Monthly Archive for July, 2010

EAC Glow CfE site – ICT page

Our authority CfE site has a page on ICT in CfE, which contains some interesting and inspiring resources / presentions on web 2.0 tools for education.

These resources have 2 uses -

  • to inspire and demonstrate the kind of tools we can use in schools
  • to inspire ideas of how we can use these tools a) with pupils in the classroom and b) with colleagues in cpd

Glow gives us a platform to publish with these tools, in a safe, collaborative environment, locally and nationally. Posts giving some specific tools, tips and ideas for using web 2.0 tools in education will follow shortly.

Google Squared

Another non-Glow tip …

Google Squared displays results as a table of facts on the topic you search for. This is particularly useful when searching for ‘big’ topics, where a comprehensive set of facts exists, e. g. historical events, significant places, prominent people, and so on. This is useful for pupils doing research where a quick overview of the main facts / figures on the topic is required.

Again, this could be a useful tool for information skills lessons.

Google Image Swirl

Another non-Glow tip but hopefully of interest nonetheless …

Google Image Swirl groups together image search results and displays them in an intuitive graphical interface, i. e. a swirl! This tool is particularly useful for pupils researching Art & Design, Craft & Design or Product Design topics.

It could also be incorporated into a visual literacy element in information skills lessons.

Google Fast Flip

Again, another non-Glow tip but a great tool from Google Labs.

Google Fast Flip displays overview images of newspaper headline pages. You can search for a current topics and view a wide range of up-to-date headline pages from newspapers around the world. Clicking on one of the newspapers gives you a readable viewer, with a page flip tool to go through multiple newspapers very quickly.

This tool could be very useful for pupils looking at current affairs topics / comparing news coverage in Social Studies, English or Media Studies. It could also serve as a tool in media literacy and information skills lessons.

Google Wonder Wheel

This tip has nothing to do with Glow but it is so good I had to include it here.

The Google Wonder Wheel sorts your search results into a wheel diagram, like a mind map, e. g. World War One search. Each result from the search can be further displayed in Wonder Wheel mode. Great for pupils, and useful for teachers too, e .g. lesson planning, topic research. Also ideally suited to information skills lessons.

How is it done?

Do your search on Google as normal, then once the results are displayed go to the More Search Tools link on the left-hand side. One of the options here is Wonder Wheel.

Glow Ideas – Displaying an article and starting a discussion

A basic idea for class use of Glow (across all curricular areas) is to use the Page Viewer web part to display a topical article from newspaper or magazine and combine this with a Discussion or Glow Forum web part.

  • In your Glow group go to Modify Shared Page then Add Web Part.
  • Choose Page Viewer from the establishment gallery.
  • Add the url (web address) of the newspaper or magazine page to the box.
  • You can amend the appearance of the web part e. g. the title and size (you may need to change the height of the web part to about 30 cm to fit in the whole page of the article).
  • Then add either a basic Discussion web part from the establishment gallery or a Glow Forum web part from the virtual server gallery. The Glow Forum web part is more sophisticated. You can also add multiple Glow Forums to your Glow group, e. g. if you have new pages  for different class topics.
  • You can start off a discussion with your class by, for example, asking questions about the article, or by making statements to ignite contributions.

An example of this can be seen at the  JHA Library Discussion page.

There are also interesting examples of Glow groups using these tools at the Discussion Forums Cookbooks.

Advanced Tips – Using Glow Learn with an existing Glow Group

If you have a Glow Group for a class or activity and would like to add the more structured, formal content of Glow Learn, this is a brief explanation of how it is done. There are more detailed instructions on the Glow Learn Training Guide.

Note: It is important to begin a new session on Glow before creating anything on Glow Learn, so log off then back on.

  • In the Glow group you want to use, go to Add Web Parts then browse through the Virtual Server Gallery until you find the web part called Glow Learn – Learning Space. This creates a link between the Glow group and Glow Learn. A Learning Space is the name given to a Glow group that is combined with Glow Learn.
  • You may need to amend the membership of your Glow group. Any teachers accessing the Learning Space should be given Administrator rights. You should ensure all pupils that need access have appropriate membership.
  • Log off Glow then log back on. Go to Glow Learn via the link on the left-hand navigation bar.
  • In Glow Learn you will see that there is a new shared folder for the Learning Space. At first it will be empty.
  • To add a course to the Learning Space folder you can either copy an existing course from My Course or create a new course in the Learning Space folder.
  • To add an existing course, go to that course by expanding the My Courses folder. Highlight the course and copy it (using the Copy icon on the toolbar). Then go to the Learning Space toolbar and paste the course into it.
  • To create a new course in the Learning Space, click on the Learning Space folder then click on the Create a New Course icon on the toolbar. You can then add resources to it.
  • Next you have to enrol pupils on the course. With the course folder open, click on the Enrol icon on the toolbar. This creates a copy of the course, which is called the enrolled course – you should give it a relevant name that distinguishes it from the unenrolled course.
  • In the My Groups list open up the Learning Space folder and select the appropriate pupils / staff and add as student / teacher.
  • To check what you’ve done to your Learning Space, click on the enrolled course name in the Learning Space folder then click Launch in the right-hand window. You can access course details from here, e. g. resources and objectives.
  • Log off Glow then log back on. Go to the Glow group to see the Learning Space as it appears there. Anyone enrolled on the course will now see the course details and any assignments from here. Clicking on the course name will launch the course in Glow Learn.

