Listen to Ms. Thompson read this post on PodOMatic!
Can't live without my glogs! What is a glog, you ask? A glog can be described as an online interactive poster. Students can use it as a presentation tool, as my students have. But the reason I cannot live without my glogs is because I use them daily to present directions in a colorful, fun format.
I constantly remind my students about the importance of reading in technology class. Guiding so many students to complete digital research projects, in such a short amount of time, calls for independent and active learners to carefully read tons of directions and informational texts. Flipping my classroom with reading materials, along with several tutorial videos has made a huge impact on learning--but I digress--more about my Flip Teaching strategies in an upcoming post. Designing glogs, although time-consuming, has provided a more palatable way for my students to digest the often lengthy directions.
Click the livebinder to the left of this text to view most of the eighteen glogs I actively use, to see what I mean. Glogs provide many choices of backgrounds, clipart, and text formatting, which a teacher can easily group thematically. A glog can transform this into this. I back up all of my glogs in text format, in case students are working with devices that do not support Flash. The four glogs not included in the binder, as I explained in last week's post, serve as my class website's navigation. Here are some specific reflections on my glog use and plans for continued use:
What did not work?
When I first began using glogs, it took me a long time to find clipart that was just right for each presentation.
What did work?
I began supplementing the provided clipart with public domain resources, such as OpenClipArt.org and Clker.com. This solved the problem! And I discovered that once I uploaded an image, I could use that same image in any new glog I created.
What is not working?
Time is extremely precious to me these days. After updating Glogster Edu, Google Sites, Weebly, Edmodo, and Livebinders, there is not much time left over for recreation and rest. And I haven't even begun to discuss the amount of time required for mothering two busy teens. So I continue searching for ways to become more efficient.
What is working?
My students are definitely more engaged. In fact, the other day, some of my seventh graders were lurking on the sixth grade message glog, "Hey, how come we didn't have a smiley face and moving arrow when we did that lesson last year," they complained. "Well, shouldn't I continue to improve as a teacher? You're more than welcome to repeat sixth grade," I joked, amused at what resembled sibling rivalry. Each class enters the computer lab and knows to access and begin reading their message of the day and connecting glog. Students who completed their homework already know what the glogs say. They can get right to work. But, again, that's a story for another post.
I plan to continue designing and refining my glogs and encouraging students to use them, not only for my class, but in place of traditional presentations in their other classes, as well. Another one of my goals is to become a certified Glogster EDU ambassador. Hopefully, this will become a reality soon.
Thank you for reading!
Any additional ideas are very much welcome! If you hover over "Blog" in the top navigation bar, you will see tabs for two pages: "About Blog", where I explain a bit more about the purpose of this blog and how it is structured and "Topic Ideas" where you can communicate to me any ideas you would like addressed in future blog posts. I also invite you to comment below and to subscribe to receive the latest posts via e-mail.
This blog, "The Perfect Course", is to document my efforts in refining the various courses I teach.
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