The problem with Web 2.0 is that it takes time to understand! There are so many great technology programs out there to choose from, that it can be very overwhelming for us teachers to narrow down exactly what to use. I, however, feel like I hit the nail on the head with Glogster.
My students just finished reading an alternative novel by MT Anderson called FEED. There were many themes that the story dealt with, but one that I found the kids most were interested in was the fact that a teenage girl was dying, and she was making a list of the things that she still wanted to do while she was alive. This chapter prompted a class discussion, and I explained to the students what a “Bucket List” was. They all discussed their ideas of what they wanted to do during their lifetime, and I knew that this was my opportunity to create a meaningful project for them.
Glogster, an online poster website, was the perfect forum for my students to create their Bucket Lists on. As a teacher, I took a week or so and created my own poster, simply so I could show the students how to navigate around the website. I was able to set up a free (for 30 days) teacher’s account, and I added my students on my page. They were all given nicknames and passwords, and I had the control to see what they were working on every step of the way. Once I presented my Glog, and showed them all of the fun options that were available, they were off and running. I wasn’t surprised to see that they picked up on it immediately. (And I’m slightly embarrassed to say that they even showed me some features that I had missed!) We spent two class days working on brainstorming ideas and finding graphics to portray them. I then allowed the students one extra week to work on their Glogs from home. During my personal trial run, I recognized that once this concept was in my brain, I kept coming up with new ideas each day and wanted to add them to my Glog, so I gave the kids the same opportunity that I had - the gift of time.
I am proud to say that all of my students did very well with their Glogster Bucket Lists. Many of the students had ideas that made me laugh out loud, while other students gave me a deeper understanding of who they were through their posters. Below you will find links to view some of the Glogs that my students created. All in all, I am extremely pleased with this authentic and meaningful project.