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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Glow again

Ok, now that I've got the change of name of my chest, I'm feeling much more positive. Have a look at the official Glow site, and there are a host of new features. In particular, the promotional video material to introduce and explain what Glow will actually be and do. When you see it presented like this, it really is very exciting. A lot of work for everyone involved at all levels, but very exciting. Well done to those involved in the video - it captures what Glow will do well.

So, as a Local Authority, do we re-brand now? We have just undertaken our Mentor selection - they will find out at the beginning of next week. I wonder what other Authorities will do?


Anonymous John Munro said...

I do hope the product lives up to the hype, but I remain to be convinced. I am sure it will over time, but I suspect it will be son of glow before we get there.

For me, the video was a wee bit too much Randall and Hopkirk (deceased), and all that clicking of fingers......

From an LA perspective we will have to make the same decision about branding. There is a temptation to stick with SSDN as the project and Glow as the portal. I think we will have to wait until a decision is taken about what the Mentors are to be called.

Much as we in Clacks endorse your comments in your other post about being right behind SSDN/Glow, it is hardly an inspirational start for our mentors when we meet with them for the first time and the conversation goes like this "Welcome SSDN Mentors. Oops sorry I meant Glow mentors. Well actually I meant Glow somethingelses.. and by the way, your training has been delayed....."

I suppose that these sorts of grumbles are part and parcel of any large project, so we shall just keep our noses to the grindstone and keep developing the blogging, podcasting, moodle and the various other things we have going locally and try to strike a balance between moving forward with new tools and not undermining or duplicting Glow.

8:25 pm  
Blogger Elspeth Davis said...

Don't know about the re-branding in Argyll and Bute.
What could we call them -

10:27 pm  
Blogger marlyn moffat said...

It's still subtitled Scottish Schools Digital Network on the site...so we know what SSDN is. What does Glow stand for? Middle aged ladies 'glow'. So I kind of object to the term. Then again a fire, light bulb and worms glow too. The prospect of SSDN being fully functional fills me with excitement, but I can already hear the ridicule and sniggers as someone around my age is introduced as a Glow mentor( or maybe it should be Guru, to introduce some kind of alliteration). They will be expecting advice of an entirely different nature. What was wrong with 'SSDN'? Some of your readers might enlighten me.

1:44 am  
Blogger ab said...

John - I was quite worried about the video being a bit 'cheesy', but I think it hits the right note for those that are not techy. It needed to be explained in ways that would make a teachers job better and more expeditious, not just presented as new things which, inevitably, are regarded by some staff as 'yet more things to do'. The 'clicking' is quite annoying though.

I also think you are right about the branding. I still prefer SSDN and it keeps continuity going for us in-house.

Elspeth - this is exactly why I don't want to re-brand, but ultimately this isn't my decision.

Marlyn - It is exciting, but Glow Guru? I think I prefer SSDN Mentor! :-)

12:08 pm  
Blogger John Connell said...

There’s nothing at all wrong with ‘SSDN’ as such, Marlyn, but we decided a long time ago on the project team that we had to come up with a short, memorable name that would appeal to (or at least not deter) the full range of users. I suspect that a kind of comfort factor has grown around the name SSDN over its 5 years of existence, but I hope too that Glow will quickly be accepted simply as the name for the national intranet and, in a sense, used eventually without even thinking about its meaning or other connotations as such. A rose is a rose, as they say. Some possible sniggers here and there amongst mentors, for example, can’t be used as a reason not to make a change that will serve us better, as I believe, in the long term with the full range of people who will inhabit and use Glow (potentially, from nursery pupils upwards).

And Glow does give us some images to play with in the short term (e.g. ‘lighting up learning’) to help us raise its profile, initially amongst teachers, but eventually across the full range of users. The video is absolutely not intended as a training vehicle as such, and is definitely not meant to be taken too seriously (or, for that matter, interpreted as ‘hype’). It is merely a gentle, unpretentious, and I hope, mildly entertaining introduction to the potential of Glow for teachers across the country, many of whom currently have probably only a vague knowledge of what it is likely to offer them.

The audience at this stage is most definitely teachers, but we will be developing similar video and other assets over the next year that should do a similar job for learners, parents, etc. This is in addition, of course, to the much more rigorous and thorough training and CPD materials that will be developed for both the mentor training and for training in the authorities and schools themselves further down the line.

Many of those across the country who have been closely involved in developing the specification for Glow over a number of years, or who are currently involved in the planning process for Glow in the authorities, might find the content of the video a little underwhelming and unlikely to add much to their knowledge of Glow. But I hope they will understand the need for something that will give colleagues with a much less precise knowledge of the national intranet an amiable initiation into its possibilities – if we have to cope with a few sniggers here and there, I think it will have been worth it.

I’m just grateful that so many good people are taking note and are discussing it openly.

1:03 pm  
Blogger marlyn moffat said...

This often happens in projects, where the people who have been working on them for a while they need to give it some oomph. Most of our teachers have not yet heard of SSDN except in the passing and because they have not yet seen the video, (which I think is fine for the purpose, and carefully doesn't give the impression of a workload issue), won't yet know what it might be. I'm going to do a wee survey in school tomorrow. Teachers relate to telling it like it is. Why keep SSDN as a subtitle, I wonder? Oh ...and..I can handle the sniggers, but I don't know if the relevance of the word glow is necessarily appreciated by other than those aged 40-55 and female. And that seems to be the majority of those whom I currently support in CPD sessions. I shall just quote my colleague's husband, who said, "Glow? Good looking older women!" He's a gentleman. Be interested to hear what other words were discussed and discarded. A potential users' survey might have elicited something interesting, too.
Scottish Schools Digital Network will be what it says.
National,available in schools, using computers, communicative, educational, linked, supportive, online. "Glow" will be
"bloom, blossom, blush, flush" and will require more explanation and justification of the term.

9:46 pm  
Blogger Con Morris said...

I wonder how many people laughed at a search engine called Google or a computer named after a fruit! ;)

12:18 pm  

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