Glow does not do half of what it should

22nd January 2010 at 00:00

I was interested in your article on how Glow is not fit for purpose. I agree, but what struck me was the irony of the number of articles in last week's edition that outlined the fantastic ways ICT is being used to engage youngsters throughout Scotland.

Not only that, but your supplement was also based around ICT and its role in education and the amazing work that is being done using tools on the internet.

Glow should be supporting these excellent practices, but it does not do half of what we need it to do and is not as good as free tools supplied through the internet.

Technology, in my view, has two roles to play. One is to use it as a tool to engage learners through excellent and up-to-date resources, while allowing two-way communication giving learners ownership of their learning experience.

The second is to allow teachers to share resources and ideas broadly under the heading of "best practice". Why are we still all re-inventing the wheel when we could share resources? Statistics are produced every year to look at results, so let us take the best school for each subject and level and share around their expertise and resources. This would improve the experience for pupils and relieve stress on staff continually being asked to produce materials.

The claim that this is not possible because of copyright is silly. If a branch of Tesco found a more efficient way of working, would it keep that to itself or would every branch be using it within six months?

Teachers are scared of the unknown, me included, but the clunky and unfriendly design of Glow exacerbates this and will not lead to a change in the way we work. If we miss this opportunity to put ICT at the heart of teaching and learning, we will fall behind other countries. More importantly, it will disadvantage our pupils.

They require the transferable skill of using ICT in their personal life and when they seek employment. ICT should be at the heart of teaching and learning, and the centre of that should be Glow. Unfortunately, it doesn't do what it says on the tin.

Richard Booles, business studies teacher, Hawick High.

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