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A teacher’s first meeting with a brand new set of students at the beginning of a new school year is always interesting. I really look forward to it. I love that moment of walking into class and the students stop and look at you. You know lots of eyes are on you as you log on to the teacher’s computer and shuffle your teaching notes. It’s great wondering what the class dynamics will be over the coming months. No two classes are ever the same. The incredible variety in the personalities of students always ensures each class has its own unique and very memorable character and dynamics.
This semester (started this week) I decided to do something different in my first class to make a change from my ‘things that work’ list of warm-ups and getting-to-know-you activities.
I decided to use a glog. My first ever glog. But not my last.
I spent a good few months looking at a good few tweets at the end of 2009 that absolutely raved about Glogster and its merits in the classroom. I felt I had to find out what it was all about or miss out on an important new classroom tool.
I downloaded Edu Glogster and made my first glog – incredibly intuitive and great, great fun. I quickly understood it was a learning tool full of promise.
I made a glog on me – my introduction to my new students (low pre-intermediates).
Here it is:
On my glog, I put photos, texts and images that related to me and my life and linked them all to readings, listenings and videos I created. I tried to make it interesting and fun for my students, while getting them to read and listen to English.
In the pop-up audios / readings / videos…
- I made an mp3 for the photo of me at 8 and explained it was a very special photo because I had hair.
- I told the tale of how I felt like a movie star on my wedding day in Japan and chatted about my wife.
- I wrote about the snazzy clothes I wore in the pic when I was 18 months old.
- I explained behind the smiley image exactly what made me smile a lot in class (and what might not make me smile).
- I interviewed my children about life.
- I showed off my kids’ piano-playing talents.
- I took my students through a brief travelogue of the countries I have visited.
- I put up a really good argument that Arsenal Football Club are “by far the greatest team the world has ever seen”.
- I explained my thoughts about living in the UAE.
- I told them the story of how I’d gone shopping the week before and bought a new iMac computer.
I was a little nervous about how the students might take to this glog. Was I really so interesting? But… I was so happy with the way things went. I showed them the glog on the smart board and pointed to the play buttons and links. I asked them to open the link in their e-mail so they could see the glog on their own computer (in pairs) and click, read and listen.
For the next 25 minutes they read, looked and listened. And laughed.
I felt it was a great way to meet a new class. They really interacted with my glog and were quite absorbed by it.
I followed it up with a light-hearted quiz on what they saw, read or heard…
… and then got down to some serious stuff… writing. I hope a lot of what I had included on the glog provided them with some kind of model (more in terms of content than language structure) for them to write about themselves. The scripts I got back from them were definitely more creative than those I’d received in previous years.
I thoroughly recommend making a glog to introduce yourself to students.
I’m greatly looking forward to experimenting with glogging possibilities this semester.
Will keep you informed