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GLOW...?!

Discussion in 'Scotland - curriculum' started by glasgowgirl, May 12, 2010.

  1. Just wonder if anyone, anywhere has had ANY success at all with Glow?
    Since receiving my log-in details (yes, I'm one of the "lucky" ones who's actually got a log-in) I have...
    - tried joining relevent Glow groups (but after waiting weeks to be granted access I have lost interest in/forgotten all about them)
    - tried to watch a live streem of an author's visit to a school (but the whole site crashed, and I was directed to BBC to watch it)
    - tried to upload resources (but I only have permission to do that on one page - which I'm convinced no one looks at, but there's no way of checking, unlike on our council intranet)
    - tried to join a Glow Meet (but I do not have access)
    I have also tried to trouble shoot these problems, but the toubleshooter documents are always at least 5 pages long (if I'm granted access to them at all) and who has time to read THAT!?
    There are so many great education and networking sites (Facebook, ChinaClub, TES)... can we not learn something from them?
    I am trying to be enthusiastic but everytime I log on I just find myself getting more and more frustrated!!

     
  2. Hardly surprising when the contract for development was given to RM. RM haven't manage to develop a decent email system yet.
    The system is horrible to use and the pages are awful to look at. Pupils will not use it unless it can compete aesthetically with facebook and the like.
    I have found that pbwiki.com does everything I need without the hassle of glow

     
  3. Um, no. Like you, I dutifully gave it my best shot for a year or more. I really really tried to use it, to put it through its paces and see how I could use it, to get my class interested in it....but all for naught. It remains the slowest, clunkiest, ugliest, unfriendliest interface on the planet and no matter how the techies like Durkin try defend it, the fact remains that they're the only ones who are using it. Teachers aren't using it because it's too hard to get into and navigate around in (you can never find the same thing twice in it), and kids don't like it because compared to Facekbook and Co, it's eye-rollingly archaic, to the point of hilarious.
     
  4. Other than as a repository, no.

    One of the most ironic, infuriating parts of Glow is that someone, somewhere has decided that its a good idea to make every teacher a member of every Glow group. I currently am a member of 190 LA groups and 270 national groups. I regularly get "targetted" news from about 20 of these groups - from nursery groups to groups about higher drama. Virtually all of it is irrelevant to me, yet, like yourself, the groups I have requested access to have never allowed me to join, nor have they notified me of their decision.

    One of the tools which sets Glow apart from other educational communities, and they manage to mess that up too - Meet does not work in my school.
    You could try calling their support line - the number was on the LTS website at one point, but they've removed it. Can't think why!!
    The same people who are pronouncing Glow as the best thing since sliced bread are also suggesting that we spread CFE over it. Since CFE includes skills to analyse and evaluate, you'd think that one of these people would have made a proper evaluation of Glow - that it's not fit for purpose and needs to be redesigned, using Facebook, etc as good examples to draw ideas from.

    You are not alone.
     
  5. Sorry to hear that you have so many issues with Glow. However, with the exception of seeking permission to join a specific group everything else is down to your EA your school or the administrator of the groups you are trying to use.
    You need to have the relevant permissions to upload materials to a Glow group. Whoever created the group has set the permissions for you - not the fault of Glow but the administrator of the group. Is it a Glow group that has been set up at your school level, if so you need to find out who is responsible for it and ask them to give you "Contributor" rights. If it's an EA Glow group, then again you need to find out who is responsible for it. Same with Glow Meet, unless the administrator of the Glow group has given you the correct access rights then you won't get in.
    Have you been offered any training?
     
