Glow Blogs Phase One

The RM Unify switch over went live at 2:30 this afternoon, and the blog service DNS was changed. New tiles have been deployed on the RM Unify dashboard pointing to the new blog instances.

Congratulation to Chryston Primary 1 for beating me to the punch with the first public post to the new blogs: Busy bees:

Screenshot 2014-10-03 18.59.00

The DNS propagation took a while this afternoon but it seems to have finished. The scripts are rolling out tile changes to all schools Unify launch pads.

You now should logon to Glow at https://glow.rmunify.com/ and once you log on you should see a blog tile for your LA on the shared dashboard:

Screenshot 2014-10-03 18.47.29

Clicking on this tile will take you to the home page of blogs for your Local Authority.

There you should see a slightly different screen. In addition to the list of the last 40 updated glow blogs there are now links to: Create a Blog, My Blogs and the Glow Blogs Help.

Screenshot 2014-10-03 18.55.35

The Changes in the service at present are around Blog creation, User Management and privacy settings. There were previous controlled through the old glow groups and are now in WordPress. Details of these changes and help are available Main Changes » Glow Blog Help

We have also gone live with some know issues again these are listed.

What happens next

For the next couple of weeks we will be letting the service ‘bed down’ hopefully not making any changes, but phase 2 of the project will start behind the scenes. This second phase will involve fixing the known issues and upgrading WordPress to version 4 (from 2.9.2).

I would expect this second stage to take at least a couple of months, it should then be followed by stage 3. By this time the project will be in agile development where we hope to have a fairly steady out pup of new features principally through the addition of themes and plugins.

Please get in touch if you have any observations about the new service.

Primary teacher. I like blogs, podcasts and the internet. More here http://johnjohnston.info/blog/about/

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Posted in News, Project News
7 comments on “Glow Blogs Phase One
  1. Shirley Campbell-Morgan says:

    Hi John. I can see my blogs. I just need to test with some pupils tomorrow. For several years my school has paid for an edublog blog for our school website as there are features that were so much better. Parents being able to subscribe by email being one of them. Just this session many of our teachers who weren’t interested in blogging have started their own class blogs because of the ease of the edublogs app and mobile devices. But of course this will have a cost implication for us. Are there plans to have an app that will work with the blogs in Glow as easily?

  2. Hi Shirley,
    At the moment we have the same version of WordPress and the same features as the old blogs. Soon we will upgrade to WordPress 4 which has a much better feature set and a better mobile experience in the browser.

    There are concerns that using the WordPress metaweblogAPI which allows mobile apps to work would be a security problem. I’m very disappointed about this as I’ve been asking for it for years.

    I do think that this is mitigated by the better mobile experience we will have. It may be possible to develop a glow blogs app but we have not explored this option so far.

    We will have the opportunity to add themes and plugins that will make glow blogs better for teaching and learning.

    I would recommend that you keep an eye on development to see if the new service will met you needs. We hope that phase 2, upgrade to WordPress 2 will happen before the end of the year.

  3. Steve Miller says:

    I’m impressed by the new Glow WordPress feature. I’ve one issue – the blog does not seem to be accepting comments, despite my dashboard settings allowing comments on posts. Am I missing something? Or is this just a “teething problem”? Maybe this is the wrong forum – but if not where can I report this?

  4. Hi Steve,
    Normally any problems should got to your Local Authority contact for Glow who passes them on to the RM help desk but I’ll send you a mail and see what we can find out.

  5. […] Last Friday at the same time as the glow authentication changed, the new glow blogs service went live. I posted about this over on Glow Connect. […]

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