Another defence of VLEs
John Connell answers “Why not just use Skype?“. There are benefits of single-sign on and collaboration with other authenticated users within a large scale environment. Again, this does not mean that other systems cannot be used, but a common system shared by all schools brings benefits that might not be realised by large numbers of teachers each using their own preferred subsets of Web 2.0 technologies. As one of the comments notes:
Glow isn’t going to offer a huge amount that’s not available to those teachers who are already using Web2.0 tools with pupils, but such teachers are a tiny minority now, and even their use of the tools in the learning and teaching process is often sporadic.
Web 2.0 technologies allow schools, classes, teachers and pupils to communicate and collaborate online. Glow gives Scottish schools, classes, teachers and pupils a place to do this – hopefully making it easier not just to conduct these activities but easier to make the connections required before such things can happen at all. There is also an extra hurdle in introducing new technologies if each one requires a new log in, and has the appearance of a new service, new brand and new UI. By collecting a range of features inside one environment, Glow has the ability to introduce new ways of working gradually and without teachers thinking they are using a new product each time they use a previously untouched feature.
Additional debate on edu.blogs.com .
Author: Daniel Livingstone, 4th March 2008