“Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

Overview

Graphica Interface. Click to enlarge.

Graphica Interface. Click to enlarge.

Glenwood High School in Fife, with a roll of 860 pupils and with 90 teaching staff, has seen a significant increase in the use of Glow over the last six months. By the end of the year, around 75% of staff and pupils had active accounts and in an average week over 200 pupils were using Glow during school hours.

The cookbook, “Glowing across the curriculum at Glenwood High School“, describes how a number of staff from different departments, have been using Glow to enhance learning and teaching.

In this cookbook we focus on the work of the Computing department. In the Recipe section, video clips show how you can replicate the use of avatars, vokis and forums.

Context

In January 2011, a number of Glow training courses were run in Fife and staff from eight secondary schools were invited to attend. At Glenwood, volunteers were sought from across the school and 14 participated in the training. Most of the sessions offered were one-day Glow Basics training, which covered how to create a curricular Glow Group to support learning with a specific class. At the end of the day’s session, staff had a Glow Group ready to go and a good idea of how they wanted their pupils to use it. The aim for many of the staff was initially to upload revision documents in preparation for prelims and for pupils to be able to use discussion boards or forums to ask questions or look for help.

Clare Hunt is PTC of Business, Enterprise and Computing at Glenwood. She and her colleagues have begun to use Glow across S1-S6, and have created a series of attractive graphical interfaces to allow users to easily navigate between the different Glow Groups.

Pupils' work

Pupils' work. Click to enlarge.

The S1 ICT course contains a unit of work on Cyber-Bullying. Following a class discussion, pupils were asked to create presentations to share their understanding of what cyber-bullying is, how it should be dealt with and how to avoid becoming a victim of a cyber-bully. Pupils uploaded their completed presentations into the S1 Glow Group, as it provided an ideal place for pupils to share their work. The Group enabled them to view each others’ presentations and to show their work to parents and carers at home. A number of parents have commented to Clare about how valuable this has been in stimulating a discussion with their children about staying safe online.

Pupils' forum avatars. Click to enlarge.

Pupils' forum avatars. Click to enlarge.

A Glow forum was then used to encourage pupils to think about the advice they would give if they discovered a friend was being bullied. Introducing the forum to the pupils enabled Clare and her colleagues to reinforce internet safety messages about keeping personal information private. Rather than displaying a photograph of themselves in the forum, pupils learnt how to create an avatar (a cartoon representation) using a free website, and how to upload this into their forum profile.

Clare Hunt: S1 Cyber-Bullying presentations and discussions (1:59) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

Pupil's voki

Pupil's voki

Towards the end of the academic year S2 classes were introduced to the Voki web site. Here they each created their own Voki (a talking avatar) to give their evaluation of the Computing course. The website allows users to give their Voki a voice, either by entering text or by using a microphone to record. Microphones work well with a bit of peace and quiet, but not so effectively with 20 pupils recording simultaneously. So the second years typed in their text and took great care over the comments, spelling and punctuation, as the Voki’s speech is only as good as the text that’s been entered. The Vokis were then shared through a Glow blog, so that pupils could see each others’ and Computing staff could hear all the feedback on the course. Pupils clearly found this a highly motivating activity, and the quality of comments was better than might have been recorded on a paper evaluation form.

Clare Hunt: S2’s Computing course evaluations (2:14)“Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

Ingredients

For the S1 Cyber-bullying project, Clare required:

– an S1 ICT Glow Group

– all relevant pupils given Contributor membership

– a suitable website for creating avatars

– Microsoft Office Picture Manager, or similar image editing software, to resize the avatars

For the S2 end of year evaluations, Clare required:

– an S2 Computing Glow Group

– all the relevant pupils given Contributor membership

– the Voki website

– a Glow blog created within the Glow Group

Method

* How to add the Glow forum web part and create a forum (2:57) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

* How to post messages on a forum (5:59) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

* How to create an avatar to use in a Glow forum (3:46) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

* How to upload an avatar to a Glow forum profile (1:36) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

* How to create a Voki (4:41) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

* How to add a Voki to a Glow Group page (6:50) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

* How to add a Voki to a blog post (4:50) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

Impact

The use of Glow at Glenwood has grown very rapidly over just a few months, not just in Computing. Glow is becoming well embedded in the curriculum: it’s not viewed as an adjunct, but a tool to be used, when appropriate, to enhance learning and teaching.

In the video clip below, Dave Dawson, DHT at Glenwood, explains the progress that has been made.

Dave Dawson: uptake and usage of Glow at Glenwood (1:35) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

The challenge now is to continue to develop. In the new academic year, each department has been asked to have a Glow representative and for Glow to be included in development plans.

Dave Dawson: next stages of Glow development at Glenwood (0:36) “Glow is an ideal place to share pupils’ work”

 

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