I was invited to speak at the launch of Glow in East Dunbartonshire on Friday morning. The event took place in Douglas Academy, Milgavie, with over 200 guests including , pupils, council officials, elected members and headteachers from across the local authority. Apart from speeches the guests were entertained by some wonderful music performed by pupils from the school. We also had a demonstration of Glow Meet linking Douglas Academy with Baljaffray Primary School using desktop videoconferencing.
I got the chance to visit a Standard Grade Physics class to see how the pupils were using Glow to support classroom learning. The young people seemed to think Glow was ‘easy to use’, ‘looked good’ (especially as they could customise it a little bit – more of this in the next version of Glow!). They also used Glow at home and had no problems with how it performed – ‘just like anything else on the internet’. The teacher, one of 25 trained Glow mentors in the school, liked the functionality of Glow and commented that her pupils ‘ were able to use Glow straight away without any training’.
Over the course of the morning I felt like a proud parent watching a child taking another small but significant step. Glow is now in 11 of our 32 local authorities and is expected be in 20 by the summer. The crazy vision of a national schools intranet – hatched back in 2001 – got just a little bit closer to becoming a practical reality.
As I drove home from the event I saw banners outside every school I passed declaring that ‘Glow is lighting up learning in East Dunbartonshire’. I got a real sense that this was a council that understands the potential benefits of Glow and also recognises that the effort involved in implementing it now is a long-term investment for the future.