Last week, hundreds of pupils across Scotland watched leading scientists perform a bird post mortem beamed live into their classrooms from East Lothian. The procedure was shown on GLOW, Scotland’s national education intranet, digitally linking schools in Scotland.
After this news item appeared I happened to be attending 2 days Glow training. I have been on the periphery of the development of the Scottish schools digital network since my time as an adviser at, what was then, the Scottish Executive (now Government) way back in 2002. Since becoming a mentor I have very slowly learnt about some of the amazing facilities in this virtual learning environment. I am beginning to believe that Glow is closer to benefiting ‘teachers, learners, parents, school administrators, managers and local authorities’, and can, at last, see how I can adapt the principles to my real practice.

I am being helped in this growing understanding by the Glow team at LTS and RM, of course, but also my colleague and fellow mentor, Lynne Lewis. She is leading a great Glow Project where 6 Primary 1 classes are investigating Julia Donaldson’s Books.
5 schools are involved actively and at least one other is looking in. The plan is that children in different schools will review and ‘sell’ their book to children in other schools.
On the first occasion, each group of children introduced themselves to give the teachers an opportunity to see if the technology actually worked. It did.
As it was the first week of term, the children told each other about their Christmas celebrations. Suddenly one class noticed that it was snowing outside and enthusiastically shared this news. A great success from their point of view and only a few blips to sort out.
The next week each of the 5 schools made puppets and props and performed part of “The Smartest Giant in Town” for each other. It was great – the story started at one end of Scotland and finished at the other. This clearly took a great deal of coordinating prior to the actual Glow Meet but worked brilliantly. They have shared the process of creating the puppets through photos and have commented on each others’ performances.
Tha author herself has travelled to one of the schools to meet everybody through Glow meet. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to join in, although I love Donaldsons’ books and had a few questions of my own.

I have been a mere spectator to this project and am thrilled at seeing the interactions between these 5 classes of 5 and 6 year olds across the country.

After my training last week, I am ready to create my own ‘courses’ in Glow Learn. This is the area I think that will be most productive for me to develop, at least in the short term.

This has fired me up once more.