What is Glow?
Glow is a nationally available digital service that supports a vision whereby:
“Scotland’s educators, learners and parents take full advantage of the benefits offered by digital technology in order to raise attainment, ambition and opportunities for all”
Glow offers an online environment where teachers, support non-teaching staff, learners and educational partners have access to a wide range of applications and services of different types, appropriate for different ages and stages. Glow is a flexible suite of cloud based services that continues to evolve and it is possible to incorporate new web-based applications as they become available.
Glow is for children and young people – Learners inhabit a networked world where online social collaboration is part of the natural landscape. Their working lives will similarly encompass a whole range of digital connections. Where the skills to connect, share, collaborate and adapt to an ever changing range of technologies are at a premium, children and young people who do not possess these skills will be placed at severe disadvantage. Glow provides learners with access to a learning environment that continually adapts and will evolve to meet their future needs. It ensures that there is no disconnect between education and their other life experiences. Children and young people already have experience of anywhere-anytime access to personal information, resources, contacts and support. Glow provides a similar and safer environment for lifelong learning. Glow enables children and young people to gain important skills and experiences that enhance learning and prepares them for a world of work in which digital skills and competencies are essential. Glow actively promotes and encourages the development of independent and responsible learners at all ages. Safe use of online technologies is as much about developing appropriate behaviours amongst users as it is about providing secure technical solutions.
Glow provides equitable access to the most appropriate technologies for all learners. It provides differentiated learning opportunities that remove barriers to learning for children and young people with additional support needs.
In this ever evolving learning context, teachers are challenged with constantly updating their own digital skills, knowledge and practice. The General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) Standards for Full Registration make it clear that teacher are expected to “have secure knowledge and understanding of current guidance on the use of digital technologies in schools and know how to use digital technologies competently to enhance teaching and learning”.
The Glow platform maximizes the efforts of individual teachers through facilitating collaborative learning networks. It can be an important vehicle for teachers to maintain, refresh and develop their teaching skills, and in keeping with current GTCS update requirements. It supports a deeper understanding of the use of digital technologies and how they can be used to support and enhance learning and teaching across all curriculum areas.
Where parents and carers are involved in supporting learning, the outcomes for learners improve. Whilst parents and carers do not have any direct access, the Glow platform provides learners with the tools to ‘show, tell, engage and involve’ a wider audience with their learning.
Local authorities are responsible for delivering a world class education that is engaging, relevant and enjoyable. They are accountable for school improvement. Glow supports local authorities in accessing and making available commonly used and relevant services, applications and networking technologies within an online environment that promotes child safety and reduces risk.
The provision of a central, single authentication portal and the choices this offers education authorities in personalising services to meet local needs is a unique and evolving element of the Glow service. It ensures best value as time and resources are not unnecessarily wasted as individual authorities or schools seek their own solutions and establish their own support and data protection arrangements.
Further details about Glow can be found on the public-facing Glow Connect site: http://connect.glowscotland.org.uk