I have rather let the blog lapse recently as I have been busy exploring Glow, as part of another trial. I have spent most of my time using Glow Meet, which is the name given to the Video Conferencing system which is actually a Marratech product. It is a bit slow to start up but once going it is certainly one of the better VC systems I have used. The main video window tracks to whoever is speaking and it does it pretty well so it is easy to follow a conversation. So far we have hosted up to about a dozen concurrent users with no deterioration in quality. It is definitely a plus for Glow and I am sure will prove a very useful tool.
The second online conference with as small group of mentors administered by Tess Watson and including John Johnston, Andrew Brown, Neil Winton, David Noble and others was a great success which I for one certainly hope becomes a regular feature of Glow.
There is ongoing criticism of the Glow Groups and the difficulties using it for a multiplicity of discussions. However, as I have said elsewhere, if we think of the group as meeting space or collaborative working space where pupils will concentrate their efforts around a single topic, a lot of the problems are reduced. This is highlighted by the fact that pupils in earlier trials were very happy with the Glow Groups whereas more experienced users have found that it does not fulfill their need for a slick discussion forum. There is a case as suggested by Neil Winton, for using one of the free discussion forums as a plugin to Glow.
There are still some inconsistencies in the Glow interface which are being reported and I hope will be corrected by the time of the full roll-out. For relatively inexperienced users it is essential that there is no ambiguity in the navigation or the terminology.