You can use the Glow group tools with a Learning Space, e. g. a Discussion forum, to support the more formal aspects of the course that are being taught using Glow Learn.

Two examples of Learning Spaces in East Ayrshire schools are -

There are lots of interesting examples in the Glow Learn Cookbooks.

Beginners’ Tip – Organising multiple Glow groups

Thanks to Marianne Flanagan at Dalrymple Primary School for this tip!

This tip is useful if you have an ever-expanding list in My Glow Groups that you would like to manage and access more effectively, for example:

  • E-Portfolios for one or more classes
  • Glow groups for every class in your department

In an existing Glow group (e.g. a class, subject or department group) create a new Links list -

  • Go to Advanced Settings then Create.
  • Chose the Links List web part and customise and title it to suit your needs.
  • Go back to the Glow page and Add Web Part.
  • Choose the newly created Links list from the establishment menu.
  • Add links to the list for the Glow groups you want to group together, e.g. P7 e-portfolios, or S1 Social Subjects Glow groups.

You now have access to the Glow groups via a ‘parent’ Glow group of some kind. Now you can organise your My Glow Groups -

  • Go to My Glow Groups.
  • Add the ‘parent’ Glow group to your Favourites.
  • If you already had all of the other Glow groups in your favourites too, remove them (they will still be listed under My Glow Groups, but will appear further down the list).
  • The ‘parent’ Glow group will now appear near the top of the list of My Glow Groups. This will now be the main access point for all of the Glow groups you have listed in the new Links list.

A new Glow front page (Glow Lite) will hopefully make the management of Favourites easier – due sometime soon!

Beginners’ Tip – Adding your videos to a Glow page

There are a few options for adding a video to a Glow page, but the easiest method seems to be to embed your video using the XML web part.

To do this you firstly have to upload your video (from your phone / camera) to another website such as Vimeo (, TeacherTube ( or YouTube ( These sites are useful places to store your videos – they tend to need very basic account set-up, and can be accessed from anywhere. Note: although they are termed video-sharing sites, you do not have to share your videos. You can use them simply for storage by ensuring your account settings are private.

Once you have put your video on the site, here are the steps for getting them on Glow (these instructions also apply to videos that someone else has posted on a video-sharing site):

  • On Vimeo, Teachertube or YouTube you will have the option of embedding your video somewhere else.
  • Copy the embed code as instructed on the site.
  • Back in your Glow page, go to Add Web Parts and add the web part called XML.
  • Open the Tool Pane then open the XML Editor.
  • Paste the code into the XML Editor.
  • You can change the Appearance of the web part here if you wish, for example the title or dimensions.
  • When you OK this the video should appear on your Glow page.

Glow Ideas – Using images for class questions / discussions

A simple way of using Glow with a class is to use images together with a discussion forum.  (See the post ‘Beginners’ Tips – Options for adding images to a Glow Group.’)

The image can be used as a prompt or an inspiration for responsive writing, or as the basis of a series of questions on a topic. Here are some examples -

  • History – Use an image from an historical period as a basis for a discussion question on that period, e.g. Victorian Britain, World War One, Wars of Independence, Slave Trade, etc. You could use a series of images for multiple questions.
  • Sciences - Use an image of a scientific process as a basis for a discussion questions on that process, e.g. Respiration, Digestion, Chemical Reactions, Electrical Circuits, etc. This example could be replicated to include topics from every other curricular area.
  • Languages – Use images of scenarios to support Modern Language learning, e.g. for a food and drink topic. Give pupils instructions on responding in the chosen language.
  • English – Use images to illicit creative writing responses from pupils. This could take the form of a documents library where pupils could upload poems / stories on Word. You could also include a discussion forum for feedback.

There are some examples of how images have been successfully used in Glow Groups here.

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