Scotland has a very technologically forward thinking way of incorporating Information and Communication Technology, or ICT, into its educational system: an intranet. This intranet is referred to as “Glow” and it is the national intranet used by Scotland’s educational community. According to Education Scotland’s website, “the main purpose of Glow is to enhance the quality of learning and teaching in the classroom by fully supporting Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). It is proving to be an essential tool, and provides a platform for the educational community to build capacity and ensure a first-class education for Scotland. Using the national directory, Glow users can find others with similar areas of interest or expertise, collaborate across the country and make connections with others to improve learning and teaching.” If you would like to learn more about Glow, you can review an article about it that we posted in July.
Glow has received very positive reviews by educational staff and students alike since its inception in 2007. Recently, some exciting improvements were made to Glow based on user feedback and additional research. Some of the new features and enhancements Glow users will be enjoying are as follows:
Glow Wikis are online spaces for classes or individuals to share information and collaborate on class projects, schoolwork, or simply build a body of knowledge about a specific topic to use as a resource. Glow Wikis also allow teachers to create and plan lessons as a team, no matter how far apart they are geographically. Practically anything can be shared using the Glow Wiki medium including text, images, video, audio, or links to other valuable online resources.
Glow has added a Forum feature in which users are able to interact with each other in a style much like a message board. Glow Forum users have the ability to create and facilitate discussions, conduct polls, and gather feedback. The Glow Forums are a great resource for student and staff support.
Glow Groups are user created groups of students and educational staff with similar ideas and interests. The Glow Groups feature allows users to share ideas through discussion boards, chat rooms, document servers, image galleries, and a web conferencing feature called Glow Meet (which is another new Glow enhancement). Glow groups are easily created and maintained by Glow users themselves.
Glow has added a blogging feature called Glow Blogs. This feature will allow students and educational staff to create blogs much like the typical blogs seen all over the Internet today. Glow Blogs can be used in conjunction with specific assignments or as an ongoing showcase of student work and achievements. As with traditional blogs, users of the Glow Blogs feature have the ability to update content and publish images, text, and other resources to be shared with classes or entire school sites.
Other exciting enhancements to Glow include Glow Search, Glow Personal Profile, Glow Favorites and Glow Light. If you would like to learn more about these new features or about Glow in general, you may visit the Education Scotland website at www.ltscotland.org.uk .