Glogging about Books: The Collection

Yesterday was the deadline for my students to finish up their independent book projects, which included creating a poster about their book. This year, they had the choice of using or creating a traditional poster. About 85 percent chose Glogster, but I have to say, some of the traditional posters are spectacular, too. It’s a good reminder that content and creativity is what’s important, not the platform (virtual or otherwise).

As I’ve mentioned, I have had many conversations about “design” around the Glogs. Colors, animation, flow, fonts and busy-ness were common words the last few days as I met with students. It’s fascinating how many will “get it” when they step back and how many get so locked into their original vision of the posters that they have a hard time disentangling themselves from that vision.

I’m thinking that since there are so many good posters, I might spend the month of March sharing them out, one or two a day — a sort of Glog a Day project. Until then, here is our growing collection of books that might interest you and your students. There is a wide range of levels here, as I teach inclusion classes, and they chose books based on their own interest (with slight pushes and recommendations from me).

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Peace (in the sharing),

More Design Talk w/Glogster

My students are moving into a final week of creating poster projects as one component (but not the only) for our independent reading unit. They have the option of working on the poster online (with or offline (with regular poster paper). I would say about 2/3 of my students are using Glogster for their project.

lost hero busy

The other day, I received a message from a student in our Glogging space, telling me that “my project is ready” for review. Ummm, not quite. I pulled the Glog up and my eyes began dancing the cha-cha-cha and I could feel a headache coming on. You would never have known that we have talked about design elements and use of colors and fonts and art, and shared examples.


I messaged him back, telling him “we need to talk” and then we did talk in class. I pulled up his project and asked him some pointed questions about his design choices (particularly about using the book cover for the background image, which many students are trying to do, but which won’t work unless you have a very simple book cover).

“What do you think I am going to say?” I asked.

“Uhhh. It’s hard to read?”

“Why? What do you see?”


“I guess it’s got a lot going on. But I want the cover on my project.”

“Why not use it as an image and not the wall? That would still give you the use of the cover.”


“Then you could read what I wrote? It’s hard to read. That’s what you’re talking about, right?”

“Yes, and you want the reader to learn what you know about the book. And notice your use of font color. Does yellow text work?”

“No. I guess not. It’s hard to read with that background.” Another pause. “I still want a green background. Can you show me how to do that?”

“Of course.”

I walked him through the process, helping him think about colors. He made changes, asked for my opinion again, and we both agreed that it was much easier to look at and understand.


“Now,” I began, “about some of the spelling …”

He examined his project again.

“I don’t know how to spell ‘recommend’.”

I pointed to the bookcase.

“That’s where we have our dictionaries. You know that.”

He moaned.

So here, Glogster gave me an opportunity to talk about design, offer up some suggestions for thinking through changes, review with a student on a project as it is still underway and conference a bit both in person and online. I love that flexibility. And while Glogster can sometimes seem to offer too many choices around design elements, we teachers can use that to our advantage through mini-lessons and guided discovery processes.

Peace (in the talk),

Mulling over the Future of Science Fairs and Glogster

Sixty four projects spread out across one giant cafeteria, with hundreds of students milling about. It was Science Fair for sixth graders at my school yesterday, as they shared their work around using the Scientific Method with display boards, games and even a puppet show.

This is the sixth year our science teacher has done the fair, opening up the learning to the entire school, and she and I had an interesting conversation about the Science Fair and the use of Glogster. I had mentioned that some teachers are moving towards Glogster for this kind of project. We both use Glogster for projects, and she intends to use it again this year.

We went through the pros and cons of moving the Science Fair from a physical space of sharing to a virtual space. I later added some of my own ideas as I was forming this list.

The Pros:

  • In Glogster, the projects can be archived forever.
  • The projects can be easily embedded into websites.
  • A Science Fair would never technically end.
  • Multimedia (video, audio, etc.) becomes part of the presentation tool box. For example, a podcast of an explanation of the steps of the Scientific Method could be put right into the project itself.
  • The world would become the audience; not just our school and students’ families.
  • The “writing process” on the virtual poster is a bit more malleable and forgiving (you don’t have to rip the glue and papers off to make a change). Just drag and drop and update.
  • You can now “sort” projects together under similar themes and share them out as a package of glogs. So, all of the projects that deal with Laws of Motion, or food, could be pulled together.

The Cons:

  • There would be less student collaborative work with Glogster, at least for now, as only one person can work on a single glog at a time.
  • There would be less opportunity for the face-to-face meetings that the younger students have with the sixth grade “scientists” at the fair and less opportunity for the sixth graders to “talk” through their learning to a live audience.
  • The presenter would not feel as engaged in the presentation if they were standing physically next to the project.
  • Parents can’t “save” the student work in the attic (although, they could on a flash drive, I suppose, but it’s not the same thing, is it?)
  • The idea of a school-wide even would diminish, even if you set up laptops around the space. It’s still not the same, is it?

In the end, she decided that Glogster is not yet a good fit for her vision of the Science Fair, particularly since a big part of the learning is interacting with audience and answering off-the-cuff questions from the younger students. I agreed with her.

