A Glog is a type of interactive, online poster combining graphics with text, audio and video files. The term is a combination of graphics and blog (Glogster, Feb 26, 2013). It is an “education platform for the creative expression of knowledge and skills” (GlogsterEdu, 2013) and this seems to be how teachers are using this tool; having students create online multimedia posters as a way of sharing what they have a learned (Brisco, 2009).
At GlogsterEdu, teachers can sign up for a Premium account for $99/yr, (special offer right now at $20/yr) which allows them to set up to 200 student accounts. The students receive safe logins and passwords that the teacher manages, creating a virtual classroom in which all activity can be monitored. A free trial is available to check out this tool before committing to a paid account. However, even for a free trial, the login requires a school to be named. As I don’t have a school yet I decided to utilize Glogster for this assignment because it is free to anyone and has the same elements for making a Glog as GlogsterEdu.
If I was asking my students to create a Glog I would want to model it first so that is what I did; I created an assignment for Science 9 students with all the criteria and information needed to get started in a Glog format. This way they would not only see an example of the end product I expect from them, but I could easily take them through the steps of how I created it.
Once I got started on my Glog, the process was pretty easy. However, as I find with most technology, it was a little frustrating at first. I couldn’t see a help button anywhere to explain the tools to use to make a Glog, but after some perseverance I was fairly quickly able to start creating. It was somewhat time consuming to get my Glog exactly how I wanted it, but I am sure with experience the process would be much quicker. I enjoyed creating my Glog and I think students will too. There are a number of templates, backgrounds and graphics to choose from allowing for much creativity. Students can also upload images from their computer or sites like Flickr. I also liked how you could add as much text as you want in the text boxes and viewers are able to scroll through it. This may not be useful if the Glog is being used for a presentation as not all of it can be seen, but it was good for my purposes as I had quite a bit of information to include and students would be able to view it at their leisure. I only have two criticisms of using a Glog.
First, the only way to see the entire Glog is when it is on the webpage with all the “Glogster stuff” around it. When the Glog is expanded to full page or full screen it is necessary to scroll around it to see it all. This is also true when creating it; you can’t see the whole space at the same time. Second, there is no way to cite any pictures uploaded from the Internet. As teachers we are always telling students they need to give credit for information, including images, they find on the Internet, but there did not seem to be any way to do this. I got my background image from Flickr (one of the options on the site) and it had part of the link attached but there didn’t seem to be a way to see all of it. However, Glogster only allows the user to get images from specific sharing sites and it doesn’t support all image file types. I tried to upload images I had downloaded onto my computer from Google images, but it wouldn’t let me. I am not sure if this is intentional, but it seems like images can only come from certain sites that allow sharing. I suppose if students know this, credit is implied. I have a feeling I will find this issue with the other tools I will be looking at.
Overall, I think a Glog is a great way for students to show their learning. It is a technology that is easy to learn and use and I think students would like to have the option of creating in this way. My next steps would be to purchase an educator account and start students off on their own Glogs.
I tried embedding a copy of my Glog here but it didn’t seem to work. Instead here is the link.
Brisco, S. (2009) A 2.0 Toolkit: A hand-picked set of free Web programs to take to school this fall. School Library Journal. Retrieved from http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/article/CA6674058.html
GlogsterEdu (2013). What is Glogster EDU. Glogster Ec Inc. Boston MA. Retrieved from http://edu.glogster.com/what-is-glogster-edu/
Glogster. (2013, February 26). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 16:32, March 3, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Glogster&oldid=540461833