Interactive whiteboard at CeBIT 2007
Image via Wikipedia

Glogster looks like the coolest thing ever!  I’m surprised I did not discover it before now.  Glog with your classroom, instead of Blog!  It supports the national standards of learning and is an interactive tool with a drop drag interface for creating presentations, projects, posters, etc. This would be a great resource to use with Interactive Whiteboards (Black Board & Promethean).  I started a Glog to test its functionality and the speed at which a Glog is produced.  Teachers are very busy, so I understand the need for finding technology-infused tools to develop content-rich lessons and curriculum on the fly.

A Glog gives varied options for adding multimedia content in the form of images, text, audio, graphics, and video.  There is multimedia content already available for you to use, but it is limited.  To create lessons that have more varied content, you can upload your own multimedia.  You can also use the “Grab” icon to take a live video or audio recording using the camera and audio recorder on your computer.  Media files from the web can also be added by using the “Link,” icon.

To begin creating my “free” Glog here is what I did:

  • I clicked on the “wall” icon that is located on left hand side of the page.  I selected from the gallery of wall options.  (You have the option to select a color as your background instead if you want).  I then clicked “use it” to apply the wall option to my Glog.
  • Next I clicked on the “graphics” icon.  I then clicked on the subject matter of the graphic images I wanted to use.  I scrolled through the graphics and selected an image.  I then clicked on “use it” to apply it to my Glog.  I did this repeatedly until I had all the images applied that I desired.   (Note: The selection of graphics for the free version is very limited. It would be more beneficial to upload your own graphics.  I, however, did not do this at this time because I just wanted to see how to use the basic functions of creating a Glog).
  • Next I edited my images.  I clicked on the image I wanted to edit.  Editing options will then pop up as “bring it forward”, “put it behind”, “clone”, “cancel changes”, or “delete” an item.  By clicking on the “Edit” button in the same box, you can also “change the graphics color” “add link”, “edit text/font/color,” and place “effects” on an object.  I clicked on these editing tools and applied the changes I desired.
  • I added links to my images.  I clicked on the image, clicked on “edit,” and then clicked on “add link.”  Once I clicked on “add link” a box popped up prompting me to copy the web address to the link from another browser and paste it into the box.  I followed this and repeated it, adding a link for all of my images. (You don’t have to add a link for all of your images, it’s just what I chose to do).  I was creating my Glog for a beginning ESL learner to learn the vocabulary of animals, so I provided links that the learner could click on from each image which would then take them to an ESL-related website.
  • I next added text images.  I selected on “text” in the left hand menu and selected the text image I wanted.  Each time I then clicked “use it” to apply the text image to my Glog.  I then clicked in the middle of the text box to type the text I wanted to apply to the image.
  • I next edited the text boxes in the same way I edited the images.  For reference, look above for details on how to edit an image.
  • Next, I clicked on “video” and then typed in my search word to find video that is related to my Glog.  I clicked on the video that I wanted to view.  It appeared in the right-hand side of the pop-up where I then clicked on it to view the video.  I did this until I found the videos I wanted to add to my Glog.  I then clicked on “players” to add a border around my video in order to make the video more appealing visually.  Finally I clicked “use it” to apply the video to my Glog.
  • To add sound, I clicked the “sound” icon on the left-hand side.  I then clicked “grab” to record and add my audio recording.  Glogster asked me for access to use my webcam and microphone.  I then clicked “record” to record my audio files.  After this I clicked “use it” to use the audio in my Glog.  I dragged the audio file icon next to the images.  Since I was making my Glog for an ESL learner, I recorded audio of vocabulary words so that students could click on the audio and learn how to say the word.  In my Glog, the text on how to spell the word was also right next to the audio file so students could see how to spell it.  Without using an attached good quality microphone to your computer, the audio recordings won’t be of the best quality.
  • Other items that can be uploaded to your Glog are: “draw”, and add “data” files from Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, and wrapped files. I did not use these items at the time, because I was doing a brief Glog. Use of these other tools, could definitely make a Glog richer in multimedia content, especially with the use of uploading data files from PowerPoint.
  • I clicked “preview” at the top of my page to preview the Glog.  I then clicked “back to edit” to return to my editing screen.
  • Finally, at the top of the page, I clicked “save or publish” to save my Glog.

