Today I’m featuring samples of work done on Glogster, a free web tool you can use to create a digital collage. As a teacher, I find that tools like this one help students to learn to use digital interfaces to create simple, artistic projects that demonstrate their understanding of a subject while adding variety to assessment.
Unlike a normal collage, with Glogster your elements can move, provide music, and even link to other websites.
I’m not sure why it’s called “Glogster,” since it’s not a blog nor is there anything beginning with “G” that obviously relates to it. My guess is that it’s a loose combination of “blog” and “collage” (if you soften the C—”ghollage-ster).
I made two of these Glogs as samples to show to students:
“There Will Come Soft Rains“
This one I made for the short story by Ray Bradbury. It’s a great story for middle schoolers that introduces elements of irony, allusion, and tropes of science fiction. I borrowed foreboding, apocalyptic music from the game Fallout. I linked to a non-fiction piece, a New York Times article about technology possible replacing mankind. In doing so I made the fiction story relevant to both the recreational lives of some students and real life issues facing society.
“Rising Voices: Under One Sun“
This one I made for a poem taken from the Rising Voices film celebrating the Lakota people. I packed this one with links to resources teaching students about the culture of a particular American Indian tribe, including The Scrow Society page, and The Western Heritage Center. The music I assumed was authentic Crow ritual music. In this way I wanted to show students how they can create a visually appealing hub of information on a cultural topic of interest to call awareness to what they find important.
The one issue I’ve come across with Glogster is its incompatibility with some web browsers or OS software. Not just with creating a blog, but even with viewing one some users may encounter errors. This can be frustrating for students and teachers, especially after working so hard on a project. As always, experiment with the technology before trying to build a lesson around its use.