The Glog – A New Interactive Tool for Schools? Part I: General Background

The GLOG – a new interactive tool for schools?

An incredible development has been launched in the field of digital technology and it’s clear that the possibilities for sensible, practical applications in the classroom have been given a new horizon.  It was only ten years ago that IWBs were leading-edge technology, but I dare say they’ve already come to be known as tools from an ancient age. It is, of course, necessary to add that even such outdated technology is not becoming obsolete even though it is incredibly expensive for the majority of schools. When discussing interactive learning, the outside observer only sees the interactive whiteboard hanging on the wall, but the real education comes not from the hardware itself, but rather the software and its content.

The gist of education is not technological hardware, but schools are primarily in favour of purchasing it. It’s odd the way expensive interactive whiteboards are bought in schools and these firms can be quite maddening in their attempts to persuade the principal to only buy their own hardware. Schools are the focus of all dealers, be it good or bad, and it’s quite complicated for most teachers to find a proper solution in this situation. Interactive education is, in the teacher’s mind, mainly connected with whiteboard-on-board.  In an informal poll, 70% of teachers believed that, without board-on-board, it is practically impossible to use interactive objects directly for education.  This is a disturbing statistic.

Interactive education is primarily about the activity that takes place onscreen, not about the texture or ceramics from which the screen is made.

“Traditional interactive whiteboards present one serious problem: the licensing of authoring tools being restricted to specific hardware. This bundle is a real nightmare for a lot of educators and means that you are only free to use such software on screens from the same vendor.

Such bundling causes other problems in schools:

  • Teachers very rarely change from one technology to another, as his or her digital objects can’t be effectively converted for other types of boards.
  • New organizational problems arise when classes are changed, pupils run for IWB lessons,
  • Schools are then dependent on one type of technology and they become donors to industrial development.

In reality, thanks to the online community, we are able to share educational content very elegantly by virtue of various online tools that are accessible from all platforms such as Mac, Windows, Android, Bada and so on. Ideally, we reach toward a moment when the pupil will learn from educational content everywhere, from everything and at any time – at home, in the park, in school or at the swimming pool…nearly everywhere, if we are able to persuade him or her that it’s worth trying. In an age when a crucial attribute of recent times is social networking, this is not a surprise. Unfortunately, in the European Union, rarely can we find excellent examples showing real education for the 21st century.  One such rare example is eTwinning.

Schools, and classes themselves, have become impenetrable fortresses of conservatism and traditionalism which is only furthered by:

  • Low-level digital competency of teachers
  • Teachers’ unwillingness to learn new things and venture into areas where kids are naturally adept, because teens are able to adapt more easily and quickly than the majority of adults
  • The necessity to be “in”
  • Low-level language literacy in countries where English is a non-native language of teachers

It is also plain to see that, with ever-changing technology, methodology must change rapidly as well, and those changes will influence educators as well. We have to educate new teachers for the 21st century.

Use Pinterest to Find Public Domain Images to Rock Your Glogs

Finding websites that have public domain images to use in your Glogs can be a time-consuming task. Searching for hours on Google or other search engines for websites that have images that are public domain and royalty free can be daunting. I have found that a quicker way to find public domain images is through searching Pinterest.

Searching “public domain” in the search window on Pinterest allows you to quickly find images that have been categorized or tagged as such.  While this will lead you to images that have been listed as public domain, doing so doesn’t assure that the images are definitely public domain. You need to click on the image and be redirected to the original website to double-check that the image is actually a public domain image (as well as to be able to save the image to your computer.)

Searching public domain images on Pinterest can save hours of time because many of the images have already been categorized or tagged as public domain.  Therefore, the accuracy of finding a website that has public domain images is much higher than searching images through search engines.  Once you have found one website that has a public domain image, there is a higher likelihood that the website has other public domain images as well, which can be used on your Glogs.

Here’s how to search Pinterest for public domain images, how to save the images, and how to upload them to your Glog.

First- Log-in to Pinterest.

Second- In the search window type in “public domain”.

Third- Scroll through the images and find the image that you would like to use as your Glog wall.

Fourth- Click one time on the image you would like to use.

Fifth- Click on the large image to be redirected to the original source of the public domain image. 

Sixth-  Check the original source to make sure the image is definitely public domain.

Seventh- Review the instructions to download and “save” the image to your computer.  

Eighth-  Once you are on the original public domain image, right click and “save image as”.

Ninth- Chose the location you would like to save the image to.

Tenth- Go to your Glog and click on “Wall”.  Next click on “Glog Wall”.  Then click “Upload”.

Eleventh- Find the image you would like to upload and double-click on it.

Twelfth- Click on the setting for how you would like to use the image as your Glog Wall.  Then click “Use It”. 

Thirteeth- Make sure you chose the correct option you wanted for how to display the image as your Glog Wall.

Fourteenth- Next set the image for your Page Wall.  You can use a public domain image or use one of the images that Glogster EDU provides.

Fifteenth- Use Pinterest to find other images to place inside your Glog.  Follow the same search instructions as listed above.

Sixteenth- Click to the original source to make sure it is definitely public domain.  Save it and upload it to your Glog using “Images” on Glogster EDU.

Seventeenth- Finish your Glog and voilà.   

Glog by Beth Crumpler

Need a Glog idea for your business class? Check this one out!

      Talkin ’bout OUR Generation

Great Glogster EDU Example!

In Rachel Winchel’s Business English class, she gave her students an assignment that really allowed them to utilize their research skills AND creativity.

They were assigned t0 work in groups to investigate a business person relevant to THEIR world.

The students then joined together and collaborated their research onto a Glog. Click on the image of the Glog to see it! It contains some great interactive examples of Glogs featuring Steve Jobs, J.K. Rowling and the Google guys.

This assignment really captures what Glogster EDU is all about. Innovation, creativity and collaboration!