During the summer, I signed up for a free Glogster EDU account that I will be using this school year with three of my six classes as a pilot project within our school board. Since I have joined and played around with this Web 2.0 application, I believe that it is a great educational resource for teachers of English Literature and Language Arts. Teachers will find that it has useful critical thinking and creativity applications for any and all subjects.
How Glogster is a Meaningful Web 2.0 Tool for the Classroom
- Stimulates Creativity – Students have numerous options to create and style their own poster.
- Can Involve Critical Thinking – I say ‘can’ involve critical thinking because telling students to ‘make a poster’ on a certain topic doesn’t necessarily get them to make critical choices as to what information they include on their glog. Critical thinking can be built into the assignment.
- Case in Point: I plan to get my class to create character glogs for one of the characters in the novel Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. Before we get to the online poster-making, we will spend time choosing character traits and finding evide nce in the novel to support the trait choices. It will be expected that the elements that they choose for their glog have a specific purpose in visually representing that character’s personality. They will be expected to include meaningful text as well as visuals, video and sound. Along with the glog, the students must submit a rationale of their choices to explain what they were trying to achieve with their element choices.
- Student Engagement…It’s Fun! – Students will definitely enjoy this activity because it will not feel like they are doing work.
- Real–Life Application – The completed blogs can be displayed for others to see on your school website or on a digital me ssage board in your school.
EDU Premium vs. EDU Basic
The premium account can’t help but be better than the basic account; however, if you are not able to get your school or curriculum department on board with purchasing a premium account, the basic account allows you use Glogster EDU for free but will some less functionality. I will be using the free version this year unless it’s decided that enough teachers will use the program to merit the cost.
Glogster EDU has this comparison page (image above) to show the different between a premium and a basic account, but here are some of the highlights that I believe are significant:
This account is completely free.
- Often get advertising pop-ups asking you to upgrade to a premium account and advertising for other pages and products.
- Allows you to create up to 100 student accounts through your teacher account.
- Creating the accounts can be done in an excel spreadsheet provided by Glogster EDU, and once you’ve inputted the students’ names and nicknames, the passwords and usernames are automatically generated.
- The teacher manages the profiles and comments, and all features are public except any user can send a private message to another user. (I believe that the comment function is an issue with some school boards. As well, teacher’s federations often warn against messaging students. I believe that it’s best to not use the private comments or messaging function of any online application with students—ever! Public comments are the same as making a comment to all students in class.)
- Once the student accounts are created, the teacher does not have direct access to the settings and cannot edit nicknames for students; however, if students do not change their usernames and passwords, you can still access their accounts. You could tell them that they must leave them as they are OR give you the access information. I don’t believe it’s necessary to have their account information because the teacher can see their glogs in the teacher account.
- No web or email support.
- When creating a glog, users have access to the following features:
- Graphic Decoration Insertion
- Text Style Selection (choices with a styled box)
- Image Upload, Link or Grab
- Video Upload, Link or Grab
- Sound Upload, Link or Grab
- Wall Selection
A premium account for a single teacher is $11.95/month or $59/year. A school (or school board, I would expect) can pay $1000/year for up to 50 teacher accounts. There are more extensive packages than this as well.
- Never get any advertising to buy the premium version or for other pages or products.
- Allows a teacher to have up to 200 student accounts.
- Glogster EDU will create the student accounts for you if you need assistance.
- Comment and messaging features are the same.
- The teacher has direct access to the students’ accounts and may edit their nicknames.
- Web and email support provided.
- When creating a glog, users also have these features as well as the ones listed above under basic:
- Drawing Tool (to draw over elements on the glog)
- Document Upload (i.e. doc, pdf, ppt, etc.)
- Graphics Library (with huge number of options that are better organized)
Since it’s not likely that my school board will get a licence this year, I plan to use the free basic account to try it out with my classes. There’s a great deal of functionality in the free program.
- Create Teacher Account
- Create Student Accounts
- Get Students Started
- Learn the Glogster Tools – Part 1
- Learn the Glogster Tools – Part 2
- Learn the Glogster Tools – Part 3
You are welcome to ask questions and make comments below. If you have tips or ideas that can make these instructions better, please do join the dialogue.
Links to Excellent Glog Examples in Glogster
Note: These are examples from the public platform Glogster and not Glogster EDU. Glogs made here can be displayed publically to the world. As you can see, students are using the non-EDU version to create glogs. The link can be given to the teacher for viewing/marking.