November 27, 2007

CPD Reflect for Glow: the national intranet gets a-bloggin'

Cpd_reflect About a year ago I was helping Con Morris, a colleague working on the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) part of the LTS Online Service and the national intranet Glow, trying to point out why a blog was a valuable source of CPD for both the writer and the readers.

A year on, and Con is not only a great blogger, but the CPDReflect service, to be launched in Scotland's national intranet Glow, will incorporate the CPDJournal, effectively a blogging tool which, in theory, will be able to harvest posts from blogs teachers choose to host elsewhere and in public. This is a huge step in the right direction and further legitimises this much maligned activity as incredibly valuable teacher professional development.


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That's brilliant news that there's a national recognition that blogs can be a significant part of professional development.

It does feel odd though that so much time & effort is going into developing this when similar functionality is already available in Elgg (

I am delighted with this development. It's great to see that LTS are responsive to the (ever changing) environment.

I am delighted to read your comments on CPDReflect (see the CPDReflect tag on the National CPD Team blog at if you want to know more)

David makes a very important point about the use of Ellg. On John Connell's prompting, I did make a point of looking at Ellg in the early days of the project. It was clear to me (at that point anyway) it did not have all the functionality needed 'out of the box', so to speak, including CPD planning and recording tools, a journal tool with prompts to other tools and, crucially, integration with the Glow user database needed in Scotland.

Even if it had, I could not have made the decision to use it as these decisions are made by a tendering process. The tender panel would, of course, have looked at any solution yet none of the organisations invited to tender came forward with a product based on open source, social software solutions. Incidentally, not all of the tenderers are in the traditional private sector.

An interesting debate is why that is the case. Is it too new? Are there fears that the maintenance of the software will be up to scratch?

One obvious concern for me would be the ongoing access to educators to the information held in their CPD portfolio. Yes there are costs attached to the development of the various tools that make up CPDReflect, but the real value of the tool will be when educators from all over Scotland start to populate and share their work. For that reason, as happened with the commission of Glow, we might be happier to be in complete control of our own destiny.

As a footnote to the above, I should add that this online CPD initiative by the National CPD team is ongoing and we are delighted to hear how we can do better! So please keep us on our toes!

Super News! :-)

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