Mimanifesto – Jaye’s weblog

I want never gets…

Posted on: February 12, 2013

Something I used to say to my kids quite a lot! and my grandchildren are now starting  to hear these words as well. Its always a danger with wish-lists though. They never actually come to pass….most of the time anyway. The latest news story on Glow, or rather, the afterglow in Holyrood Daily is a case in point. I might have had number one on my wish list that as many folks as possible read the ICTEx final report, and especially people directly concerned with the management of the various work streams, like John McCarney at GLOW operators RM for instance. Because his comments in the Holyrood article suggest that he hasn’t read the report and annexes in their entirety. So wish number one..Please John if you’re reading this, have another look…your concerns have been addressed in our report.

Here’s a few more of my wish list ‘wants’

- A seamless transition from GLOW to its successor, as envisioned and set out by the ICTEx group report.

-Education Scotland, Microsoft, ICTEx, and all others will work together to fix the glitches in 365 so that we have a truly platform agnostic learning environment in Glow as soon as possible this year

- Education Scotland will build up capacity to enable it to successfully project manage the migration into MS365 so that the hard work done by thousands of pupils and teachers, and others, is safe and preserved. Excellent communication and risk analysis will be key factors in this task.

-  Users will be able to choose to migrate their data away from 365 next year, if they so wish.

-  There will be an implementation group that will bring GlowPlus (or whatever name is used) to fruition in the incremental agile model proposed by the ICTEx group, and that Education Scotland works with this team to enable the two streams of Glow to merge next December.

But above all, I wish for true stakeholder engagement. An evangelising approach which involves getting out into the country amongst teachers and users and reassuring them that although everything might not yet be as they would want, it will get much much better. And soon. We must build stakeholder credibility by being credible. Its an important wish, this last one because if we don’t get it right over the next year, and communicate everything we’re doing..warts and all more effectively, more than we’ve ever done before to be honest, then we’ll lose the battle for hearts and minds. And this time, its going to be a decisive battle as far as national technology initiatives go. Users have more choice than ever, and more savvy to make choices as well. They have to want to go into the Glow successor, and past approaches of compelling them by putting notices and emails behind glow walls just won’t cut any ice any more. My wish is that we communicate, inform, encourage, evangelise even, better than we have ever done before.

New communities of practice are springing up everywhere in education nowadays. Just look at Pedagoo, and the CPD societies starting up at Teacher training departments, Learning Community Teacher groups, Teach meets, Local Authority learning festivals, Twitter, Facebook. This blog post by John Connell  provides a wonderful homily to another dedicated education community.  I could go on.

This is the battleground where the engagement exercise will be won or lost. I really want our national intranet to succeed. I’ve seen the impact technology can have when used well on individual students attainment. Its why I fight so hard and spend so much of my time on Glow – I want it to work. I can’t see my level of involvement decreasing any time soon….not until I’ve put my money where my mouth is and worked to make it a success.

This next year is going to be one which changes the face of Scottish Education irrevocably, I think. What is possible will be what change  people can be persuaded to make. SLF13 could be one of the most interesting ever, If the opportunity is used to truly engage, rather than just to inform.

- I’d like world peace as well.

- And will somebody please make Apricot and Mango Muffins.

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