40+ Ways to Innovative Teaching Using Glogster EDU

The following is a featured post by Glogster EDU Ambassador Joli Barker. If you’re interested in a featured post of your own, you can tweet us: @GlogsterEDU or message us on Facebook. 

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40+ Ways to Innovative Teaching Using Glogster EDU in the Classroom

As a Glogster Ambassador, as well as an innovative educator, I am obsessed with finding new and creative ways to engage my students with technology, but also to keep them focused on deep and meaningful learning.  Often teachers use technology as just another tool to provide information to students.  Students remain the passive consumers of their learning and fact gatherers rather than active participants in the discovery of information and producers of meaningful learning experiences.  This should be our goal as educators:  To provide tools to discovery and allow creativity and independence in the learning process.

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Glogster EDU is a fantastic tool whose versatility is limited only by one’s imagination.  It is one of the most underutilized Web 2.0 tools out there!  This blog is dedicated to sharing and celebrating innovations in the classroom using this remarkable tool.

1. Ice Breakers or Getting to Know You

Starting off the school year in the same old ways?  Try using Glogster EDU as an innovative tool to get kids to express themselves about who they are and what they hope to accomplish over the year!  Create a “Meet Your Teacher” glog with all the makings of a fantastic glog (audio, video, links, graphics, images, documents) and not only let your new students get to know you and your teaching philosophies, but train them on HOW to create a glog of their own!  Send it out before school starts to your parents’ emails or post on your website for instant Day 1 assignment fun!

HomeHab

At the start of this school year, I asked my parents and 2nd grade students to take photos of things they loved that filled them with joy and made them feel special.  They specifically had to try to spell their names with those things, looking for the letters in patterns, shapes, or designs.  They each took digital photos, uploaded them to a glog, wrote little  blurbs about why each item was special to them, and added songs, videos of themselves, and even links to their favorite sites!  We shared these throughout the first week and it truly set the tone for our school year.  The documents, videos, and links provided in my “training” glog eased the stress of learning a new tool for both parents and students alike.  This lesson brought a sense of togetherness between my families and myself and has sustained a sound, respectful, and open relationship throughout the whole year.

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Is Immersion into Education with a Glog Possible? Part II.

The organizational schemes of teaching are also completely changing; from the traditional computer lab to projecting a PC in the classroom (which are still ICT oriented to the teacher), to netbook classrooms. Things have advanced to the point we can now retire this model. New technologies have turned educational methods 180 degrees around and have started to become more pupil-oriented. Digital immersion is no longer a fairytale.

On the other hand, what is the reality in classrooms? The current model of interactive education involves a teacher jumping in front of the IWB and clicking on hotspots with very little student participation on the board itself. We can’t be surprised that interactivity has resulted in an increased number of passive students seated behind desks. This is completely true because a typical modern teacher tries to be interactive, but because he or she doesn’t accept the PC as a personal tool, they have their own difficulties working with it, and therefore don’t have time to follow what activities are taking place behind the desks.

The true immersion of pupils is the only way to start a structural revolution. Not a slow-paced evolution, but a rapid and fast revolution that is ongoing from one minute to the next. The spark of this revolution is present in online applications that are strongly dedicated to education.

Regardless of what technology is used in school, TCO (total costs of ownership) determines the effectiveness of education. This problem is crucial and will never be overcome until technology is owned by the students. What we really need are individual devices, simple tools and portability.

The early birds have already flown. The first touchpads, tablets, iPads and so on are now extremely popular.  Having them is more or less a “fashion statement” and those who haven’t got them are simply not “in”.

The same activities are now prevailing in business firms. Cloud technologies have cut tremendous costs on software for both businesses and schools. In the Czech Republic, this is also utilized by e-Government, when eGON is accompanied by KLAUDIA.

“Cloud technologies” represent a new area of digitalization in which users share their tools online and can access their files from anywhere. Applications such as Google Docs and Live@edu are easily accessible and could be an alternative to the previously mentioned nightmare of licensing individual software for schools.  The reduction of costs is immediately noticeable and some of the schools using this approach are very satisfied. We should support and share more information about this possibility.

Students today have had real difficulty in understanding text and link issues, as teaching is very often boring and old-fashioned. On the other hand, pupils are capable of using such technologies in social networking and so on — though this is not for their own self-education, of course.

Project and team education is part of every school’s charter and goals, but these are often just dreams that are never realized — after all, we still insist on the chalk-age, frontal method of teaching.

So it is probably quite typical that a very successful online tool, Glogster, was born in the Czech Republic and is very popular to those overseas. Despite not being well-known in Europe, it has been listed among the 100 best educational tools for the last 4 years.

Glogster is a graphic blog, which provides users with unlimited use of all available forms of media, and  is structured on flash programming. The application is now available to view in HTML5, so the issue of its insignificance in Europe will be overcome in a very short period of time.

A combination of text, images, sounds and videos gives the author a good opportunity to present his or her opinions, and the online community is an ideal way to share them. In an age when all teenagers are on Facebook, we can understand why this platform has received such an incredible response. Teens have the ideal tool to express their new virtual identities, and even have tools to comment on the attempts of those who oppose them. Perhaps most interesting is that, according to demographic user tools (see graph), we can even see an overgrowth of users.. It is clear that this tool is very popular among teens that are keen on showing off in an unorthodox way. 7 million registered participants are an incredibly large group of people who are open to a new style of education.

It is also obvious that after the phenomenal success of the tool, it was only a small step to a more sophisticated online educational application: Glogster EDU. Social graphic networking became a new environment for virtual education. This new, creative application, together with LMS, facilitates an advanced and sophisticated way to share content, presentations and various other materials.

A product using this modification recently won various awards in world education exhibitions, such as the f.e. ISTE Technology Award for the year 2011. It would also be fantastic to see this tool used by various countries f.e. during projects organized by the Asia-Europe Classroom Network. Next year, this product will be used in Greece, Malaysia, Italy, the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany and others. The product of a small European country has really become a global educational tool.

Our students aren’t just sitting in traditional classrooms of the past; they also live in a global environment. It is exciting to follow students as they share their ideas through Glogs in both funny and exciting ways.