Profiles of Life and Learning on Glogster EDU: A Follow-up

At the beginning of this past fall 2010-2011 semester, I posted my plan, Profiles of Life and Learning on Glogster EDU, for using Glogster as a tool to summarize and synthesize student learning in my advanced ESL class, and I promised that I would display their final glogs at the end of the semester.  However, WordPress only allows us to post individual glog links rather than the actual glogs, so I decided to post them all first in one blog (Blogger), and then give you the link to that blog.  Why Blogger?  I chose Blogger for several reasons: 1) Blogger makes posting the glogs very easy for me; 2) there’s easy access for my students because they already use gmail accounts for their school email and can use that address for Blogger; and 3) comments are easy to make after each glog on Blogger.

I presented Glogster EDU to the students early in the semester with a minimum of instruction and gave students a total of four communication prompts throughout the semester. They were told to vary their forms of presentation on Glogster either with writing, an original audio recording, or a video tape of themselves responding to the prompts and that they would have approximately 30-50 minutes of class time each week during the semester to create a glog representative of themselves and their language and creative skills.  Students were required to seek answers to their glogging questions first by going to their classmates instead of me, which worked very well for all concerned. Additionally, I made myself available via email as well as for one extra hour most days after class to offer extra help either with their language or presentation efforts.

The end result of this semester-long assignment was positive.  The last two hours of our course were dedicated to the student presentations of their glogs. Students joyfully commented on how much they enjoyed learning to use this technology, i.e. downloading video and pictures and uploading them to their glogs, doing Internet searches especially for videos about their homeland, and using this technology to present themselves and their work in a creative and artistic way. But, because the semester ended only too soon, I promised the students that during semester break, I would compile, publish, and email them the final presentation of all the glogs, and that I would review their work with them during the break or early next semester if they so wished. I published all the glogs whether they were finished or not, since each offered information for us to learn from.

Was it worth the class time and the effort, and would I repeat this assignment again? Absolutely, but I would probably be more adamant about having them make their own video and audio recordings in addition to their writings. I would definitely plan on once again offering extra time and assistance to my students after class as it minimized the anxiety level of the technology novices even though they truly did get most of their technology help from the other students.

Once again, here is the display of our glogs.  I hope you will enjoy the students’ work and in return share with me how you use or plan to use Glogster in your ESL/EFL classes!

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