More Glimmers of Glow

I have had more time to look at the pilot version of the Glow portal. I must stress that these are entirely my own opinions. Given that Sharepoint was the starting point, the Glow team have tidied it up well but the underlying program is still Sharepoint and, for anyone familiar with that, it is not an easy portal to get to grips with. It has huge functionality, just like other Microsoft products. Imagine having no experience or knowledge of databases and coming on MS Access for the first time. Many teachers I think will find Sharepoint that sort of experience.

There is more excellent comment and material here coming out of East Lothian

It means therefore that its introduction will take time and will have to be taken a step at a time. There will be no point in demonstrating more than a fraction of the features. I personally would start with using links on the log-on page to access reasonably familiar things, news items, the school bulletin etc. I might then offer discreet training on each of the areas, e.g. the Glow discussion groups, using the email system and the personal space, etc. This would let teachers book into training that they see themselves as ready to use, rather than learning about things long before they can see the need.

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3 thoughts on “More Glimmers of Glow

  1. Hi Bob,
    I am one of the folk who has never seen sharepoint. At the moment I’ve had a couple of poke around sessions on glow without anyone holding my hand and am thinking it might be a better use of my time to wait until I get a simple intro from someone who knows. What I see at the moment seems to be some forums, news and file storage but I am not getting an idea of the overall organisation of the portal.

  2. I can see your dilemma, John. I will attempt a brief introduction to Sharepoint Firstly it is hierarchical. Starting at the bottom of the pile, every user has a personal website with a front page, calendar, document storage, discussion area and other facilities. The site is made up of web parts which the user can opt to use and so customise their space. In Sharepoint other users can see a public view of each user site, although this does not look possible in Glow, without the user “inviting” other users. The next site up the pile is, in Glow terms, the school or authority site which is similar to the user site but is accessible by all the users beneath. In Glow all teachers and pupils within a school will be able to see the school site but not other schools sites unless invited. Above that site again will be the national site which everyone will be a part of. What each user will be able to do at each level will depend upon permissions. LEAs will have flexibility in granting permissions to their endusers and the national Glow team will allocate permissions at their level. The exact layout of Glow at the LEA / school level is not yet clear to me.

    The other features of Glow such as the VLE and the video-conferencing are add-ons and will be attached to Sharepoint (Glow) by web parts. In theory we should be able to attach WEb 2.0 stuff in the same way. I emphasise in theory.

    Re-reading this, I am not certain if I have made it clearer, but I hope so!

  3. Thanks Bob,
    I’ll keep this in mind when I explore again next week. It is a wee bit different that the small pieces loosely joined that I have become used to. I guess I need an invite or two and to see some more content come online.

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