Peace (in the thinking),

A Bit of Me on Glogster

We haven’t begun using yet this year but we will soon. Last year, I became a Glogster Ambassador, which basically means that I am available to talk about how I use Glogster in the classroom and share out any resources that I might develop for teachers in workshops, etc. What I get out of that designation is a free upgraded account, which has been nice. (Note: is dropping its number of free student accounts for teachers from 100 to 50 very soon).

The other day, we were asked to consider making a Glog about ourselves as they try to showcase some Glogster Ambassadors. So, here’s what I came up with (direct link to the Glog):

Peace (on the Glog),

Environmental Glogging

Now that I have decided to join in with the Voices on the Gulf project for this coming year, I realized that I needed to go back to some environmental projects from last year and pull some together on a website. These projects were done on Glogster and were part of the culminating work after reading the novel Flush by Carl Hiasson.

The glog projects were built around an interest in an environmental issue, although most seemed to choose endangered animals as their topics. I want to have them on a website because I want to be able to show some examples as we move into doing writing and research around the Gulf oil spill and recovery efforts this year. I see Glogster as one platform for composition by my sixth graders.

Visit the Environmental Glog site.

If you want to learn more about using online poster sites like Glogster, I wrote an article over at Learn NC a few months ago called Digital Posters: Composing with an Online Canvas and created this glog, too.

Peace (in the glogging),

Glogging Some Multimedia Poetry

As readers of this space know, I have been writing poems every day over at Bud Hunt’s blog, where Bud has been posting images to inspire writing. We’re almost at the end (which is fine — I’m feeling a little poetry burnout right now) but I wanted to find some way to collect some of the poems together.

I decided to use Glogster because I could easily add the video poem I did, as well as upload a few podcasts from the month of poetry. I tried to find a good design, and I worry that the page is a bit busy (always an issue with Glogster), but I made this as  sort of “Thank You” card to Bud for inspiring me to write this month. I was always glad when others joined along, although I wish more folks would do it.

I also like that this glog is part of my classroom glog, so my students have a chance to read some of my poetry and see some of the multimedia work, too. It’s another way of sharing and showing.

Here is a direct link to my poetry glog, which I am entitling: “Inspired by Images.”

Peace (in the poems),

Writing about Glogster

An article that I wrote about using Glogster and other online postering projects (Digital posters: Composing with an Online Canvas) was published yesterday at the Learnnc website (and also, at its companion site, Instructify). I tried to show the possibilities and also, the rationale for using an online postering site.

I hope folks find it useful.

The Glog above is part of an environmental unit that we did around the reading of the novel, Flush by Carl Hiassan.

Peace (on the posters),

Constructing Bridge Glogs

My science teacher colleague was so jazzed up about how our students used Glogster for our Three Cups of Tea project that she asked that I show her how it worked. That took about, oh, five minutes, and she was off, crafting an assignment for her Bridge Engineering Unit for our students. They had to choose a style of bridge and create a glog resource about it. She was impressed, the kids were engaged, and it laid a great foundation for their toothpick bridge construction venture now underway.

Check out a few of the Bridge Glogs:

Peace (on the virtual poster),

How to Collect Glogs Together

Now that most of our Three Cups of Tea glogs are done (a few still need more work by the students to clean them up with proofreading), I decided to create a space where they could all be collected together for viewing by the world (and parents and family). I know a number of people are using wikis for embedding glogs, but I decided to try out — which allows you to construct five free websites and it is built on using widgets.

If you are wondering about this process of creating a website for these kinds of projects, here are some brief steps:

  • I registered at (actually, I already have an account there because I have used it for other projects.) I followed the steps there to create a website, chose a theme and was ready to begin building my site in a few minutes.
  • I went over to my “classroom” at the edu-glog site andwent through the glogs that were ready to be brought from the “private” setting to the “public” setting. Only a teacher can do this step.
  • I then found the “embed into page” link below the glog, grabbed the code and went back to my Yola site. There, I inserted an html widget, and copied the embed code.
  • Now, here is where I fiddled a bit. For some reason, the embed code is always too large, so I tinkered with the settings in the html  code — I reduced the percentage to 70 and then adjusted the width and length accordingly. You need to do all three for it work right. I wish there were more embed options on the glogster side of the world.
  • Once that is done, you can save and check your work. If it seems OK, then go through the process again. And again. I stacked a handful of glogs per page on the Yola site and divided up my four classes into parts so that there were not too many glogs on one page.

If my description doesn’t help, you can also view this video tutorial someone made about embedding a glog into a Google Site website, which is pretty close to using Yola.

But please take a few minutes to check out the glogs of my students — I am pretty impressed with what they were able to accomplish.

Peace (in the sharing of tea),

Another fine Glog Project

I am working on building a Yola website for all of my students’ Three Cups of Tea online posters, via Glogster. Some are just so well-done and interesting that I feel that I might be sharing here now and then. I gave them some final time yesterday to complete their work and all of the projects are now graded and most are ready for publishing.

One thing I did like about the closed glog network is that I could message the students directly, note any spelling errors or content omissions or general comments, and then they could work right from the site to edit their projects.

Here is an examplar project, in my mind. The design works for the project, their audio was a nice touch, the video complemented their work and they were thoughtful in their answers.

Peace (on the poster),