or CLICK HERE.
I set out to make a tool that teaches Middle School Art educators how to teach the unit I created for 7th grade. I wanted an online multimedia tool that not only gave my audience instruction but also examples of real studio work. I have found in my own teaching that having examples is helpful in envisioning the final project outcome, so I wanted to do the same with my tool. I also wanted to tool to be engaging and exciting in order to encourage more educators to use it. So often we are pulling up the same boring Lesson Plan formats, and I wanted something with a bit more depth and visual appeal to an art educator. The tool also may be presented to the classroom as an introduction to the lesson and for more in-depth examples if the teacher chooses, but it’s mainly a resource for them.
Being fairly naive when it comes to creating technology, I was looking for a way to create a website or webpage that wasn’t just another blog. I came across several options for teachers who want an online presence. Lots of free sites offer teachers the opportunity to create their own pages with the option to allow access to their students and even parents. I found SchoolRack.com to be the easiest to setup. I started a page for my student teaching experience and future classroom and uploaded lessons, photos, and files. The service also allows teachers to hold discussions online, report grades and private message with users. As always with freeware, there is limited service available for free, and much, much more for only $5.95 per month! Seeing as I don’t need full services yet, I’m just experimented with the free version. But the more I worked with it, the site just wasn’t the right forum to create a teaching tool for other teachers, a resource maybe, but not a tool. So I searched on.
In going over notes in my notebook one night I came across the word “GLOG” with a star next to it in the margins. A star always means “IMPORTANT, LOOK THIS UP!” in my notations, so I googled “glogs”. I came across Glogster.com and found it to be advertised as “a collaborative online learning platform for teachers, educators and schools.” This sounded more like the tool I was looking for. A Glog is described as an interactive poster which drew me in because I am very familiar with posters, having completed every project in grade school with the best, most beautiful and creative poster ever, every time. So this seemed like a technology I could get used to. Looking through the samples, I loved the endless possibilities in the visuals and that the arrangement of medias could take on many creative forms. Glogs can hold images, videos, audio, links and file attachments, animations, drawings, and a discussion wall, right on the page. Plus, alongside the free version available to anyone, they offer teachers a trial of the Premium platform free for 30 days! So I signed up and got to experimenting with the functionality and tools available.
This Glog format seemed to fit my purpose perfectly. I could outline my unit plan, class by class, and alongside provide multimedia tips, tricks and hints for my audience. I included links to helpful webpages with further info, video and audio of actual student work, as well as a link that directs the user to purchase the same equipment I use and recommend for the lesson.
My Glog details a 6-Class Unit on printmaking, specifically collagraphs, connecting in a modern artist for inspiration and further content knowledge. I provide the image which can be clicked to enlarge for better viewing and close-up inspection. There is also a Materials Needed List including a QR code that can be scanned with a smartphone or tablet that links to a webpage where the user can instantly purchase the specific equipment listed. There is a video slideshow presentation of photos which visually takes the user through the hands-on process of the unit plan, starting with my demo pieces and ending with the students’ final matted drafts. Each lesson is written out with setup tips, demo instructions and discussion points. The Worksheets I mention in the lessons are attached at the bottom of the Glog where the user finds the small PaperClip icon. There are two links that highlight themselves on the Glog to let the user know about an embedded hyperlinks: one takes you to an in-depth presentation of the artist on a museum website, the other to a YouTube video advertising the documentary I suggest using alongside the Unit Plan. There are two audio files where the user can click the PLAY button and listen to real students reciting the poetry they created through this Unit Plan. And finally there is a box of “optional” tips to help the educator round out the experience for the students.
I really enjoyed getting to use the Glog format for my tool. Alongside learning this new technology, I also had to figure out how to format the multimedia links within to best fit the Glog. My slideshow of photos was originally going to be another Document Attachment, but I felt the slideshow was much more dynamic and covered more content than even a short video demo could provide. I created the slideshow in Keynote and played around with transition timing. I learned how to record my students using my iPhone microphone application, which was a great experience to learn, both for them and for me. The students practiced reciting out loud, then it took us a couple takes to get a clear, smooth recording. I was able to easily upload those files to my computer as Mp4 files and upload them to the Glog and create a “player” format for them to display. The QR code was a VERY recent introduction in our digital media class, and I loved the idea of incorporating that into my tool since they are seen everywhere these days and can be very functional.
I plan to use Glogs again in the future as I think I can find many applications for them. One thing I plan to figure out is how to link to other pages I can create, and the easiest solution I can find right now with my limited skill, is to create a blog post and then link directly to that blog post. I also plan to make them possibly more interactive to use with my students in the place of worksheets. With Teacher Premium Package, over 200 students can access your Glog which would be a great opportunity to integrate this digital media into the classroom. I also think it’s a great new way to replace boring presentation slideshows!
You can sign up to create your GLOG here —> http://edu.glogster.com/
AND check out SCHOOL RACK