Tag Archive | Glow

Glow Blog Update

A handful of children now have their Glow Blog username and password. These were sent home along with a covering letter explaining what Glow is and the potenial benefits of Glow blogs. Before issuing the passwords etc., the blogs were customised for safe use (well, as safe as possible without compromising on the gains).

The changes included:

  • Ensuring that all the blog URLs began with cps (Carronshore Primary School) followed by the child’s first name and second initial of their surname – https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/cpsalysonm/ This gives a ‘uniform’ appearance to the blogs and associates them with an educational establishment (not just another social networking site that some children might be already using)


  • The Headers were modified so that the school identity was prominent. I made these by uploading pictures made in weeworld (it’s for 13+ age group, but the children were not using the actual site – they logged on via a school account made by me and simply saved their avatars). I then uploaded them to Microsoft Publisher and saved the file as a jpeg. This was then uploaded to Microsoft Picture Manager and cropped and resized to the right specifications.


  •  In the Settings menu on the dashboard, the ‘discussion’ options were set so that all comments would require moderation before appearing ‘live’ on the blogs. It’s imortant to change the default ones to those shown here because in wordpress they’re set to “Comment author must have a previously approved comment” – a bit like a ‘catch 22’ scenario 🙂


  • The blog Widgets were added in this order:

1. ‘Text’ widget so that the children could add something about themselves that would stay visible on their blog even after the introductory post had been archived https://blogs.glowscotland.org.uk/fa/cpsandrewf/

2. ‘Text’ widget – to link the blogs to http://www.scotedublogs.org.uk/ . Glow Blogs aren’t able to link to this site at the moment, but it’s being worked on and the issue will be sorted soon – fingers crossed 🙂

3. ‘Pages’ widget I felt it was important to share our class Blogging Rules on their individual blogs.

4. ‘Archives’ widget – I learned from previous experiences of providing children with their own online spaces that it can be difficult for them to understand what has happened to posts they’ve been proud of – and suddenly they seem to disappear because they get archived.

5. ‘Tag Cloud’ widget – Although I’ve activated this widget, I haven’t discussed its use yet with the class. I’m very guilty of not using it in my own blog – but have recently been converted to appreciating the value of tagging posts.

6. ‘Meta’ widget – I learned very early on that if you don’t activate this widget after changing Themes, logging in to your blog can be challenging 🙂

  • I’ve already shared the class flickr account with the children. This was set up a few years ago (for a previous class) but will allow the children to access photos from home. The weemee characters are saved on our ‘class share’ area, but this can onlybe accessed at school.


  • Google Reader helps me to keep track on what children are posting on their blogs. Subscribing to this means that I don’t need to check each individual blog to look for new posts.

Although there have only been a few class Glow Blog account logins assigned, I’m heartened by the results so far  – especially from the boys. I’ll maybe need to re-think some of my original research 🙂

More thoughts  to come …..

My ePortfolio Experiment Begins

Well, I’ve been back in class for eight whole days now (five of those with the children) and it’s been a busy time! I’m with a Primary 6 stage class and one of my goals in coming back to class was to try to set up an ePortfolio for each child. I’d been playing around with the idea whilst on secondment and couldn’t wait to try out the concept ‘for real’ and this post is hopefully going to help me to learn from what’s happened so far  …… it’s been a rocky ride at times 🙂

During my secondment, I had the opportunity to work with a small group of children for a few afternoons and I helped them set up an ePortfolio (of sorts). Jaimey’s can be seen here . I decided on wikis over blogs, because I liked the idea that the children could put menus in the sidebar and have things neatly compartmentalised. I’d used wikis in the past with children, but mainly to allow them with a place to experiment with writing stories . I’d also previously provided children in my classes with individual blogs but wasn’t convinced that they were the best means available for the purpose – I’ve actually moved my thinking on and now see a place for both, but I’ll save that another post 🙂

So – what about my attempts so far in helping my class to build their ePortfolios?  I began by introducing them to our class blog . Because it’s been on the go for about four years now, I was able to locate lots of examples of the benefits of class blogging – and I also told them about what happened when I gave children in previous classes their own individual online spaces and explained that I hoped to eventually give them their own blog , too. I’d spent some time during the summer setting these up via GLOW  (I’d originally planned to use primaryblogger  – a fantastic support for schools! – but then decided, for various reasons, to give the GLOW ones a try). I’d planned on giving everyone in the class a GLOW login anyway, so I decided to set their blogs up at the same time.

