Glow, the first national educational intranet in the world, currently links 203,000 pupils and teachers across Scotland. It eventually hopes to reach 750,000. The idea behind it is simple: it provides a voluntary online place for teachers to share and develop ideas for lessons, as well as providing interactive tools such as discussion groups and video link-ups for children. In a small-scale experiment at Cathkin High in South Lanarkshire comparing four S3 biology classes, results rose by more than 30% in the one that used Glow as a tool.
But it is Glow's importance to Curriculum for Excellence, described by the government as the biggest educational reform in a generation, that has many worried. Due to roll out across Scotland next August, many key resources, support, and guidance for the new curriculum will be available primarily through Glow.
Without access to Glow, some claim, schools and local authorities who have been sluggish adopters will lose out.
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