Options for creating a Glog without joining the premium service or uploading your own multimedia content or links, is minimal.  Access to Public Domain, images, video, and audio is highly important if you don’t want to spend the time creating your own content.  I clicked on several examples of already created Glogs.  Teachers took and uploaded video and audio in their classrooms and created interactive lessons for their students.  Go to the Glogster EDU webpage and check out examples of created educational content and browse by category.

Your finished Glog can be embedded into a website, blog (although for some reason, not WordPress), and so forth using coding that is provided.  Glogster can be joined for “Free,” or if you want “Premium” service and tools, you can pay for it.

Pros:

  • Ability to create interactive lessons for teaching and learning
  • Glogs can be embedded into websites, blogs, etc. to create more content rich lessons.
  • There are some files available for you to use under the “free” Glogster version, so you don’t have to find all of your own material.
  • Glogs seem to be a great lesson tool to use with Interactive Whiteboards.
  • Navigation was fairly simple, although if you don’t have much tech skill then it would be more difficult for you to navigate
  • Glogs offer you a URL web address which can be used to share your Glog for easier access to learning
  • The features are extremely interactive for diverse learners…ability to create audio, video, text, graphics etc.

Cons:

  • It did take me some time to create a simple Glog, so when using Glogster, you need time on your hands
  • Glogs can’t be embedded into WordPress blogs, but the links to Glogs can be inserted
  • Audio recording through the webcam is not of great quality.  If you want recording with good quality you need to use a separate microphone.
  • The current choice of graphics, images, and video is very selective.  To create more diverse lessons, you would have to upload your own multimedia content.

Overall I highly recommend Glogster.  Simply, it is an awesome and cool tool for creating lesson content that is interactive for learners of all backgrounds and learning needs.  It is content-rich and can be used to create lessons that meet national and state standards.  Glogs seem like they would just make learning fun for students. We all know that using content that is engaging to students is essential to their understanding, learning and retention of lesson goals.  I have fallen in love with Glogster and plan to use it extensively in the future.  Time investment is crucial but for high learning outcomes, it is worth it.  Try Glogster, you’ll enjoy it!

Note: WordPress does not let Glogs to be embedded into this blog.  Here is the link to my example Glog- Animals for ESL Learner.

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Beth Crumpler is the founder of adaptivelearnin. Beth is an educator who is passionate about platforms for adaptive learning and curriculum design. She earned her B.A. in music education from Southeastern University, M.S. in TESOL from Shenandoah University, and 42 graduate-level credits from several universities in California. Beth is an experienced teacher, curriculum writer, blogger, and elearning course developer in the fields of ESL and music education. She has written learning content for several major educational companies/institutions. Her strongest asset is in using needs analysis and thinking creatively to develop adaptive educational materials both through kinesthetic hands-on and technological platforms to meet the diverse learning needs of students regardless of age, learning need and content area. Beth has taught students of many linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. She loves her work, loves to bring positive humor to it whenever possible, and is seriously dedicated to the profession. Beth's experiences teaching for numerous content areas, diverse populations, and a wide range of age groups is what propelled her with the vision to create adaptivelearnin. Her vision has been to support educators in finding resources which support learning through modified and targeted experiences so that all students receive individualized learning to facilitate their educational growth needs. Adaptivelearnin is a place where educators can find digital and hands-on adaptive learning resources for planning and instructional purposes. Beth does freelance curriculum writing, article writing/blogging, and online course development. For inquires about hiring Beth for work, please email her at Beth@adaptivelearnin.com. Go to http://adaptivelearnin.com/beth-crumpler-publications to check out published articles Beth has written. Opinions are her own and are not those of her employer, or previous employers.

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