East Lothian Glow Update: 10th Oct 2008

This week increasing numbers of staff from schools around East Lothian have been requesting access to Glow and starting to explore.

The furthest ahead, such as Moira Gilbert at Musselburgh’s Burgh Primary have started to develop their school’s Glow pages, such as the staff Home Page and the student home pages. That’s meant starting to introduce some of the administration concepts, such as the Site Collection Administrator role. That had been a bit of a worry: we were concerned that it might have been a bit off-putting. By taking it one step at a time, though, and introducing only those steps needed to solve the current problem, it has gone surprisingly well. It has been surprising how limiting the default access rights for staff are turning out to be, and we may be looking to find ways to loosen things off a bit to make it easier for staff to contribute.

This exploration is starting to produce good, solid ideas to get real benefits in school. One idea was  to add a simple, editable, text Web Part to the school’s Staff Home Page to provide an electronic version of the ubiquitous staffroom whiteboard which can be updated by any member of staff. Potential benefits identified included:

  • Improved planning, by enabling staff to check notices from home while making plans.
  • Better inter-school collaboration, by making staff home pages visible to neighbouring school staff.
  • Time saving in school, by being able to check notices from your classroom, and not having to trail to the staffroom.

This is also providing good practice for staff in starting to get used to using and configuring Web Parts.

To enable sharing of these early experiences and discussion of new ideas we’ve now arranged a series of drop-in sessions, to take place in Prestonpans Education Centre, next to Prestonpans Primary School. They’ll take place for 6 weeks, beginning 27th October, from 4pm to 5.30pm. The idea is to cover edubuzz blogs as well as Glow, in particular to help people integrate the two environments.