Glogster – create online posters

If you are a language teacher, you'll immediately realise how useful the ability to add sound files is. Students can record themselves in the privacy of their own headsets or at home, removing any reticence to speak in the target language in front of peers or teachers

I’ve been meaning to take a closer look at Glogster for a couple of weeks now, ever since I was having a chat with a colleague from school who was as fed up trying to get his students to make a brochure using Microsoft Word as part of the ICT provision. It turns out that his students were fed up too trying to make Word do things it wasn’t designed to do. I thought there should be a better option out there, and I think I’ve found it in Glogster.

Glogster is a Web 2.0 tool that allows students to create online posters or glogs, as they call them, which can then be shared on the internet and, crucially, they can be embedded on school wikis.

Many subjects, not least Languages, make brochures using computers every now and then. They are great for acquiring ICT skills, motivating students to do some research on a topic and write in the target language and, if planned properly, they are also fantastic peer assessment tools.

But why limit yourself to only writing? We live in an age of rich media and instant communication. Our pupils go home, get online and watch videos on Youtube, listen to music on MySpace or Last.fm and comment on each other’s videos or profiles. That’s what they do. They most certainly do not open Word for fun.

That’s Glogster’s advantage in my opinion. It offers students an environment which they are used to, it allows them to be intuitively creative (dragging and dropping, resizing etc), have fun and, most importantly, it allows them to include sound and video. Click here or on the picture above to go to a glog I made earlier today, notice the sound and video players.

If you are a language teacher, you’ll immediately realise how useful the ability to add sound files is. Students can record themselves in the privacy of their own headsets or at home, removing any reticence to speak in the target language in front of peers or teachers. If they get something wrong, they just delete it and try again, as many times as it takes to get it right. It’s brilliant.

So, next time you’re thinking of getting your students to do a brochure in the ICT rooms or as homework, get them to do a glog instead. I can guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised with the outcome (it’s often the quiet ones who really shine, in my experience) and that you will have students wanting to speak write and research about your subject. What more do you want?

A very nice touch from Glogster is that they offer support for education by creating private school accounts. So no worries about safety then. Visit the Glogster Education page for more information.

After half term, I’ll be using Glogster with my Year 8 German group (12-13 year olds) to make posters about where they live. I’ll be back in touch with the results.

What do you think about Glogster? Can you think of any other alternatives to the good, old word-processed brochure?

José Picardo

José is Assistant Principal at Surbiton High School and a Fellow at Naace. He is interested in improving education and the way technology can be used to enhance and transform teaching and learning. José has been curating Box of Tricks since 2007 and holds a MA in ICT and Education.

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  • Adam

    Hi José I already tried this out with kids in school and it worked resonably well. We produced glogs on Huntly. The previous lesson we went around town with a camera to take pictures of all the places they wanted to include, then I uploaded them to a drop.io so that they could access them.
    However we did have major problems with flash and the resolution on the monitors. They had to do lots of scrolling around to see their glog. A word of warning as well there are a couple of unsuitable bits of “graffitti” that could be added, which of course they will find straight away.
    I’d link to one of the glogs but glogster seems to be down at the mo.

    Adam

  • Adam

    Hi José I already tried this out with kids in school and it worked resonably well. We produced glogs on Huntly. The previous lesson we went around town with a camera to take pictures of all the places they wanted to include, then I uploaded them to a drop.io so that they could access them.
    However we did have major problems with flash and the resolution on the monitors. They had to do lots of scrolling around to see their glog. A word of warning as well there are a couple of unsuitable bits of “graffitti” that could be added, which of course they will find straight away.
    I’d link to one of the glogs but glogster seems to be down at the mo.

    Adam

  • Mark Hodges

    I am going to use this to try and replace the whiteboard. Project the glog on the board and then move it around so that bits become visible.
    Just a different way and more visual way for the lesson structure to be seen.
    It is at http://tandairos.glogster.com/scatter-graphs/ if you are interested.

  • Mark Hodges

    I am going to use this to try and replace the whiteboard. Project the glog on the board and then move it around so that bits become visible.
    Just a different way and more visual way for the lesson structure to be seen.
    It is at http://tandairos.glogster.com/scatter-graphs/ if you are interested.

  • http://www.ld-technokids.com/ gail desautels

    Another wonderful tool!!! My son’s class had done “Me Boxes” earlier this year the old-fashioned way with a real shoe box etc, as a way to introduce themselves to each other. I have been looking for a techno way to do this … would be a great intro to technology for both the kids and their teacher. Thanks again José …. hey, how many sleeves do you have????

  • http://www.ld-technokids.com gail desautels

    Another wonderful tool!!! My son’s class had done “Me Boxes” earlier this year the old-fashioned way with a real shoe box etc, as a way to introduce themselves to each other. I have been looking for a techno way to do this … would be a great intro to technology for both the kids and their teacher. Thanks again José …. hey, how many sleeves do you have????

