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Using Glogster to Support Multimodal Literacy
|Grades||3 – 12|
|Strategy Guide Series||Teaching with Technology|
Glogster is a Web 2.0 tool that allows users to create multimodal virtual posters. This tool can be used to strengthen literacy skills by providing students with opportunities to integrate video, images, text, and audio to present unified messages.
Multimodal literacy refers to the use of numerous modes to communicate one’s message. Text, audio, graphics, and video are examples of digital media that can be combined to present multimodal messages. There are clear differences in presentation between a traditional printed textbook and a website on the same topic. A printed textbook consists of static images and words, whereas most websites include interactive, multimedia textual features (Karchmer, 2001). Research recommends explicit teaching of multimodal literacy so that students understand how various modes can be used to develop dynamic multidimensional texts that effectively communicate messages to different audiences (Callow, 2008; Hassett & Curwood, 2009; Leu et al., 2004).
Writers can develop multimodal texts using Glogster by embedding a range of modes to convey a unified message. These virtual posters can be shared with a global audience, providing important opportunities for students to critically examine their work.
Callow, J. (2008). Show me: Principles for assessing students’ visual literacy. The Reading Teacher, 61(8), pp. 616–626.
Hassett, D.D., & Curwood, J. (2009). Theories and practices of multimodal education: The instructional dynamics of picture books and primary classrooms. The Reading Teacher, 63(4), 270–282.
Karchmer, R.A. (2001). The journey ahead: Thirteen teachers report how the Internet influences literacy and literacy instruction in their K–12 classrooms. Reading Research Quarterly, 36(4), 442–466.
Leu, D.J., Jr., Kinzer, C.K., Coiro, J., & Cammack, D.W. (2004). Toward a theory of new literacies emerging from the Internet and other information and communication technologies. In R.B. Ruddell, & N. Unrau (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (5th ed., pp. 1570–1613). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
Strategy in Practice
- Think about the importance of teaching multimodal literacy in your classroom. Read the NCTE (2008) position statement Multimodal Literacies and Technology.
- To introduce students to the concept of multimodal literacy and teach them to use images and text to convey a message, read children’s literature selections that encompass multimodal characteristics, for example What James Likes Best (Schwartz, 2003), Casey at the Bat (Bing and Thayer, 2000), and Throw Your Tooth on the Roof (Beeler, 1998). Introduce students to multimodal, student-friendly websites such as National Geographic Kids and The STACKS, then use a graphic organizer to compare and contrast the modes in each websites.
- To begin using Glogster, read the ReadWriteThink strategy guide Teaching With Glogster.
- Examine your existing curriculum; consider how Glogster can be used to support your learning goals.
- Teach students the purposes, modes, and format of a Glog using an example that is appropriate for your instructional purposes. As you introduce the Glog, conduct a think-aloud as you read and interact with the multiple modes. Use a digital projector so students can watch as you navigate the Glog and explain how you make sense of the content, the various modes, and the sequence of information. Think aloud as you critique the Glog, explaining why you think various features are effective or not.
- Engage students in their own evaluations of Glogs either in small groups or individually. Ask them to view a Glog on a topic you’ve covered in class. Have students evaluate the accuracy and presentation of the information and to consider whether the different modes enhanced or inhibited their understanding of the topic.
- Allow students time to practice using Glogster. Support and guide students as they learn to use the Glogster software and incorporate multiple modes to compose a unified message.
Grades 5 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
After researching various natural disasters, students share their findings with each other using glogs, or through poster presentations.
Grades 3 – 6 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Using different writing/drawing materials (e.g., markers, color pencils, pastels, etc.), students learn how to communicate different moods and/or feelings to support their written ideas and how authors do the same through their work.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Unit
Striking images can leave lasting impressions on viewers. In this lesson, students make textselfworld connections to a nature- or science-related topic as they collaboratively design a multimedia presentation.
Grades 9 – 12 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
It’s not just words on a page (or screen)—reading comprehension involves making sense of the text. When students become aware of the analytical strategies they are using, they can explore the similarities and differences between making sense of print and making sense of a website.
Grade 9 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Students research, evaluate, and synthesize information about the Harlem Renaissance from varied resources, create an exhibit, and highlight connections across disciplines (i.e., art, music, and poetry) using a Venn diagram.
Grades 5 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
In this alternative book report, students identify the elements of fiction in books they have read by creating glogs, interactive multimedia posters, and then share their glogs.