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Have you seen what’s Glowing?

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Glow has taken a real knock over the last few years, and rightly so to be fair. It was a great idea that got a bit lost and left behind for various reasons that I think are now best left in the past. I still think though that there’s potential in the idea, if done well.

That’s why it’s such a shame that it has become almost impossible to have a positive conversation with fellow teachers in Scotland which mentions the dreaded ‘Glow’ word. It’s got a difficult legacy to overhaul. There’s an argument that they should’ve started the rethink with a name change, but I disagree. A change of name would achieve nothing and would be seen as a cynical ‘rebranding’. No, what Glow needs is not a new name but to become genuinely useful to teachers and their learners. And anyway, Glow is such a brilliant name for writing bad post titles for blogs about Glow!

Glow needs to intuitively solve problems in Scotland’s classrooms and then folk will begin to actually use it. In my opinion, they’re getting there.

So, what do I like about the ‘new’ Glow? Here’s just a few things…

  • Not only have they not changed the name, they haven’t even called it ‘new’ Glow, or Glow 2.0 or Glow365 or anything like that. It’s just Glow. There’s no big switch on date. There’s no great fanfare. They’re just quietly, and continuously, making it better.
  • The RM Unify system makes the whole user experience a lot better than what there was before. Logging in, changing your password and changing other people’s passwords is a whole lot easier and much more pleasant than before.
  • Office365 is really well integrated now and such a powerful tool. Full web-based Office functionality with cloud storage and huge potential for online collaboration between learners – be they school pupils or teachers. If we didn’t already have access to Google Apps through eduBuzz in East Lothian, I’d be all over this feature.
  • They’ve retained, and are improving, the WordPress blogs and Wiki functionality.
  • The public and purposeful approach they’re taking to sharing progress and engaging with schools. I think the new Glow Connect site is really nicely done. It’s attempting to be genuinely useful and doesn’t come across as primarily ‘marketing’ as some previous iterations have done.

Seriously folks, whatever your experience of Glow in the past, I think it’s time we all gave it a second chance. I know if I worked in a Local Authority which had limited access to web tools and cloud computing, I’d be giving it another look.


3 Comments

  • Reply Paul Cochrane |

    Agreed!

    The Office function is great, multiple uploads are the norm and kids can’t just say ‘I have forgotten my name/password and bring the whole thing to a halt.

    What could still be improved is the ability to backspace from your last upload instead of having to go through the whole root menu again and the ability to easily set up groups – I have had to add kids to my share function one by one.

  • Reply Amanda |

    As a mature, but new probationer, I didn’t have the experience of GLOW in its previous incarnation. However, I have been exploring the new GLOW and find it extremely useful, particularly for my senior classes in Biology. I love the Twig app – really good, short video clips to show in class. I am just about to start sharing resources with a class through a blog page and will hopefully get them to start communicating with each other on a discussion forum. It was very easy to reset their passwords for the many who had never used GLOW.

    Another app which I think is going to be useful for some pupils who need support is the Books for all app. You can access all the textbooks you might be using in school – and more, such as study guides – in digital format and pupils who have dyslexia, for example, can use these to help.

    Maybe it’s just because I’m new to the teaching world, but I find GLOW very useful and look forward to seeing it develop more. So thanks, Fearghal for your post.

  • Reply Simon Thompson - RM Unify Product Manager |

    Hello, as Product Owner of RM Unify (the platform which powers Glow), it is very pleasing to read this Blog post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I can assure you that we will continue to develop RM Unify to make it even better and even more relevant to teachers and learners in Scotland.

    If you’re interested in keeping track of product improvements, check out our Blog. Search ‘RM Unify Blog’ in Google. For Glow-specific information, ‘Glow Connect’ is a fantastic resource to take a look at.

So, what do you think ?