This semester was the first time I tried Glogster. I created a poster to introduce myself to my students and their parents, and hope to post it on my school’s website. As I was playing with this tool, I didn’t realize how engrossed I became. I thought, if this is fun for me, what would my students think of it?
What I like about glogs is that they are fairly simple to use. I signed up for a free educator’s account that allowed me to create up to 100 student accounts. Each student account has a nickname, which protects the identity of the author. But most important, the teacher has control over the account and what is saved, shared, or deleted.
Glogs also allow the author to be as creative as they want. Some of the features include choosing a background for your wall, text boxes, and images. You also have the option of uploading your own images or video. If you would like more advanced features such as inserting your own drawings or uploading documents (PowerPoint presentations, Word documents), you must upgrade to a premium account.
As I was playing with the different features I brainstormed several ways to use glogs in the foreign language classroom. Here are some ideas I came up with:
As a way to get to know your students, why not have them create their own glog? To make it more challenging, your students can express themselves in the target language. Another variation to this activity would be to have students create a glog on what they did over the summer. They can upload pictures of their vacation or clip art to show what they did. As a culminating activity, they can present their glogs to each other in the target language. These glogs can also be posted on your classroom blog or wiki.
In preparation for Hispanic Heritage Month or as part of a cultural unit, students can also create glogs on historical figures, authors, activists, famous artists, or musicians in the target culture. This provides a creative twist to traditional posters or written reports.
Country Research Projects
Every year, I like to incorporate some sort of research project about different Spanish-speaking countries. Normally, I resort to using PowerPoint but I think glogs would be more interesting. Students can make their glogs appealing by embedding YouTube videos of the target country.
If you’re studying a particular unit, you can have students create a glog on the vocabulary they are learning. For example, students can create glogs that illustrate fruits or food from the target culture. Students can even add recipes or YouTube videos of someone preparing the selected ingredient.
Glogs are a variation to the typical Power Point Presentation or hand-made posters. The neat thing about them is that you have the flexibility to post students’ glogs virtually to share with families and parents. I would love to hear about how you use glogs in your language classroom. Feel free to leave a comment!