Yesterday, my students got deep into Glogster as they began working on their Three Cups of Tea assignments, where they are addressing such questions as culture, character traits and challenges. The day of play on Wednesday really helped and I am giving them the option of pairing up with another student, if they want.
I offered the pairing up for two reasons. First, for some students, working with others is a great way to learn (for others, though, it is a distraction so it’s a fine line and I not afraid to pull teams apart). Second, I am a bit worried about wireless bandwidth with Glogster. For the most part, it has been fine, but the site has gotten gummed up during various class periods as data is streaming on our laptops. Teaming up means fewer laptops running, which I hope will reduce the load (particularly when we start using microphones to podcast the book reviews).
One other difficulty some students ran into: they had to do some trial and error on finding the right kind of sticky pad for the text they had, as some of the options allow a lot less text than others (it creates a scroll down bar, which is not great). Other than that, the technology learning curve had very few bumps in the road yesterday.
I began the class yesterday with this great video of Greg Mortenson’s daughter, Amira, singing a song that she helped compose (according to the interview in the book) and performs. I love that she is about the age of my students — they can relate to her on some level — and that the music video shows footage of Greg in the villages that we read about. My kids loved the video and were singing the chorus of “Three Cups of Tea” as they worked on their glogs. A few asked how they could bring the video into their glog (that’s for another day, I told them, but I like that they saw that possibility).
Peace (in more than just pennies),
PS — On another note, my science teaching colleague heard all of the students talking about glogging and her interest was piqued, so the two of us are going to brainstorm how they can create billboard-style posters for the Engineering a Bridge project now just starting. And my co-teaching colleague set up his own Glogster account for his pull-out students, and then told his wife, a teacher, about it, so she went and set up her own acc0unt and is now working with her high school students. You might want to check out Glogster, too. It’s free and easy to use and very engaging.