Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Glogster in the classroom and light sabres!

So as promised, I will be sharing with you some of the 2.0 tools that I am currently using in my teaching. For my poetry unit I am using Glogster, and have even called my project "The Poetry Glog Project".

Students were introduced to poetry yesterday with a not daily sweatshop session where we write as much poetry as possible, right after we read a short poem and respond to focus questions on the class blog. I have found that using the blog as a starting point for discussions allows each an every student to have a voice, and not just those who would normally. Some kids write a few lines and others write many paragraphs, but they are writing! Ownership and accountability also goes way up when they know that others will read and respond to their posts. 

Today we wrote list poems and used Wordle to get a visual representation of this poem, three word form poems, and one entitled "Things I Just Don't Understand."  Students are saving all of their poems in a Google document, as they have been with all assignments this year. 

The education side of Glogster is great for setting up a class and getting a private account for each of your students. It generates passwords and emails them to you. A tip for setting up your accounts would be to their Glog pages will only be seen by the accounts you have created. The only drawback I see is that they can change their own passwords, which they figured out within 2 minutes of logging in. We spent the better part of 30 minutes logging in, figuring out the interface and starting their home poetry page. 

The idea of this project is to showcase the students' poems, have them research about a poet, and connect to poetry by creating original visual representations of that poet's work. This will include a visual poem with text, music and images created in iMovie, oral recitation of poems using Garageband, and making Glog pages for 3 of their own poems. Not a small feat in only 2 weeks. I am also walking the talk and I created my own poetry starting page with Glogster for the class to see. We even funkified ourselves at befunky.com for our home Glog pages.

In my grade 10-12 media arts class we are working on scripting their final movie for the semester. Scripting and storyboarding is taking place a a furious pace (for most, but not all). I am struggling with students who are not intrinsically motivated by the video arts. In high school I would have killed to have a course like this! This is a nice segway into the light sabre that was a part of my day.

Last week a pair of students in my Media Arts 10-12 class asked if I knew how to do a light sabre effect using the Mac. They had just watched this video called Gnar Wars on Youtube, which is really well done, and was obviously a lot of work. I told them that I had seen the effect done online, but I had never tried it. Yesterday, a couple students went out and filmed a 15 second shot with a stick and came back. Thanks to the AFI website and a recent contact of mine named Jim Billings, I was able to put together a 10 second clip using Motion. It turned out pretty well! The sound sucked, but that wasn't the point. The point was I did it, all 300 frames of it, which meant moving the mask for the sabre 300 times! 

I showed the students who had inquired that it could be done and their response was it looked like too much work so they weren't going to bother. Motivation and fostering enthusiasm is going to be something to work on in the future in my MM class.



66 comments:

  1. Glad to see you are blogging on a regular basis. Now we just need to get people out in the "clouds" to read your blog. Have you tried alerting some other people to your blog and asking them to respond to it??

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  3. Thanks for all the info about using Glogster in your classroom -- it really looks like a great project!

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