  6. I'm a teacher.
    Not true, the Reporting tools show quite the opposite.
    In my opinion the problems users have with Glow are down to:
    1. Lack of Training. It was unforgivable of the Scottish Government at the time, not to set aside any funding for training. This has been left to Education Authorities and LTS.
    2. Lack of funding to EAs for Glow support. No extra funding was given to Education Authorities to manage, implement or support Glow. This had to come from existing budgets. Some EAs managed this better than others which it why there are such varying experiences across the country.
    3. Problems with Infrastructure. Glow is used successfully in a number of EAs across Scotland with great support structures in place. This tends to be in areas where there is not a managed service or where education is on good terms with IT Services. In EAs with managed services (Edinburgh and Glasgow?) this is perhaps not the case where those responsible for the infrastructure possible don't understand the needs of Education.
    4. Problems with Technical Support. Glow needs a number of plug-ins and changes to network settings in order to work. Often managed services are reluctant to do anything which will compromise the network. The latest flash plug-in? Forget it, this is like asking for the Holy Grail in some local authorities.
    5. Lack of commitment. Any initiative needs the full support and backing of SMT at school and EA level. Sadly, in many schools and EAs this is not the case as far as Glow is concerned.
    I agree, Glow isn't the prettiest of things and navigation may appear confusing (I put much of this down to lack of training though). However, it doesn't have to be that way. I know that a number of EAs have been trying to tackle this and some have found solutions. Midlothian have made this Graphical UI (I think access has been given to all staff in Scotland so you should get in). which shows what can be done. Yes, it takes a little bit of time and effort. They also created this on line Glow Tutorial (which again I think all have access to). I know that similar things have been done in Aberdeenshire and Orkney.
    No one is being forced to use Glow. If you don't want to use it - don't!
     
  7. Not really, but it seems to be the standard response to anyone who has an issue with Glow - it's not Glow, its something else.
    Well, how about these issues:
    1. Glow slow, internet fast. = Glow problem
    2. Entering a Glow meet session logs you out of Glow = Glow problem
    3. Only upload one file at a time = Glow problem
    4. No facility to leave a Glow group = HUGE Glow problem - as more groups become established, targetted news will be even more of a mess than it is at present.
    5. No way to enter specialist notation (science, maths etc) in a Glow Learn test, or in the discussion boards. Makes communication for these subjects best done elsewhere. = Glow problem.
    6. Sometimes when you try to log in to Glow, you get an error screen which only goes away by closing Internet Explorer - a bug that has remained unfixed since it's inception. = Glow problem.
    7. etc. I can continue with this, but the point is that there are big issues surrounding the aesthetic and funtional parts of Glow, none of which are currently being addressed. There is something called Glow Refresh which is attempting to address wiki's, forums and mail functionality, but no apparent attempt to fix the bugs and smaller annoyances that people encounter every time they attempt to use Glow. No amount of training can help with these issues.

     
  8. I'm sorry, but this excuse just does not cut it. Pupils, staff and parents regularly use new technologies on the internet with very little training. There are various communities that people of all ages regularly use with no problem, the reason being that if the programmers don't make it easy enough for everyone to use, then no-one will use it. The programmers alomst treat it as a work in progress, listen to user opinion, adapt, rewrite and basically improve it until any bugs, aesthetic or functional issues are sorted out and the community grows naturally. People should be able to use Glow as easily as they use Facebook, Bebo, Myspace, or any other community on the internet - without having to wade through pages and pages of documentation. Really, this is 2010, not 1995.

    You obviously don't have to collect your e-mail or download the bulletin then? People are already having to log into Glow to access information that they can't get elsewhere. So "if you don't want to use it - don't " is not so reassuring.
     
  9. Have you any idea exactly how much time? I created an interface for my deparment and it took 3 hours. And it wasn't anything near as flash as the midlothian one. You've got to hand it to the people who spend the time doing this - when you look at it you think "wow - this looks good" until you realise that the people that are capable of actually producing an inteface such as this are (a) few and far between and (b) probably already programmers for RM, in which case, why did they not include it as a standard widget ready for drag/dropping into a Glow page?
    The only analogy I can think of is a mother baking a basic cake - no icing, nothing - and giving it to her children, who decorate it beautifully and put it on the table and say "look mummy at the wonderful cake you made". Sounds daft when you read that, but it's exactly what is happening with Glow.
    Staff should not have to spend time making Glow look nicer or make it more functional. We paid for a functional product, and that's what we should have. Why do we accept such poor quality?

     

  10. All this takes valuable time - teachers need to be able to access resources and information instantly - like you can on council's intranet systems like FirstClass. Why can't all teaching staff be giving all rights to everything on the understanding that they are responsible for their own actions - like on FirstClass and websites like TES...? Glow Administrators in my LA have got such a huge back log of requests - it's taking weeks to gain access!
     
