Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Free Tools Challenge #8 - Glogster

I have been absent for the past two weeks. I haven't got a laptop, or a tablet computer. My only online connection when I travel is my old Nokia. I don't know whether this is good or bad. On the one hand, I get completely rested this way. On the other hand, I feel overwhelmed when I come back. Now I am even more late with my Free Tools Challenge. I am stuck on Challenge # 8, which is Glogster. Not that I am complaining too much, I love Glogster.

Glogster lets you create online interactive posters. It is easy to use and it looks beautiful. I haven't been using it for long, but, as I have already said, I love it. If you haven't tried it so far, I hope you will give it a go after you read this.

I promised I would give you practical advice on how to use these tools and that I would do that from the point of view of a TEFL teacher teaching adults. So, here we go.

A glog looks like a poster and it is precisely this feature that should be used to the full. You can use it to introduce yourself when you start teaching a new class, the way I did here:

As you can see, this glog has two elements. The first part is actually my Twitter bio and the second part is a collage of photos that represent what I like. Students usually like to know more about their teacher. This collage of photos is not that easy to decipher and they have to ask additional questions to find out what some of those pictures represent. (For your information, starting from top left-hand corner: my guys, teaching, coffee, dark chocolate, travelling, reading, computers, writing, nature.)

Students can create their own glogs and they can introduce themselves any way they like. They can combine text, images, sounds and videos. Or they can follow the format I used here. Writing a Twitter bio is not easy, but it is a fun way for the students to define their interests in a clear succinct form. Creating the "What I like" collage is great because it can later serve as a conversation prompt. When they get to know each other better, they can create a glog that represents their class and put it on their class blog for everyone to see.

The second glog I am going to embed here was created for my Digital Storytelling class. I was comparing three online tools and I used the same poem in all of them. The winner was Photobabble and I featured it in my blog here. I almost forgot about the Glogster version of the same poem, but here it is:

I searched Glogster a little and found a whole section devoted to text letters and poems. Some of them are just amazing. As I have remarked in this blog before, there are so many talented young people out there.

If you have students who like writing poetry, Glogster is a great tool for them. However, there is one other idea that came to my mind when I looked at my old glog with fresh eyes.

Glogs look like posters. (I know, I have already said that). What if this was actually a holiday destination? And what if it turned out the food was terrible, the beach was far away and the hotel roof leaked. Tourist agencies don't always tell the truth.

Students can create advertisements for different holiday destinations in Glogster or you can do it for them. You can put pictures of beautiful beaches and expensive-looking hotels. You can then add the text of the advertisement. As I have said, tourist agencies don't always tell the truth. Students can come up with a whole list of things that didn't meet their expectations. They can role play a dialogue in which one of the students is a dissatisfied tourist and the other one is a travel agency employee. This can be followed by a letter of complaint.

The whole poster/advertisement thing gave me an idea and I just had to try it out. So I came up with this ad:

This can be a speaking/writing prompt and different things can be done with it, from the mundane "We need to have the doors oiled" grammar exercises to horror stories. Who bought the house? Why? What was their first night in the house like? What did they do afterwards? Who is the ghost?

Glogster is great as a writing prompt. You can create a glog with a random combination of pictures and ask the students to write a story. You can give them the first sentence if you wish. Another thing you can put into your glog is different sounds. You can find the sounds you need here.

Looking for more things to do with Glogster? Check Greetingsfromtheworld. This amazing wiki project was started by Arjana Blazic and her students, but now it has taken a life of its own.

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Janet Bianchini said...

Wow!! Natasa, this is an absolutely stunning collection of resources and ideas for using Glogster.

Thank you so much for sharing your creativity!!

Best wishes


Natasa said...

Thank you Janet. I had great fun. Glogster is very inspiring.

Tracy Brady said...

I loved the post! I did the Teacher Challenge as well:
I love your ideas, and may "borrow" some for use with my classes.

Natasa said...

Thank you, Tracy. Sorry it took me so long to answer. I was away and had no internet access.
Please feel free to use my ideas in the classroom if you find them useful.
By the way, I love your blog.


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