Lighting up Learning – Glow

I have commented here about the YouTube service which can be use to publish videos etc. I just heard that video about an educational project that I have been working on for the last few years has been published on YouTube.

The project is now called Glow and will deliver a Scotland wide education intranet. The solution which is still under development includes a Portal, Email system, a Virtual Learning Environment, Discussion Groups, Web Conferencing (video and audio and application sharing). Eventually, the user base can include all of Scotlands pupils, teachers and other people who work to support the classroom. It is a very ambitious project which is being implemented on a scale which is big by any standards. A key feature of Glow is that it is a closed environment which is only accessible by authorised users. Pupils safety in the online environment is a number one priority so this system is definitely not like other ‘public’ on line community environments like BeBo and MySpace.

The video shows a teacher (actually one of the project educationalists) talking about the Glow system and how she uses it with her pupils. Of course this is actually simulation as the Glow service is not fully developed as yet.

You can read more about the Glow project here

Click here to view the Glow Project web site.

or

Click here to view the video on YouTube.

It is currently planned that Glow will be available for use starting in late August 2007. I expect that it will take some further time before it will be fully available to users throughout Scotland. Local Authorities and schools have some work to do to setup user accounts and configure their networks to facilitate access for their users. Glow can also be accessed from the home too assuming that the user has a suitable connection.

I think this is a very exciting project that has the potential to allow teachers and pupils throughout Scotland to deliver and support learning in ways that hithertoo have not been possible.

"One hand for you and one for your master"

As I left the office tonight, I had a conversation with a colleague. I thought that she seemed to be rather stressed. I related the following story.

When a student I worked during my summer holidays in various engineering factories in Fraserburgh. One was called the Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Company which made industrial compressors and a range of pneumatic hand tools. The sort of devices which can commonly be seen used to break up the road surface and holes are being dug to lay pipes and cables etc….

I worked one summer during the Trades holiday when the factory was closed to all workers. However, the maintenance team continued to work performing various annual maintenance task on the considerable range of heavy machinery that is used in the manufacturing process. One day we went to do a job on an over head crane, the sort than can pickup a whole compressor and move it around.

As we climbed up to the crane tracks which were located in the roof of the building the engineer I was working with said.

“When you are working overhead always remember the following. You have two hands, you have a tool in one had and with the other you must hold on to something solid. One slip on this overhead machine could result in a fatal fall.”

He went on to say something that I have always remembered, “one hand for you and one for your master”. This is obvious in that context but I think that this really applies even in a situation where we are not working in that sort of high risk context.

We need to ensure that as we apply to our work ( of any sort ) we remember to maintain a fair balance! Using the metaphor one hand for your master and one for your self we need to ensure that we maintain a good work life balance. When we are committed to our work its all too easy to give too much to our work some times at the expense of our health and social circumstances.

Food for thought?