Literacy is not just about reading, and reading is not just about books. I am fascinated by all forms of communication, as are most of the kids I know. Recently, I've been learning about what the web can offer students and parents to encourage the development of literacy skills. Over the coming weeks, I hope to share some of these great sites with you.
Screen time can dominate our lives all too easily. I believe it's important to limit how much time we spend watching TV, or using video games and computers. However, there have been some fantastic developments on the internet which help and encourage kids with reading, writing, creating and thinking. Many are even easy enough for the Book Chook to navigate (which usually translates into a snap for a seven-year-old!)
One I encountered last week is Glogster. In some ways, it reminds me of making collages when I was a teenager, but what sophistication! A Glog is like a digital poster, where you can put text, images, sound, video. As you can see by the half a test one I made below (I will try to learn how to change the width so it fits my blog!), you can share your Glog on your blog or website, Facebook etc. I limited myself to a few quick words and pictures, but I plan to try adding video and music soon.
I think it has immense potential for the classroom, for home schoolers, or for anyone wanting to help a child respond to a stimulus like a poem or novel in his own way. Designing and creating one to send to Grandma would make a great family project on a wet weekend. It's free, it's easy, it's fun - and there are so many possibilities for creating and publishing text in a Glog.
One word of warning: I think it's best to supervise your kids on Glogster.com, or try Glogster.com/EDU. Students can't see content from the regular Glogster site when they use the EDU zone. There's a great explanation on how to set up a Glogster account, and student accounts, as well as how to make your first Glog, at Scribd.
Check out all the ways teachers are using it. There's a Glog on Pond Animals, another on Schindler, many about poetry.
It's important that our kids become visually literate. 21st Century learners are increasingly using visual images to communicate across a wide range of media and formats. Just like with phoetry, which I discussed in my recent post BookChook Ways to Start Writing Poetry, Glogster encourages kids to link the right and left sides of their brains, and come up with a published product.
It sure beats the collages I made with magazine pictures and words cut from the newspaper, all glued to shirt box cardboard with Perkins Paste! O tempora, o mores ...
Photo credit :http://www.flickr.com/photos/balamurugan/630839900/