Saturday, 4 August 2007

Glow - putting the spark in learning.

It has been described as the most advanced and comprehensive schools' IT project in the world and it is now beginning to make an impact, providing high-bandwidth desktop videoconferencing, a VLE for every school, personal pages for staff and students, vast collections of copyright cleared digital materials, online Continuing Professional Development, assessment systems, homework submission, attendance records, lesson plans, individualised timetables, coverage for absent colleagues, etc. What is it? It is 'Glow,' Scotland's Schools' Digital Network, linking all schools, teachers and pupils in all of the county's 32 local authorities and regions (ie 800,000 users). For more information have a look at the materials and video clips on the project website. The project will also be running training workshops and promotional events at the national conference that's held in Scotland every year for teachers, the Scottish Learning Festival. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, Stephen Heppell is one of the keynote speakers.

Sadly, Ireland still has a some ground to make up before it gets infrastructure and resources on this scale.


andrew said...

But the UK also has some 'history' with big-vision public IT projects :-) Is this one likely to be better?

I guess in Scotland's defence, the Scottish Executive has a quite reasonable portal publishing public info.

Iain said...

Hah! Don't confuse, especially on education matters, the UK with Scotland! ;-) The network is already established and all the technology is in place for Glow along with large-scale trials. The roll-out of the full system will be complete by next summer.

Learning and Teaching Scotland are the group responsible for this and their website is pretty extensive, as is the resource that has been available for years now called SCRAN which provides online access to the contents of all the museums and galleries across the countries. I use it as a home user and it is very impressive.

The interesting issue is whether Learning & Teaching Scotland itself will survive the forthcoming removal of Quangos that the new government is embarking on, thought it probably will, or at least the technology aspect of it.