Glow Wikis, ePortfolios and Longevity

At time of writing my case study, I decided not to dictate how the children should use their individual blogs. During the research period, I contacted Jackie Marsh  – and she agreed (I gained permission at the time to quote her):

“I have had a look at the blogs and they are great! I like the way you are
letting the children drive the use of the blogs, that is so important if they
are going to be successful. “

She also mentioned how we were using them on a post on her own blog at the time :

“I am speaking at the BFI ‘Reading on Screen’ conference for teachers tomorrow and although my main aim is to report on the evaluation of the very successful BFI ‘Lead Practioners Project’, I do want to highlight the potential that blogs have for disseminating children’s film productions and facilitating their peers’ critical comments on the films. I was contacted a few weeks ago by Margaret Vass, who is a Primary 7 class teacher at Carronshore Primary School, Falkirk. She told me about the excellent blog she has set up for the children in her class – I really like the children’s ‘WeeMees‘ and love the Voki posting developed by Bethany…blog on, Carronshore Primary 7!”

Bethany’s Voki on edublogs blog is missing now – what a shame 🙁

At the time, all of the Primary 7’s interviewed their parents so that they could write about their early years (as part of an autobiography).

Luckily I can still access the Vokis. Bethany’s is here:


Issues of this sort of thing happening have been discussed on this blog previously.

I still remember the unfortunate incident that led to the decision to transfer the children’s blogs from learnerblogs to edublogs. Edublogs chose to have all new blogs, including pupil blogs, hosted at edublogs. It was made clear that all existing learnerblogs could, if chosen, remain where they were. Around the time of this announcement, however, spam comments began to appear on a few of the children’s blogs. Email alerts usually ensured that these were deleted promptly. On one particular occasion, though, one was noticed by a pupil in her comment moderation queue when she logged in to her blog. Unfortunately, it contained very inappropriate content.

It was a lot of work moving the children’s blogs from learnerblogs to edublogs …. and then edublogs let us down.

Recently I’ve  spent some time reflecting on the journey to give children a more stable online environment and I revisited this post and a thought-provoking comment from David Gilmour

“This is a good topic to debate, thanks for spending your Saturday night doing such a detailed post!

I’m really pleased that Marc got such a good audience for his writing.

Another aspect to this, which cropped up this week for us with the demise of, is the longevity of Web 2.0 services. Inevitably there’s an element of risk in using these free services, and we’ve accepted that. For the schools involved, we’ve had a lot of useful learning – and fun – from it. The slideshows will vanish from the sites, but they’ve probably served their purpose and copies of the original images will still be on disk in the schools.

With portfolios that are needed long-term, though, we’ll need to be careful to take such risks into account.”

Now that I’ve finally set up some ePortfolios with the class I have now, I’m hoping that  Glow will provide the stability we’re after.

And if it doesn’t – at least we’ll be sure to back up all the files as using the new Glow Wikis means that there’s no need to host content elsewhere.

Check out Anna’s ePortfolio – hopefully it’s just the beginning 🙂

4 thoughts on “Glow Wikis, ePortfolios and Longevity

  1. Interesting stuff Margaret particularly the point about longevity if we are expecting our pupils to be able to point to evidence online. I think as long as it is only a part of the overall picture we should be fine. I’m following your wiki work with great interest though, I haven’t really had time to look too deeply – maybe next session.

    • Thanks for the comment, Brian.

      I suppose another point is – what happens when the children leave school? Will they need to rebuild their ePortfolio as they will no longer have access to Glow (I don’t think colleges or universities have access??)?

      It’s very easy to export/import to and from Glow blogs. I don’t think it’s possible to do this with Wikis. The children in my class didn’t take to using their blogs as ePortfolios, though. They much prefer the Wiki layout and ease of use. They do still enjy writing their blog posts as well though. I see a place for both platforms when building an eportfolio.

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  3. Dear Maureen,
    I continue to be impressed with all your hard work. I agree with you comments concerning longevity. Some time ago I listed my ‘Ten Prime Directives’ see: I do not see interoperability as the solution to transition and neither can I see students being happy about having to rebuild their ePortfolios when they move on to a new school.

    However, the main reason for writing is that I would like to know more about your work with the Glow ePortfolio. I was up in the North of Scotland last year talking to senior staff about my eFolio system but I believe that they had to go with Glow. 🙁

    Kind Regards,
    Ray T

    Perhaps you might like to share with me off list at ?

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