Please introduce yourself, your job/hobbies/interests?
Hi! I am Karen Reiber, the Media Specialist for Wyoming Middle School, a suburb just north of Cincinnati, Ohio. I totally love every part of my job—it is such a blast having contact with all of the students (grades 5 through 8) and all the staff. My focus is digital literacy-making sure our students have the necessary skills to collaborate, create; critical think and problem solve using technology and print resources. I spend a lot of time teaching and assisting in the research process which has really exploded in the last five years with the onset of digital databases, eBooks, research tools and web searching. Teaching digital citizenship goes right along with that as well.
This is a second career for me—I spent my first eighteen years as a Registered Nurse teaching nursing in a college setting (still keep my license active) and went back for my masters in Instructional Technology—that is where I fell in love with web tools like Glogster EDU! I love exploring all the possibilities for students to create and present what they have learned. I often find that technology evens the playing field—all students can create equally. I love tools like Animoto, Xtranormals and Vokis all which can be embedded into a Glog. I exclusively teach from Glogs when I have classes with students or staff.
Outside of work and playing with web tools and apps– I love to scrapbook (with real paper and pictures), research my family history, visit my three grown children and take walks with my husband. I volunteer for the FreeStore Food Bank and have been active with my church.
What is the most creative thing you have done with Glogster EDU?
My most creative project using GlogsterEDU has been the 5th grade research project. Grades 6 through 8 produce a research paper and 5th graders create an Author Research Glog. They choose a book to read, and then spend two days researching the author and taking notes. Students will write two to three paragraphs in a word document (so they can spell check it) and then copy and paste their text into sticker boxes in their Glog. They are required to have a picture of the author and of the books the author has written. For extra credit they can include a podcast or video interview they have found with their author and/or make their own podcast or video segment using the GRAB tools. Lastly, they must cite their sources for research and for the pictures they have used. The second part of this assignment is to make a book trailer promoting the book that they read using Animoto, Xtranormal or Voki. This book trailer is then embedded or uploaded onto the Author Research Glog. To make this assignment authentic I upload their book trailers into our Library Catalog (using the MARC 521 tag) and students create a QR Code and attach it to the back of the book. Sometimes students send their Glog to the author which has given the students positive feedback!
How has your classroom changed from 5 years ago?
My classroom is the Learning Center (library) with thirty computers and I have a lab across the hall from me with thirty computers as well. We are very fortunate to have laptop carts accessible to each grade level in addition to our two labs. We really want to be at 1:1 computing and at the end of last year we initiated bring your own device. I am very excited about the possibility of each student having some type of device at their disposal. Once this becomes a reality it will change how we teach to our students.
Hopes for the future?
My hope for my students is that they become lifelong learners. My hope for Glogster EDU—is that they get an app so that we can be mobile. In my world—life is great and I am blessed! Keep Glogging!
We have to ask, do people often ask you about your license plate? It’s great!
Yes LV2Glog is my license plate and I have had people beep, ask me to roll down my window to ask me what a Glog is! J
Weekly Community Highlights
Read the Spotlight On-Digital Media and Learning article: “Tech-Savvy Teachers Turn to App-Making in the Classroom”
Check out The Learning Network’s article in the New York Times “For ‘Connected Educator Month,’ Tips From 33 Educators We Admire”