  11. Oooh don't compare Glow to a cake! Cake is nice, Glow is not!! :)

     
  12. 1. To be honest, after the rather delayed login I don't really have such problems whether at work or home. However, all sites suffer from traffic - at times over the past few days, the BBC has been at a crawl. - perhaps a Glow issue but maybe a JANET issue or something else.
    2. You remain logged into Glow for 40 minutes even when the Marratech software is running - covered in training
    3. You need to change to explorer view in the document store and then you can drag and drop as many files and folders as you wish - covered in training.
    4. Being addressed also news is only targeted if the administrator of that group chooses to. Most at national level do not. You also have the option of modifying your own view of your staff page and remove the Latest News web part from it - covered in training.
    5. Glow Learn is kak, However, I agree, this is a real issue.
    6. Cookies and possibly version of IE - covered during training.
    7.Wikis and Blogs due at May/June. PHPBB Forums available now. Glow Lite next session. There will come a point where most of what is in Glow are actually 3rd party applications (PHP BB, WordPress Mu, Marratech, MindTouch) - just need to replace Glow Learn with something that works. You can make a Glow Group look however you want. The Midlothian examples show what is possible - of course, aesthetically these may not please everyone either. Try creating sites and workspaces - you are free to do what you like in here.
     
  13. Following the tutorial and using PowerPoint - about 20 minutes. Finding suitable graphics took about 30 minutes. So around an hour in total. I now have a Glow group that I can use over and over again.
    However, most of the Glow groups I have seen being used effectively for L&T every day are standard groups. Surely it's the content and learning that results from it rather than what it looks like?
     
  14. Can you share this with other users around the country?
    I don't know - you would need to ask the ASM.
     
  15. That would be creativity then. The opportunity to take something and make it your own.[​IMG]
    A bit like what you can do with err ....................a Glow Group!
     
  16. What you were told in training is irrelevant. In practice, when you come out of Glow meet, whether its after 40 mins or 2 mins, and try to navigate to a page in Glow, you get a "you don't have permission to access that page. It's a known issue (apparently).I'm surprised you have not encountered it.

    Again, doesn't matter what was covered in training if the necessary software is not installed which allows this functionality - ie Web Folders - an archaic tool that is no longer supported by Microsoft, and as such is only installed on some versions of Microsoft Office. Tried for a whole evening to locate a plugin, to no avail. ( download of plugin not covered in training)

    It's all or nothing though isn't it? No targetted news at all or everything (currently 50 targetted news items daily)

    Sorry - it's happened with every version of IE I've tried it with and every version of Firefox too. It's a bug in Glow - and it your trainer told you that it was a browser issue, he was deflecting a known issue.
    I understand you really like Glow,and at one point I did too. I've used Glow extensively and the points I made were not one-off observations - they are a culmination of my entire experience within Glow. I am extremely computer literate, yet nothing in Glow feels natural or intuitive. The only reason I can do the things I want to in Glow (embedding Widgets, creating user friendly interfaces, rss feeds etc) is because I have programming experience and am able to navigate the options for webparts and mould them into what I want. This in not somethng your average user is capable of doing, nor is it something that the average user would want to do. Yet virtually every user of Bebo is able to add a widget to their page.

     
  17. Did you ensure that the graphics you found were free from copyright or did you request permission to use the graphics? How long did it take you to get permission if the latter?
    So why did you bother making your Glow group look nicer?

     
  18. Great reply. But answer this - how do you share something you put on Glow with others around the country? The only way they will know is if they have heard about your group and request access (which requires some information to come from some magical place outside Glow) or you make everyone a member of your group, which adds yet one more group to the 500 or so I already have no interest in, along with a wonderful targetted news item telling me that the group exists - 51 news items today. How many tomorrow?

     
  19. lol. Well done for missing the point completely. I'm not talking about "making it your own".
    The point is that people at a high level of Glow have realised that the lack of functionality is stopping staff using Glow, so have devised these nice "cake decorations" to encourage more people to use it. This decorating is not part of making it your own - its adapting an awkward system and making it more functional. This is unlikely to be done at a classroom level - this will only be done by those who are very computer literate.

     
  20. On Glow at the moment - in a Glow Meet - navigating around everything without a hitch. I can honestly say that I have never come across what you describe and I have never heard anyone else have this problem and I've never seen it raised as an issue in any of the Glow support forums Have you raised it with Glow?
    .
    The functionality is already there in the documents web part itself. All you have to do is change the view from the default setting, which is a list, to Explorer View. You then get a standard Windows Explorer instead of a list and you can drag and drop any number of files just as you would on your desktop.
    I currently have just 18 news items in the Latest News web part. I can only assume that you also have news targeted from your EA and school. You need to speak to those responsible and ask them to stop it.
    That's perhaps taking it a bit far. It's there, I use it and I don't grumble about it.
     

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