Here we Glow again?

As I mentioned before, I’m broadly in favour of the recommendations in the #ICTex report…but that’s not to say I don’t have my worries still.

Until the final phases of the report, I personally felt that the excellence group who were producing the report were surprisingly quiet on the process and their progress. I’d hear of them arriving at a school on a fact finding mission but there was no online presence keeping us up to date on what they were thinking, what examples of practice they were wanting to examine and opening the debate to the wider stakeholder group. Things did improve a little at the end of the process when a draft version of the report was published for comment and the user stories were written on a blog for collaborative input. This was more of the sort of thing I was frankly expecting throughout.

In my opinion, one of the flaws of the development process with the original glow was that too much of it happened behind closed doors. As far as I remember, it was all quite secretive and developed within LTS/RM/SG with only a select few Glow Mentors allowed into the fold. Although Glow has rightly gone on to be heavily and permanently under development since a little while after its initial launch, I seem to remember it was presented very much as the finished product at the time. I really do not think this approach helped last time, and I really hope it doesn’t happen again this time.

I believe we all need to feel part of this development throughout its implementation. Each stage in the process should be shared online with ample opportunities to feedback. Obviously this can help to develop a better product by having a wider pool of expertise and opinion to draw from, but there’s another reason as well. Even if few new ideas or perspectives are gained from having an open and consultative approach, at the very least we will all feel more like we’ve had an input and that we have some sort of ownership over the product and will therefore want it to succeed. If it is done to us again, we once again will have no stake in its success, no desire to persevere and no willingness to feedback the inevitable bugs in the early days.

After all, this is a service for us, paid for by us…please involve us.