(Almost) all our content from 2006 to 2017 is archived and available online under a Creative Commons license. Please read this post from June 2018 for more background and updates about our conference and current status.
2006- Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming Obstacles”Glow: Lighting Up Learning in Scotland”

John Connell
Scotland, United Kingdom
Blog: http://www.johnconnell.co.uk/blog/

Presentation Title
“Glow: Lighting Up Learning in Scotland”

John was until recently Director of the Scottish Schools Digital Network, an ambitious programme of ICT and telecommunications developments for education in Scotland. The national schools’ intranet, known as Glow, will go live for every teacher and student in Scotland by Summer 07. He has now taken on the role of Learning Futures Strategist with the national education agency in this country, Learning and Teaching Scotland, to shape policy and strategy nationally on the use of ICT in education over the next few years.

Some key interests in Scottish education recognized in 2002 that the Web would eventually become the primary platform for learning. The resulting Scottish Schools Digital Network is a national programme combining broadband infrastructure, content delivery network and a web-based learning platform, the aim of which is to integrate a comprehensive package of learning and collaborative tools for delivery through the browser.

Renamed Glow in anticipation of its imminent arrival in every school in the country, the programme will offer a virtual teaching and learning environment and a range of collaborative applications (video and audio conferencing, email, chat rooms, sms, virtual whiteboards, application sharing, threaded discussions, online interest groups) across the Web. This enables the service to be offered to every student and every teacher in the country no matter whether they use a PC, a Mac or a Linux computer, and no matter the particular network topology their school or local authority deploys.

With a national authentication system and national user directory at the core of the system, users will be able to build and manage their own interest groups, from a bunch of kids in a class to any sub-group across the country. It is a large nationally-driven programme, but one that devolves the power of the Web to the individual. The management of learning and collaboration will most definitely happen at the level of the individual teacher and learner. Glow is “˜the web as learning platform’ in action!

The presentation will be delivered by means of a podcast with slides.



  1. Ollie Bray

    Thanks for this John I really enjoyed your presentation and look forward to seeing glow and your role within Learning and Teaching Scotland develop over the next few months. See you soon, Ollie

  2. Wade Bosworth

    It was my first experience attending a conference in the office of an educator in Scotland. Thanks inviting us in and enlightening us in your educational system. The amazing thing about the K12 online conference is ‘attending’ sessions that we might not choose had the conference been done over a weekend in one location.

    One thing we are beginning to talk about in our district is ‘level’ the playing field for our students. It is really cool that you have decided to using Web 2.0 tools to level the playing field for all of your students. It seems that your connectivity within schools is good, but what percentage of your students are connected to the internet while at home? Have you established expectations of your teachers? What type of professional development have you offered your teachers?

    I am really excited to see how Glow takes off over the next few years. Is there an easy way to monitor the success of Glow?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.