Posters and projects with visual aids help visual learners understand and summarize content and help students develop critical thinking skills by reinterpreting information. Glogster is changing the way educators look at traditional projects.
For teachers, this digital poster creation service offers Glogster EDU, a virtual environment where teachers have the ability to manage students, assign tasks and allow students to create Glogs – the site’s name for its online posters – in a safe environment. I was lucky enough to find Glogster when the site offered 50 free student accounts for registering. Now the site charges for a license, but at less than $1 per student for a single license and $2 per student for a multilicense, it’s worth it. Those who cannot afford to pay still have the ability to register for a single online account and are given a code students can use to register as well, but you cannot use any of the assignment or management features.Posters and projects with visual aids help visual learners understand and summarize content and help students develop critical thinking skills by reinterpreting information. Glogster is changing the way educators look at traditional projects.
What can you do with Glogster?
To introduce students to the Glogster interface, I had them create a Glog to describe themselves. With the ability to link websites and upload pictures, music and videos, students personalized their Glogs with their favorite songs, music videos and pictures of their family members and BFFs.
In my English 1 class, students created Glogs to represent the popular themes in Nothing But the Truth, linking to real-world examples of the theme and including images to represent the theme. They also created Glogs related to key terms from the novel Stargirl and to represent characters from Romeo and Juliet.
Before my regular English Language Arts classes read The Outsiders, I had students research and create a Glog related to the 1960s as a way of helping them understand the setting of the book. When they created mock presidential campaigns during our propaganda and persuasive speech unit, students used Glogster to create campaign posters.
My co-workers also incorporated Glogs into their lessons in multiple ways, including:
1 – Explaining real-world applications of math skills
2 – Writing up the results of a science experiment
3 – Creating a timeline of an event or era for history
4 – Defining and illustrating key vocabulary words
5 – Reviewing library books
6 – Illustrating research reports
Things to consider
While Glogster advertises that it is easy to use, many of my students had difficulty learning how to create Glogs. The galleries are extensive and can be overwhelming for students who are not given time to explore the site before creating their Glogs. Students also had trouble understanding the difference between a Glog wall and a page wall when it came to adding backgrounds. Once students learned how to create Glogs, the video gallery, which contains videos from SchoolTube, was severely lacking in quality and entertaining videos for students.
Because Glogster contains a lot of animation and high resolution graphics, our school’s computers were occasionally unable to display the Glogs quickly. Students would wait for items such as sounds, videos and links to load, which took away from valuable time in the classroom. Occasionally portions of finished Glogs would not load, which made it difficult for other students to view them and for me to grade them.
Despite some of the disadvantages, once my students learned the Glog creation process, it became a resource I used often. Instead of using it for large projects, I preferred it for some of the simpler research projects or short activities related to literature where students only spent one or two class periods in the computer lab. Setting deadlines helped students focus on the task at hand instead of constantly changing backgrounds and playing around with graphics.
Images from Glogster