I was in Prestonpans, almost in view of Aurthur's seat to deliver mentor training. Over the two days I demonstrated how to plan, create and populate a Glow group. Having taught Intermediate 2 Geography and People in the Landscape, it was an ideal opportunity to draw on my classroom experience and to use Glow to model something I could not imagine until recently. I was now able to show how a Glow group could be used to enhance teaching and learning: for example in teaching difficult concepts such as, wilderness, conservation, beauty, and conflict. John Muir (1838-1914) was born in Dunbar and became the father of the National Park system in the USA. It is ironic that Scotland did not have it's own National Parks until 2002. Some would say we have been been just as slow to integrate ICT into schools in Scoltand. Many English schools have been using online learning spaces more extensively and for longer. However, Scotland not only has the largest and most spectacular National Park in the UK, with the Cairngorms NP, it now has the largest educational intranet and most connected national educational system, with Glow.
East Lothian will very soon be exploring the possibilities of accessing emerging technologies in Glow groups and building on their digital experience with edubuzz and bloggers such as Tess Watson, Don Ledingham and Ollie Brae. These teachers are part of a confident teaching community who do not fear the exponential growth of information or new technology. East Lothian mentors started to create a variety of interesting and useful Glow groups which could offer new ways of being creative and participative for teachers, pupils and parents. These are exciting times in East Lothian. I hear there is a plan (watch this space) to create a Glow group and use it to assist with an existing exchange between schools in the USA and East Lothian. To connect a school in Dunbar, the birth place of John Muir, with a school in Yosemite Valley, the first National Park in the world, using virtual learning tools that can be found in a Glow group: The John Muir glow group?