Author: mckenziefiona

Glow Blogs back online Tuesday 25th July

We took down the Glow Blogs service on Friday 14th July to migrate to a new server provider.

This new provider will allow us to manage this cloud based service more effectively so we can react quickly if we find that we need to increase or reduce the computing capacity needed for Glow Blogs. This will make sure that Blogs will work much more quickly than before and can cope with an increasing number of users.

We have been moving all of the Glow Blogs content across and we will go live and have the Glow Blogs service available at 10AM on Tuesday the 25th July.

Glow Announcement: Glow Authentication and Portal Services Contract Awarded

Following a competitive procurement exercise, RM Education Ltd has been selected by Education Scotland to continue to deliver Glow Authentication and Portal Services.

RM Education Ltd has successfully delivered the services via their RM Unify product since December 2013. The new contract will commence in January 2018 for 5.5 years with opportunities to extend up to a maximum of 10.5 years. The full cost (£1.3 million per annum) will be met by Education Scotland and Scottish Government.

This means Glow Users will be able to continue to use the services, free of charge and in full confidence of the stability and continuity of provision.

In addition to the current services, Glow Users can expect a number of developments during the new contract including age appropriate sign in for younger users, self-service identity matching and a feature to inform users of new functionality. RM Education Ltd will also deliver a number of community benefits to support the ICT/Digital Technologies Skills Investment Plan, including work experience for young people and digital career talks.

To build on the success of Glow, Education Scotland, the Scottish Government and RM Education Ltd are committed to working closely with customers and partners to ensure the contract continues to deliver a flexible service which meets and adapts to users’ needs. Over the coming months this will include, engagement on the deployment of Google’s G Suite for Education.

Toby Black, Managing Director, RM Education said: “RM Education are delighted to be re-appointed by Education Scotland for the Glow Authentication and Portal Services contract. We are excited to once again be delivering Glow to all education users across the country and we look forward to working together on this project as it continues to grow, develop and meet the evolving requirements of our young digital learners.”

Glow supports the Scottish Government’s Digital, Learning and Teaching strategy by helping education establishments and local authorities deliver education enhanced by digital technology and its popularity continues to grow with approximately 140,000 unique users and 2,000,000 logins per month.

Annual Survey Of The Use Of Digital Technology Including Glow In Scotland’s Classrooms

Education Scotland carries out an annual survey of school staff and pupils to find out more about their use of digital technology in general and Glow in particular. This has been run most years in the last decade and it provides useful information which influences what the programme team within Education Scotland do throughout the year to meet the needs of Scotland’s staff and pupils. They survey is anonymous and no personal data is sought.

This year’s survey is now open and will remain open until the end of May – please use the following links.

For staff in schools please use this link

https://www.research.net/r/GlowStaff2017

For pupils in schools please use this link

https://www.research.net/r/GlowStudents2017

Last year 1,009 staff and 1,238 pupils completed the survey, below you will see a summary of the responses received.

2016 Survey Highlights

Staff survey
Staff report a high level of confidence in their use of digital technology (82% quite or very confident)

  • 87% of staff use digital technology in the classroom at least 2 to 4 times a week
  • 76% of staff report that digital technology has had either a very significant or notable positive impact on learning and teaching in the classroom
  • 67% of staff respondents use Glow at least 2 to 4 times a week. 10% of respondents have never used Glow.
    Biggest barrier for use of digital technology is slow internet access at school (55%), other issues also given include lack of time, lack of IT resource
  • 75% of respondents who use Glow believe it has a positive impact on their learning and teaching
    Staff are satisfied with the tools provided within Glow – RM Unify and Microsoft O365 provide the highest satisfaction, Glow Wikis the least.
  • 56% of staff use Glow for whole class teaching although 26% of respondents do not use Glow with pupils.

Pupil Survey

  • 90% of pupils are either quite or very confident in their use of digital technology
  • 91% of pupils use the internet whilst at school
  • 44% use Glow every week, 5% use it every day
  • 86% of pupils use digital technology to help with their work outside of school.

Glow Announcement: Online Productivity Suite Contracts Awarded

The Glow Online Productivity Suite procurement exercise has recently concluded.

Early consultation with a range of stakeholders identified two key elements for the procurement strategy; namely that new contracts would be longer in nature and that an element of choice would be desirable.

As a result of the procurement exercise, contracts have been awarded to Microsoft for continued availability of the O365 suite of services and, for the first time, to Google for their G Suite for Education products. Both the products will offer communication, collaboration and creation tools for use by teachers and learners.

Each contract will commence in September 2017 and run for an initial term of 5 years with opportunities to extend up to a maximum of 10 years. We hope that this provides the reassurance about continued provision of online productivity tools in Glow.

Microsoft

For O365, this means that the successful Glow O365 tenancy will continue for the foreseeable future.

No transition will be required and learners and teachers can therefore continue to use the services with full confidence of continuity of provision.

Ian Fordham, Director of Education, Microsoft UK says “We are delighted that Education Scotland has awarded Microsoft a further five years of the Glow contract. This new contract is validation of the past five years where we have provided cutting edge technology such as Office 365 to thousands of schools via the glow platform. We look forward to continuing to support the fantastic work done by teachers and students across Scotland, who deliver excellence in learning and teaching every day.”

Google

For the first time, and in response to feedback from users, we have also awarded a contract to Google for provision of their G Suite for Education products. The G Suite for Education products will be incorporated into Glow and further details will be communicated over the coming months. We will also be consulting with stakeholders on the best way to implement the Google services into Glow.

Google stated;

“More than 70 million students, teachers and administrators around the world rely on G Suite for Education to learn and work together. Google believes that Schools, in partnership with their Local Authority, should decide which digital tools are best suited to their needs. The expanded options now available to educators via Glow will help students and educators to work together seamlessly, while fostering a love of learning amongst students and encourage their curiosity.”

New Road Safety Resources

Road Safety Scotland have developed a suite of free road safety learning resources for specific age groups from 3-18 years, with a view to developing responsible road use among young people.

A2bsafely.com – an interactive , multimedia road safety resource for young people with additional support needs.

The Junior Road Safety Officer (JRSO) – allows children in Primary to take control of road safety issues within their own school.

Both of these resources are available from the Glow App Library.

All their resources link to Curriculum for Excellence, incorporating experiences and outcomes in health and wellbeing; literacy and English; maths and numeracy, and many other subject areas.

The resources offer different learning styles to engage teachers and learners, and make the learning appropriate, relevant and challenging at every level, and may also help maintain the important link between school and home, allowing key road safety messages to be shared throughout the wider community.