Over a week ago, I had the pleasure of being able to spend a day and half of professional development time with four other instructional technology specialists and a dozen teachers (grades K-5) exploring Glogster. This time gave way for much needed “play” and discussion about how to integrate this tool into the curriculum. By the end of the second day, we had examples and resources to share as well as a new contact, Jim Dachos, Glogster’s Education Manager. (I originally started following Jim on Twitter and set up a Skype session with him during the second day. He is a tremendous resource!)
In a nutshell, Glogster is a service that allows a user to make glogs or graphic blogs. Glogster’s slogan describes its service well: “Poster Yourself”. This medium is very appealing to all kinds of learners because of the ability to express yourself not only through text, but with pictures, videos and sounds- all on a web page (glog) that is like an artist’s canvas. It’s also very simple to use.
I recently read on Sean Banville’s blog that he used a glog as a way to introduce himself to his students. Sounds like a great alternative to a PowerPoint! I also have used a glog where my normal inclination would have been to present with a slideshow. I used a glog as a backdrop for a Web 2.0 presentation that I gave to parents this school year. That was a different experience, but one that was very interactive and visual for participants. It really showed the parents a Web 2.0 tool in action. The first glog page is embedded below. (If I were to do it again, I definitely would embed some video!)
*Here are links to a few ideas/examples that we created on our PD day:
Once you get started, the integration possibilities are endless as you will see by visiting the site. Jim Dachos stressed the importance of a teacher signing up for an education account at Glogster Edu. There are many resources available to teachers there. Check out that home page! And don’t forget to scroll to see what’s been added. There are links to tons of student examples, step by step directions, the Educator Resource Library and even tips for Mac users. With the education account, a teacher can receive 200 student accounts (very nice!). All can be managed by the teacher from a dashboard. Also, glogs can be made private and shared only to certain individuals via a link or they may be embedded on a web page, wiki or blog. The standard service is free, and you do get a lot for that price tag! To upgrade to premium, it’s about $100 per year.
Glogs are great a vehicle to deliver instruction to students as well as have students synthesize their own meaning on a topic.
What do you think about glogs?
Want to learn more? Here are two great Glogster resources:
*Thanks to Andrea Gardner, Joy Courcy, Margorie Nardini, Ruth Freeman, Sarah Rivard, Karen Burke and Liz Colantuonio for letting me share their terrific work!