This is the second part of an ongoing series, building on Joli Barker’s original post on innovative uses for Glogster. We are revisiting our favorite suggestions with the new iPad App in mind. Click here to check out the first post, which recommends five unique ways to use the Glogster iPad app for engaging directly with students in the classroom.
This week, we will be changing the focus slightly, picking out some of Joli’s innovations in the area of homework and projects. Glogster has always been an ideal way for students to take their learning into their own hands, giving them the power to choose, research, and present knowledge according to their own decisions. Traditionally, project work has involved copious amounts of parent and teacher involvement – from supplying poster-board to guiding student research. However, with the personal and portable nature of the iPad students can be set in the right direction and left to explore, making the resulting glogs a true mark of effort and ability.
Joli suggested that letting students create a journal glog as an alternative to traditional blogging is a great way to “engage your students in writing in a way that will give them purposeful and meaningful opportunities to write daily.” This could take the form of personal reflections on school life, from favorite projects and field trips to PSHCE and friendships, and makes for a lovely memoir of class experiences at the end of the school year!
With the iPad it’s possible for students to update their glog journals at any time and anywhere, allowing for spontaneous reflection rather than confining the project to class sessions or homework. As the app is integrated with the iPad’s camera and microphone, students can truly capture the moment in their journals, engaging creativity and turning the task from a purely writing-based exercise to a wider exploration of media and self-expression.
Learning by Teaching
“One of the best ways to help a child learn information on a deeper more meaningful level is to have them teach it to someone else”, Joli explains. We agree – especially as the very act of creating a glog involves presenting new information in an engaging way for others, while truly connecting with that knowledge at the same time! Joli gives some sterling ideas for letting the students take the reins including recording lessons via video and audio software, and creating quiz or homework glogs for their classmates.
Not only does the iPad app make all of these elements that little bit simpler, allowing students to record their videos and lecturers directly onto the app through the iPad, but it also means that students can teach wherever the action is – on the sports field, in the science lab, at home or out in the wilderness. By giving your students the chance to show as well as tell, the Glogster app gives them free reign to engage not only with the subject of their presentation, but with presentation skills themselves.
Joli sums this one up perfectly: “You can create a glog filled with research information and links for your students to easily find and use. But a more productive application could be to assign research topics to students and have them create their own resource glogs!” Indeed, Glogster makes it easy for learners to put together a handy bibliography on any subject, learning useful lessons about internet sources and checking validity as they go.
The iPad app’s powerful Web picker tool makes this even easier, as learners can navigate the internet without leaving the app, and directly drag text, images and video to their glogs, adding hyperlinks to take viewers straight to the original source.
Why not let students help each other out by each researching a different aspect of the same topic? For example, a unit on Ancient Egypt could benefit from a collection of reliable sources on geography, religion, food, clothing, politics, and more. These glogs can be made before the first lesson and shared between iPads, ready to refer to whenever students need a source for essays, or simply when they are curious!
Infographics are only becoming more and more popular as a captivating way to share facts and figures, not only in education but in academia, business and media. Use class time for gathering data – perhaps your class can conduct surveys amongst themselves – and the let students take their findings home to create the most attractive and informative infographic they can, ready to share the next day.
Because the Glogster app for iPad includes our new library of 10,000 educational graphics, including text boxes and image frames as well as decorative elements, adding a consistent and visually appealing theme to infographic glogs is simple yet striking. Before you know it, artists will be engaged with data handling, mathematicians will be designing masterpieces, and everybody will be learning skills for life!
No matter what the subject and how fun the project, there will always be kids who claim that their homework got lost or forgotten or eaten by their dog. It’s practically a right of passage. Fortunately, Joli’s article had a one-step solution to making students less likely to lose their work and more likely to enjoy it: “Send glogs to your students with links, videos, audio, and photos as well as guided questions for them to answer!”
With the Web picker tool, finding and editing the perfect resources for a digital handout takes far less time than flipping through textbooks and making endless photocopies. You can keep an entire evening’s homework assignments all on the same page, as well as any extra reminders for your class. Plus, if some students need a little extra encouragement to remember their assignments, your homework glogs can easily be emailed to parents direct from the app as a discrete yet effective way to keep everyone in the know.
We hope these quick tips have sparked some bright ideas for creating boredom-proof, dog-proof homework assignments and projects that will build confidence and presentation skills for life, as well as keeping learners of all ages actively involved in their own education. If you haven’t yet downloaded the Glogster iPad app, this is a great chance to do so, and see for yourself how quick and easy it is to innovate through your assignments.