Teaching Design and Digital Composition w/Glogster

Yesterday (as part of Digital Learning Day), I brought all four of my sixth grade classes into Glogster.edu for the first time, and as expected (from past experiences), they loved it. They love the possibility of embeddable media, they love the clip art, and they love the colorful options of theme and “stickers” and more. But before they could even get their account information, we had a long discussion about “design principles.” For many of my students, this kind of thinking is new, although when we began to talk about Apple and its products, something clicked for a lot of them.

I began by explaining some of my own thoughts around design, with an emphasis on web design.

  • “Just because you can do it doesn’t mean you should do it”
  • Don’t make random decisions about your design – be thoughtful in your choices
  • The way colors look together is important
  • Images and video should be partners to text
  • Be consistent with your theme (background, text, images, multimedia, etc.)
  • Simple design is always better than complicated design

I then showed them my Glogster project (which I had shared with them the day before, as they knew they were going to be working on a Glog related to their short stories). I asked them to pick apart my thinking. Why did I choose what I chose, and how did those choices connect to my short story (which I had read aloud to them last week)? It was great. They noticed many of the elements that I wanted to notice.

Then, I shared this following Glog with them. I took the same text but purposely went anti-design. You should have heard the “whoahs” and “I can’t read that” and “yikes” that accompanied the first look. Then, again, I asked them to break down what I did NOT do when it comes to design choices. We talked about colors, about busyness, about lack of theme, about no connection to the original text.

I think they got it. Or most of them got it. Check out this project which a student began in class and then completed at home. I would say that it shows pretty decent design principles, don’t you?

Peace (on the Glog),


  1. I loved doing Glogster with my students, & so did they! It’s just a new good way to organize and present information, & if needed, they print well too. Thanks for your tips in design!

  2. I love your design tips, we have been doing these for about a month now and it is always a challenge to get students to ask the question, “Does my visual design enhance or hinder my message?” Love the examples and non examples, I am going to do that next week with my kiddos as they finish their glog pages on characters.. Thanks

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