Innovative Teaching with the iPad: Part 1

As educators settled into the new school year, we saw a resurgence of interest in Glogster Ambassador Joli Barker’s featured blog post, ‘40+ Ways to Innovative Teaching Using Glogster EDU’. In May 2013, Joli offered an encyclopedic selection of exciting uses for Glogster’s online platform, which quickly became one of our most commented on and shared blog posts.

The 40+ Ways remain a fantastic starting point for new Glogster users and a valuable resource for long-term gloggers who want to try something new. However, the arrival of the Glogster iPad App takes Joli’s tips into a whole new dimension, giving students the freedom to learn anytime, anywhere, and instantly share what they have learned.  We decided to take our favorite points from Joli’s post, and expand on them with the iPad app in mind.

Over the next month, we will be sharing a few bright ideas from the original post each week, and shaking them up for the iPad!  This week, we will be exploring class-time teaching methods, and seeing how the Glogster iPad app can keep students connected to every lesson from beginning to end.

Flipped Classroom

Whether it’s the primary learning model in your classroom or simply a useful option for covering special circumstances, flipping the classroom is widely considered a valuable alternative to the traditional classroom structure, letting students consume information outside of school that would normally take up class time, and respond to it during the lesson. Joli discussed how Glogster can nurture this effect, stating: “you can embed an entire week’s worth of lessons into one glog and have kids work at their own pace or on a schedule.”

Never has this been more true than with the Glogster iPad app. With lessons readily available on their iPads, students can feel truly responsible for their own study, and connect with the material in their own time.  Whether recording your own lectures via the iPad app’s video and audio capture functions, or using online media from sources such as YouTube and Khan Academy via the app’s integrated Web picker tool, you can easily create and share lessons in an instant, ready for students to consume via their devices anywhere internet is available.


Joli explained how to create glog templates for students to either fill out with their own notes and observations, or copy and customize. This sort of “express learning” is what the Glogster iPad app was built for, not only offering a library of pre-designed templates, but making it quicker and easier than ever for teachers and learners alike to copy a glog or template to their own dashboards, where they can view, edit or share it whenever they want.  Here are some quick bites of inspiration:

Use Glogster’s Experimental template to encourage students to set out their scientific findings simply and accessibly, along with photos and videos of the experiment itself. Writing up a science report has never been so enjoyable!

Have students customize Glogster’s Timeline template at the beginning of the year, then keep a month-by-month account of their favorite lessons and activities, including links to other glogs as well as photos and videos captured via the iPad.

Keep students up-to-date with current events by having them complete the News template every week using images, video and text gathered from around the web using the iPad app’s Web picker tool. If students present their current events, why not film their presentation via the iPad and include it in their finished glog?



Joli’s post included a fantastic idea for letting younger students complete spelling tests at their own pace: “Have students respond to an audio clip of you dictating or pronouncing the spelling words and have them type in the word. It’s as easy as that!” We certainly agree, and with the combination of an iPad and a pair of headphones, the application offers scope for all sorts of listening tests, such as spelling, comprehension activities and even foreign language translations. Speaking of foreign languages, why not test your students’ pronunciation and oral skills by letting them respond to audio prompts with clips of their own, ready for you to assess?

Scavenger hunts

Gamification is one of the latest EDU crazes, with proven benefits when it comes to motivating students to assess their own performance.  Scavenger hunts are one way to bring the excitement of a video game into an average school day. The ‘40 Ways’ blog post suggests setting  online scavenger hunts, ‘across all curriculum and content’. While this sort of discovery is well catered for by the Glogpedia library and the app’s inbuilt Web picker tool, allowing students to safely search for information and media without leaving Glogster, the portability of an iPad brings whole new dimensions to the scavenger hunt…

To engage students with their surroundings, consider creating a glog challenging your students to find certain things around the campus. They can photograph or record their discoveries using an iPad and create a glog compilation of everything they find! And thanks to the app’s seamless integration with the iPad’s camera and mic, students can be sent to find everything from a picture of a book in the school library to a video of somebody recycling their trash to the sound of the principal saying hello!

hunt copy

Virtual field trips

“Level the playing field for your students who have limited life experience and trump the budget cuts by creating a glog that sends your students on a virtual field trip”, suggests Joli.  Using videos, sounds, images and text from around the web you can truly transport students of all ages to a world of new experiences. With the introduction of the iPad app, however, the experience can be entirely personalized, allowing students to ‘visit’ an attraction at their own pace via their iPads, recording their own observations and questions as they go.

Why not take the virtual field trip even further – create a glog to set the scene with some introductory information about where the trip is, be it a zoo, a famous city, a whole country, or even another point in time! Students can then work in groups to research and create a glog about a different attraction on the trip itinerary – for example, a virtual class trip to Paris could result in individual glogs about the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Notre Dame, or even Disneyland! At the end of the exercise, the trip glogs can be easily shared between iPads, for the ultimate virtual field trip!

field trip copy

We hope that some of these updated innovations have inspired your own class iPad experiences! If you haven’t downloaded the app yet, now is the perfect time to do so – see for yourself how it can make innovative teaching even easier and more enjoyable than before! Check back next Friday to see how the iPad has made even homework projects worth getting excited about…

Written by Alicia Lewis

Written by Alicia Lewis

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