  • http://www.atantot.com/ Esther

    What a great idea! I will use it in class.
    Jose how did you get your pictures to be interactive? Mine do not move…

    Thanks
    Esther

  • http://www.atantot.com Esther

    What a great idea! I will use it in class.
    Jose how did you get your pictures to be interactive? Mine do not move…

    Thanks
    Esther

  • Guest

    Hi, thank you all for your comments :)

    @Esther I’m not sure what you mean by interactive. Do you mean the way the pictures pop out when you hover over them? In that case, that happens automatically when you have a large picture after you save and publish your poster. Hope that helps!

  • http://www.boxoftricks.net José Picardo

    Hi, thank you all for your comments :)

    @Esther I’m not sure what you mean by interactive. Do you mean the way the pictures pop out when you hover over them? In that case, that happens automatically when you have a large picture after you save and publish your poster. Hope that helps!

  • http://billgx.edublogs.org/ Bill Genereux

    Glogster sounds like a handy tool. My students have access to professional design tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, however this might make an excellent mock-up tool for quick drafts. I did one such assignment this week and it seems like they struggled to get done what I had asked them to do because they are still not entirely proficient with the pro-design tools.

    Thanks for the tip!

    Bill Gx

  • http://billgx.edublogs.org Bill Genereux

    Glogster sounds like a handy tool. My students have access to professional design tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator, however this might make an excellent mock-up tool for quick drafts. I did one such assignment this week and it seems like they struggled to get done what I had asked them to do because they are still not entirely proficient with the pro-design tools.

    Thanks for the tip!

    Bill Gx

  • Anita Geoghagan

    This seems like a wonderful resource – I am glad I’ve stumbled upon your blog. Students often seem to become frustrated with Word other programs I believe due to the fact that we want them to create something we deem ‘multimedia’ that is actually just a revved-up version of the old shoebox as Gail stated above. This seems much more intutive and like something the students would enjoy creating. It’s much cleaner and seems to have more of the ‘wow’ factor they’re looking for in class.

  • Anita Geoghagan

    This seems like a wonderful resource – I am glad I’ve stumbled upon your blog. Students often seem to become frustrated with Word other programs I believe due to the fact that we want them to create something we deem ‘multimedia’ that is actually just a revved-up version of the old shoebox as Gail stated above. This seems much more intutive and like something the students would enjoy creating. It’s much cleaner and seems to have more of the ‘wow’ factor they’re looking for in class.

  • Todd Ekart

    We are having trouble saving these at can anyone clue in as to why and how to fix it.

  • Todd Ekart

    We are having trouble saving these at can anyone clue in as to why and how to fix it.

  • Guest

    @Todd Thanks for your comment. My students have been reporting similar problems. I noticed Glogster was offline earlier today while the site was being updated. Perhaps that has something to do with our problems. In any case, the best people to ask probably are Glogster themselves.

  • http://www.boxoftricks.net José Picardo

    @Todd Thanks for your comment. My students have been reporting similar problems. I noticed Glogster was offline earlier today while the site was being updated. Perhaps that has something to do with our problems. In any case, the best people to ask probably are Glogster themselves.

  • http://www.PosterBurner.com/ Rick

    That is awesome. It could be great not just for students, but for travellers wanting to send something like a digital postcard with different types of media.

  • http://www.PosterBurner.com Rick

    That is awesome. It could be great not just for students, but for travellers wanting to send something like a digital postcard with different types of media.

  • http://enhancedenglishteachertseale.edublogs.org/ Tara Seale

    I noticed you mentioned 12 year olds in your post. Do you know if there is an age limit for Glogster?
    Thanks!

    • Guest

      Tara, the Glogster Edu page is not clear about this as far as I can see. However, in their TOS Glogster says things this:

      IT IS UP TO THE TEACHER OR PARENT UTILIZING OUR VIRTUAL CLASSROOM PRODUCTS, TO OBEY THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT AND ANY AND ALL LAWS PERTAINING TO CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION FROM CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 13

      From that I infer that children under 13 can indeed use Glogster.

      http://edu.glogster.com/terms-of-use/

      José

  • http://enhancedenglishteachertseale.edublogs.org/ Tara Seale

    I noticed you mentioned 12 year olds in your post. Do you know if there is an age limit for Glogster?
    Thanks!

    • http://www.boxoftricks.net José Picardo

      Tara, the Glogster Edu page is not clear about this as far as I can see. However, in their TOS Glogster says things this:

      IT IS UP TO THE TEACHER OR PARENT UTILIZING OUR VIRTUAL CLASSROOM PRODUCTS, TO OBEY THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT AND ANY AND ALL LAWS PERTAINING TO CONFIDENTIALITY OF INFORMATION FROM CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 13

      From that I infer that children under 13 can indeed use Glogster.

      http://edu.glogster.com/terms-of-use/

      José

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