Anxiety-Free Writing: Five Minute Friday and Glogging

It was a dark and stormy night. Pascal awoke with a start to the sound of knocking upon the door. "I have a bad feeling about this," the muttered to herself.

It was a dark and stormy night. Pascal awoke with a start to the sound of knocking upon the door. “I have a bad feeling about this,” the muttered to herself.

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This is a Guest Post by Adaptive Learnin’. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, you can contact us on Twitter @GlogsterEdu, or comment with your Email Address below (email addresses will not appear publicly). 

A Discovery I Made Recently

On my blog adaptivelearnin, I just started participating in this fantastic free writing idea that only takes five minutes every Friday, called Five Minute Friday.  The idea is to write freely for five minutes without distractions, without worry, and without focus on any of technical aspects of the writing process.  If you mess up, you don’t stop.  Poor spelling? no worries. If you make grammatical mistakes, no problem. You keep going, unleashing a flood of ideas into your writing.  The purpose is to be free from all the worries that normally cause writing anxiety or “writer’s block.” 

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Glogster EDU Community Star Outreach-Episode 9

After a short break, Community Star Outreach is back with an interview from one of our awesome Bulgarian Ambassadors, Rositsa Mineva who, along with a great team of other Bulgarian Ambassadors, has been working hard to spread the word about Glogster EDU in Bulgaria through conferences, training, and meetups with wonderful enthusiasm.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

First, I want to thank the Glogster EDU team for asking me to do this interview, and for the wonderful opportunities that the site has given to me as a teacher. Glogster EDU has helped me become more patient and loving, and has helped my relationships with kids and people in general. Thank you!

I have been a teacher for 23 years at the Fifth Primary School in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. First as a facilitator, then a primary school teacher and finally, teaching English in 2003, when early foreign language became compulsory in our syllabus. I became qualified to be an English teacher for young learners.

The main skills my students have to learn at this stage of their language learning are basic speaking, reading, listening comprehension, and writing. At this age they are not required to master transcription of a new vocabulary because that happens through repetition of new words, sentences, and text. Pupils need audio-visual aids as much as possible. They could get them in the real classroom during the lesson, but in my opinion, it is not enough. I was unsure of how to facilitate independent learning of my students but I thought that by supplying them with more audio-visual aids that they could easily use at home too would help.

I started searching for such a resource on the internet and found Glogster EDU as the most suitable web 2.0 tool for that purpose. (Bare in mind that when I found Glogster EDU in 2009 I had few computer skills, and had been a blogger for just three months) However, it wasn’t difficult for me to start. I was very impressed, and eager to learn more about all the enhancements it could give my educational work, and I applied Glogster EDU immediately.

Why do you think that 2.0 tools like Glogster EDU are becoming so popular in Bulgaria?

Starting to use Glogster EDU successfully in the classroom with my pupils led me to the idea of setting up a virtual classroom and making digital aids for children with Glogster EDU, like e-tests, textbooks, etc… It took me almost a year before I started sharing my practice in blogs, at conferences, and on TV. Many people (especially teachers in Bulgaria) learned about Glogster EDU and its applications in education from me. (No wonder Glogster EDU is so popular here!) We have a great community of primary school teachers online who care about and work towards innovations in Bulgarian education by sharing their experience. The fact that we know each other in real life makes us more united, sympathetic and confident. Our students are ageds 7 to 10, so we need to use visual aids as much as possible. Glogster EDU is the ideal web 2.0 tool for that, and is very easy to work with, which makes the kids’ activities on Glogster EDU fun and pleasurable.

You have helped to recruit a few other Ambassadors from Bulgaria. Are there any activities/events or online groups you use to promote Glogster EDU 

I have been writing about Glogster EDU on my teachers’ blog from the very beginning. Some of my colleagues understood, and some were not interested because of the difficulties they had with understanding English and the Glogster EDU interface. But little by little, the number of those who were afraid of using English decreased. Then, this summer, some of my colleagues came to me after we (the new Glogster EDU Ambassadors and I) made a “Face-Glogster” group on Facebook and said: “Teach us!” Some of my other colleagues had applied for ambassador status, and got it. The new Bulgarian ambassadors are active teachers who have great experience in innovation, they are not only my friends, they are much more – we share the same ideas and views about the future of Bulgarian education.

We often meet each other at conferences like the recent one in Burgas (the Innovation in Education Conference), as well as at meetings of bloggers, trainings, courses overseas, and of course we always keep in touch online. I’m really proud of them and proud of myself for the success I’ve had in engaging them in this Glogster EDU adventure!

How do your students enjoy Glogster EDU? Have there been any obstacles in using the product so far?

All my students love it! Kids love using Glogster EDU, working and communicating with pen pals, homework, project work, different kinds of tasks set up with Glogster EDU– they are involved and engaged.

For the last two years we have used a common Glogster EDU account with some American classes  (Thanks, Deena Kelly!). We made Glogs, talked on Skype, did language activities that were full of colors and music, learned new things…it was fun! I am doing my best to make sure this is repeated this school year too.

We use Glogster EDU as the creative platform for many projects with the kids. You can find them on my classroom wiki.

What are you most looking forward to at the start of this new school year?

This year I am planning a training with my colleagues to show them how to use project – based learning with students on Glogster EDU. The training will take place in October, depending on our school activities. I know it won’t be easy, but sharing new, good practices can inspire others, and it is the only way for my colleagues to try it with their students.

The other event on my list is to invite the colleagues from my “Face-Glogster” group as well as my blog to a Glogster EDU training session (probably in April, when we have our spring holiday).

I am currently looking for a qualification course abroad on HRDC where I can exchange ideas with European colleagues about Glogster EDU and its applications in the classroom and beyond. Only peace and good health is needed – I wish that to all teachers and students around the globe. Never stop making your teaching and kids’ learning fun with Glogster EDU!

Weekly Community Highlights

Check out Edudemics “10 Fun Tools to Make your Own Infographics”

Click here to read Jo Schiffbauer’s Article: “First Steps in the Twitter World”, about how educators can utilize Twitter.

Finally, have a look at Raman Jobs’ blogpost “Cool Stuff I Learned on Social Media this Summer

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