This Cookbook will look at how some schools have begun using Glow Wikis


The Glow Wikis tool became available in January 2011, and several schools began exploring them straightaway. Wikis are collaborative online spaces, and Glow Wikis allow individuals and classes to work together on one ‘canvas’. There are hundreds of possible uses for wikis, such as class projects, inter-school work, peer assessment, or building up a bank of knowledge and resources. We will have a look at how some primary schools started out with Glow Wikis,

In this cookbook we will look at:

• How some primary schools started out with Glow Wikis
• How to create a wiki for yourself or your class

Burravoe Primary School, Shetland

Caroline Breyley is the headteacher of Burravoe Primary School, a small school on the island of Yell in Shetland. There are 11 pupils in the school, aged from 5-11. They have been using Glow Wikis collaboratively, working on different pages within the same wiki at the same time. One of their wikis is for Magnie the Whale, a stuffed whale who is travelling the world – he is currently with a school in Hampshire, and will be travelling to Dunedin in New Zealand soon. His wiki is a place for his travels to be documented, and also for the children to write about their community and their school. The wiki has text, pictures and video. The wiki is public, so anyone can read it and comment on it, but only the children at Burravoe can write to it. They give guest glow logins to teachers in the schools which Magnie visits. You can visit Magnie’s wiki and comment on it here.

Magnie Screenshot

The class are also using a wiki to collaborate with Longhaugh School in Dundee. Longhaugh set up the wiki in a Glow Group and made the children at Burravoe members so they could contribute to it. The wiki itself is public, so anyone can go and have a look – you can find it here. The classes at each school will be adding information about their schools and where they live, comparing town and island life. Lesley-Anne Weir, the teacher of the class (P3) at Longhaugh, said:

“Our new project we are working on is Urban and Rural, comparing areas and mapping. We also want to continue to build on the use of technology across the curriculum. This is also a good opportunity to engage with the Mairi Hedderwick Katie Morag stories. However we wanted to avoid this being a stereotypical picture of island life. In order to make this project relevant and meaningful we wanted to meet “real” people who live on a Scottish island, which is where Caroline Breyley and the children at Burravoe have stepped in. We are really impressed with the knowledge and skills her pupils have and it is certainly inspiring our pupils! Our wiki will be a place to share information about both areas, discuss similarities and differences and ask questions. Burravoe have started well and in the next two weeks we will be taking pupils out of school to photograph and take video footage of our area and city, which will be uploaded as we go.”

Longhaugh and Burravoe Wiki

We asked the children at Burravoe what they had been doing with wikis and what they thought of them so far. Each of the children has been working on different pages in their wikis. Charlotte in P4 has been writing a page all about the island they live on. Mia in P3 has been writing about the local wildlife, and is putting a video of otters onto the wiki. Kerry in P2 has been writing about the pre-school group which meets in the school. She would like to find out more about the weather in Dundee from the children at Longhaugh. Lucy in P6 thinks that wikis are useful for finding out about other schools, and is looking forward to hearing about Magnie’s travels. Kay in P6 thinks that wikis would be good for project work, and there is lots of information already on the wikis about the class’s recent Romans project. She is pleased that she is able to use pictures, audio and video easily on the wikis. Brydon in P6 said that he likes that everyone could be working on the wiki at the same time. He thinks they’re really straightforward to use, and James in P7 agrees that they’ve been easy to use and he likes that he can use them anywhere, at home or at school.

The Children of Burravoe show off their Togas

The Children of Burravoe show off their Togas

Carronshore Primary School, Falkirk

Margaret Vass is a P6 teacher in Carronshore Primary school. Her class have been using Glow Blogs for several months as online diaries, and Margaret was keen to explore the possibilities of Glow Wikis with them. The class had already used Wikispaces wikis for collaborative story writing, so were familiar with the way wikis worked. Margaret thought that the wikis showed potential as an e-portfolio solution, so the class were encouraged to set up a wiki in their My Glow area. This gives them full control over their own e-portfolio, but they decided to make the wikis themselves public, which means that anyone in the world is able to view and comment on them. However, only the pupil him or herself (and any chosen individuals, such as their teacher) can edit the wiki.

The pupils set up their wikis with an introductory front page, then created pages for achievements inside and outside of school. They were encouraged to personalise the wikis with images and text, and upload pictures and media celebrating their achievements. The class are very familiar with internet safety guidelines, and are careful never to write their full names on the wikis, or post any pictures where faces are identifiable. As Margaret says, “I thought this was the safest option because they’re updating them from their own homes and so have complete control over them – and what they consider to be ‘ok’ pictures, might not be.”

Andrew set up his e-portfolio and described what it was for on the front page:

“Hi everyone! Welcome to my e-portfolio. Well, this is actually a Glow Wiki but I am using it as an e-portfolio. In case you were wondering, an e-portfolio is something online where you record your achievements throughout the years. You can use it to get a job when you grow up as well.”

He has added a Crazy Talk video introducing his e-portfolio, and has recorded his maths achievements. He is keen to upload his reading achievements too. He thinks that the wikis are easy to use, and he likes how simple it is to add videos and media files. He also likes that you can upload large files into the wikis. He is glad that he will be able to take his wiki with him when he goes to secondary school and keep using it through the rest of his school years. Click here to visit Andrew’s wiki.

Andrew Wiki

Anna has uploaded details of her gymnastics achievements, including the details of her routine, and has also uploaded the audio of her class talk on her pet cat using Photostory 3, so people viewing her e-portfolio can actually hear the talk itself. She told us that she liked using the blogs alongside the wikis, as the blog was more like a diary, and the wiki was a record of what she had achieved. She said she enjoyed using the wikis as it was easy to make them look good. Click here to visit Anna’s wiki.

Anna Wiki

Lucy has also uploaded a record of her achievements inside and outside of school. She has written about her Tae-kwon-do achievements, and has uploaded a narrated slideshow video of her medals and trophies. She has also set up an area where she can update her achievements on her class topics through the year. She has enjoyed using both the blogs and wikis, and likes how you can use them both for different things. Click here to visit Lucy’s wiki.

Lucy wiki

Mrs Vass is interested in the idea of using the wikis to work with other schools, and would like to try collaborative writing using wikis again.


What is needed to create a Glow Wiki?

  • Permission to use Glow wikis. The Accounts and Services Manager (ASM) for your school, or local authority, can switch on  this permission for you and your pupils.
  • A Glow Group to host the wiki.
  • Administrator rights to the Glow Group.


In this section we look at creating and populating wikis

•Creating a Glow Wiki

Click here To Watch Video

•Editing a Glow Wiki Home Page, adding text and images.

Click here To Watch Video

•Adding pages to a Glow Wiki

Click here To Watch Video

•Adding links to a Glow Wiki

Click here To Watch Video

•Adding video to a Glow Wiki

Click here To Watch Video

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Getting Started with Glow Wikis5.052