This post is part of our ongoing series, examining guest writer Joli Barker’s 2013 post, 40+ Ways to Innovative Teaching Using Glogster EDU. Joli offered some fantastic ideas for maximizing Glogster’s potential in your classroom, and maximizing your students’ potential while you’re at it! We are looking at some of her innovations, and updating them with the Glogster iPad app in mind. If you haven’t had a chance to download the app yet, check it out here and discover what a difference it makes for yourself!
This week, we’re taking a look at fun, easy and eco-friendly ways to cut out the endless paperwork sent home to parents via students, replacing it with instantly accessible video, audio, images and links to share your news and goals with your students’ families.
Joli thinks that a glog is the perfect replacement for a weekly newsletter: “My parents and students look forward to the newsletters because they showcase images from our classroom, links to learning, student made work, videos, and more!” She’s right – a glog can pack in far more than a traditional letter, and allow parents to really experience your class spirit and achievements first hand. A fun glog newsletter will also encourage parents and students to discuss school life together.
With the Glogster iPad app, this is not limited to the classroom either. Using the iPad’s built in camera, you can pack your glog with images and videos from field trips, sports days assemblies, concerts, drama productions and more. And because you can send a completed glog direct from your iPad via email, you don’t have to worry about letters going missing before they get home!
Take the idea of newsletters one step further by supplying parents with glogs that explain what their children are learning in class, provide links to useful documents and activities, and offer some inspiration on how to support students from home. Glogster is ideal for this, as every glog can include multiple resources, and can be revisited again and again.
The iPad app allows you to go as far as to record some of your own lessons and include excerpts in your glogs, keeping parents right in the middle of the action and allowing them to tune into your personal teaching style.
Of course, Glogster isn’t just for class teachers – administrators can use it in a way to connect with staff, students and parents like never before. A monthly Principal’s Corner glog can include pictures from school events, spotlights on staff or students who have performed exceptionally, motivational quotes for the month ahead, and even words of wisdom recorded directly onto the glog via the iPad’s built-in microphone. Imagine turning school assemblies into fully interactive experiences for students and parents alike!
One of the most important things that we can communicate to students before they leave the classroom at the end of the day and go out into the wider community is how they can serve that community. Glogster opens up a world of possibilities for community outreach, from informing parents about the class’s community service work to letting students get the word out about an issue that they consider important.
Joli suggested that gloggers can also “Get your community involved in your community service projects by creating interactive glogs that can send them to information about your cause, links to donate or volunteer, sign up for participation and so much more!”
With the portable and personal nature of the Glogster iPad app, students can now capture the moments at which all their hard work pays off and share them with everyone who has contributed and offered support. From before and after pictures of litter-picking expeditions to videos of charity performances, students can proudly share every little bit of difference they make in the world around them.
We know there are a lot of great glogging librarians out there, and their work continues to inspire us, as well as learners and readers. Joli had a fantastic idea for library glogging: “Celebrate the Book of the Month for grade levels or your campus by showcasing the book, author, and illustrator with interactive features and even student-created book trailers!”
This idea can be expanded indefinitely with the iPad app: while basic information for each book can be quickly discovered and added to the glog via the Web picker, more emphasis can be put on student involvement, with videoed readings, reviews, and even reenacted excerpts from the books!
With this much student creativity at your fingertips, perhaps the ‘book of the month’ could even become a school-wide glogging competition, with students submitting glogs on their own favorite books, and the most creative and informative glog for each grade level displayed on the library homepage and sent to parents. The possibilities really are limitless!
We hope that you’ve been inspired to find the fun in creating, sending, reading and responding to school communication. Make your messages memorable with a glog! Tune in next time for the final post in this series, with some exciting ideas for showcasing student work. If you have any bright ideas to add to these, we’d love to hear them via Twitter or Facebook!