamie Buchanan-Dunlop, from the classroom on floor seven in the Optima building. We have been preparing and rehearsing with Glow Meet to ensure that this meet is as good as it can be for all those teachers who are able to drop in on the 19th of January. Stuart Oliphant and Mark Haggart are providing their technical expertise to make this a better experience and to capture the presentations and discussions for the Social Studies National Glow Group. We intend to use application sharing in Glow Meet and a variety of technology in support of this training.
Take a look at my previous post to find out how to join the session. Get the most from this training by downloading information and the basic or advanced GE guides from the SSNGG. Also try the GE Blog. You can pop in at any time during the day on the 19th of January to ask questions but I hope this training is just the start of a wider discussion about: using GE for teaching and learning, outdoor learning and how to use Glow Meet to best effect in the National Glow Groups.More
- December 1st, 2008
- Lorna Arbuckle
- Comments: 6 Comments » Tags: : Categories Dundee City, Uncategorized
(Blog post written by Louise Henderson - Education Support Officer ICT EY/Primary Educational Development Service Dundee City Council).
A group of educationalists from Singapore visited Dundee last week to observe how they are using Glow to enhance learning and teaching in their schools. The day began with an introduction to Glow and a tour of the role based sites. They thoroughly enjoyed the brain training games within the National ‘Glow Games’ group and were impressed with the extent of communication and collaboration already taking place at Authority Level in the Dundee City Glow Groups.
The visitors received a very warm welcome at Barnhill P.S. by Pam Nesbitt HT and Sharon McQuillan DHT. Here they were introduced to P7 pupils actively engaged in using Glow Groups. The pupils have made a link with P7 at Forthill P.S. to collaborate in a joint WWII project and regularly use Glow Meet to discuss their project outcomes. The Singapore visitors commented, “Barnhill is a school of the future” and the innovation taking place through Glow was obviously having an impact on the achievement and motivation of the pupils.
Next stop Grove Academy where the Singapore visitors were welcomed by John Hunter HT and Kenny Stewart PT of Computing. Here they received a presentation by Kenny titled, ‘Glow ‘n’ Grove – The story so far’. He demonstrated how his school is using Glow to improve communication flow between all departments and how he is engaging with his pupils through the use of glow groups and Glow Learn.
The Singapore visitors were thoroughly impressed with the innovation taking place at all levels within educational establishments across Dundee and could see how motivated and inspired teachers and pupils were when engaged with Glow.More