Here’s my step-by-step explanation – there are probably better/quicker ways?:

  •  log in as pupil and go to ‘My Glow’
  • add the ‘Glow Blog’ web part
  • click on ‘Advanced Settings’  then ‘Go to Site Administration’
  • Go to ‘Manage  Users’ then ‘Add Users’
  • Add own Glow username to the ‘choose users’ box and click on ‘administrator’ role
  • When email is received, click on the link, create the blog and set the permissions, etc.







After that, I am now a member (administrator)  of every child’s blog and have customised them as I would have done with any other blog ……

Hey Presto!







More to follow ………  🙂

My Glow Blog Wish List

On Saturday, I tried out the new blogging facility in Glow.

I admit that I was a bit perplexed at first because the dashboard seemed to have a lot less options that the ones I’m used to. However, I eventually managed to upload a picture and add some widgets to the sidebar – and I’ve even figured out how to customise the header, now 🙂

There’s no option to easily select font sizes and colours … and I spent ages trying to embed a Voki (it didn’t work!). John has since left a comment, though, explaining that both the images and the wysiwyg is a bit broken at the moment, but that “the glow guys have all summer to fix it ;-)”

I’ve also received three other comments on the trial blog. The first two were from Alan and Malcolm (a colleague from work) saying they were looking forward to seeing how I’ll use the blogs with my Primary 6 class next session. I haven’t replied to their comment, but although I’d love to use Glow Blogs, there would need to be changes/additions made. I know that changes are planned, though, because I also received a third comment from Andrew asking for feedback so that any necessary tweaks can be made over the summer…. so here’s my tuppence worth 🙂


  •  At the moment, class teachers in Falkirk are using Primaryblogger and we’ve been spoiled by the super service they provide .  Blogs  need to be user-friendly because class teachers don’t have the time to spend hours trying to get them to do the things we need them to do. My new class won’t have experienced blogging before and it would put them off if it was too difficult. 

It would be great to use Glow Blogs, though, so fingers crossed they can provide the things on my wishlist 🙂


My Wish List For Glow Blogs:

  • Can we please have more options on the Dashboard?


It’s not easy to figure out how to add widgets – and changing the custom header (on K2 theme) took me a long time. If there was an ‘Appearance’ option like this on (even just the widgets and custom header submenus) that would save loads of hastle.




Some classes have worked very hard and are very proud of their class blog. For example, my own Carronshore one has been on the go since 2006. It’s been looked after by others during my secondment …. and I know I’ll need to import Mrs Willianson’s art posts in to another blog for her, or she’ll just refuse to give it back to me! (it’s an edublogs blog as I’m a ‘supporter’ until 2048 – but that’s a long story!)

                                                    Would it be possible to have the option to import existing blogs into a new Glow Blog by the addition of the ‘Tools’ menu?


  • Extra Widgets

The blogs we are using at the moment offer the option of dragging over some very useful widgets to the sidebar. The ones shown in the image here are not normally available, but the people at primaryblogger have added them to the bank of available widgets.

I know that they could probably be added by teachers themselves using text widgets and some code, but the ‘drag and drop’ of custom made ones saves a lot of hastle – and they’re great teaching tools, too.




  • Storage Space

John mentioned in his blog post that he’d like to see more storage space in the Glow blogs and demonstrated how quickly 10mb can be used up – even if images are resized. One of the great things about primaryblogger is the generous 1000 mb


  • Please fix the ‘Visual’ tab so that we can easily change font size/colour, and upload images



  • Embedding Code

I’m presuming that this is something that the Glow RM Team are working to fix. I spent ages at the weekend trying to embed a Voki into a Glow Blog. Embedding slideshows, sound files, etc.  is a very important part of blogging … especially if there’s a file upload limit.

  • Page Tabs

I’m not sure why there are no page tabs showing in any of the themes I played around with. I was able to create pages, but the only way to see them was to activate the pages widget  – once I found where the widgets were hiding 🙂

The End!

Well, that’s my wish list for Glow Blogs….. so far! I hope this post doesn’t read like an advert for Primaryblogger. I have used other blog hosts in the past, but there were always frustrations involved – and that’s what makes class teachers just give up on the whole idea of blogging with classes.

Primaryblogger’s John McLear has always been very supportive, though, and has actually been in touch offering to help with the Glow Blog set-up. He mentioned that the main plugin used to simplify the primaryblogger interface is:  Qwerty admin panel  …all double-dutch to me, but it might be of some use to the folk at RM 🙂