This academic year I have been trialling using Glogster, a multimedia online poster creation tool, to assess writing and speaking in the target language – click the play icon next to the bird near the bottom left of the above poster.
Glogster posters, or Glogs, are a wonderful way of encouraging writing, speaking and creativity using technology. Generally, students have enjoyed the tasks I have set them using this tool and they have been looking forward to my setting new tasks using Glogster, often demanding to know when they will be going to the ICT room to start the next one (I have noticed, however, that few of my students have actually created Glogs for their own, personal use, but that’s another story…).
Although Glogster has the potential of becoming an indispensable tool for a teacher’s reservoir of online activities, it has often been plagued by small niggly problems such as losing work when Glogs haven’t saved properly or the bane of every languages teacher: difficulty in getting accented characters (å é î ø ü, for example) to appear on the Glogs.
Fortunately, Glogster has appointed a new Education Manager, Jim Dachos, who kindly introduced himself to Glogster users by way of comment on a previous post here on Box of Tricks. Hopefully, his arrival will mean that feature requests and suggestions from us teachers will be taken into account more readily and that any problems will be looked into with his help. Please get in touch with him with your comments and suggestions here http://www.glogster.com/edu/
One of the advantages of using Glogster is that posters created by your students can be showcased to a potentially worldwide audience. However, one of the most common problems teachers have reported to me has been the difficulty in embedding the Glogs into classroom blogs or wikis, given the sheer size of the online posters.
Below is a quick quide about how you can embed Glogs into other websites, like blogs or wikis, allowing you to change their size so that they fit wherever you need to embed them:
- When viewing your Glog in Glogster, find these options near the bottom right, immediately underneath your poster:
- Then click the second option Embed into your page to access the embed code which you then need to copy and paste into your blog or wiki:
- Finally, before you save any changes to your website, change the highlighted values to whatever size you need:
These values tell your blog or wiki how big you want the Glog to be:
- scale=”100″ means 100%, that is full size. Change the value to 50 for a half size Glog
- width=”960″ and height=”1300″ govern the width and height, obviously.
Important: If you change the scale you must change the width and height accordingly, otherwise all sorts of strange things begin to happen. For example, if you change the scale to 50, you must also change the width to 480 and the height to 650. This way the scale, width and height remain in proportion.