Glow or glimmer? A case study of ICT innovation in a Scottish secondary school

Alastair Wilson, Stephen McKinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper argues that effective staff and ICT development are inseparable from the wider ecologies in which schools are positioned. The paper draws on data from a research and development project in which a Scottish secondary school pioneered the use of a virtual learning environment (VLE) before migrating this activity to 'Glow', the national schools intranet, in Scotland. Researchers worked closely with the school over a two year period to try and inform this process. A variety of methods to collect data were employed ranging from interviews and focus groups to the analysis of login frequencies and patterns of usage of VLE tools. These data were shared and facilitated ongoing reflection and understanding throughout the different stages of the project. The findings illustrate the ways in which the school and its teachers have experienced innovation in ICT as a challenge to their organisational and professional development. It is further argued that there is an urgent need to recognize and reconceptualise ICT development from a 'technology push' for change into a process of broader educational reform. Such a system wide development is necessary to prevent a deficit view of schools and teachers emerging in which debates about increasing support and resources are dislocated from the wider issues of educational development and transformation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-69
Number of pages13
JournalScottish Educational Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • ICT
  • virtual learning environment
  • VLE
  • secondary education

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