I seem to have been occupied with other things this last while – teaching myself a bit about CSS and CMS. CSS I have at least got a handle on, whereas CMS on the client side is still defeating me and I have left it for the time being. Like John Johnston I have had thoughts about living in the real world and the amount of time spent blogging online.
However, Dundee City is one of the authorities taking part in the Phase 1 Glow pilot. The comments that follow in no way reflect anything but my own personal first impressions.
I have used the standard version of Sharepoint before and RM have certainly tidied up the portal interface and made it more user friendly. The pilot is about testing the portal and using Glow groups with selected classes but, as a Staff Tutor, I will not really see this. However, the group of mentor staff tutors will get some feel of how it will really work.
My first impression is that there are still some inconsistencies in the interface. For example, from the navigation panel on the left hand side you can go directly to Glow groups. However to create a new group you must be up a level in the hierarchy. This is technically logical in that it places the new group correctly, but it is not intuitive. So all users will need some understanding of the hierarchy – national, local authority, school / user group, personal.
There is also no direct connection with Web 2.0 in the shape of blogs, wikis and podcasts. However there is a section ( web part) which allows users to set up “useful links” which could be used to over come this deficiency.
At the moment, I would say that many teachers will need a lot of support to make use of the portal and the Glow groups. I will talk about the personal space in another post.