Comparison of Glogster and Character Posters

I am currently enrolled in an education technology class and have been asked to describe my opinion and experience of the development of Character posters as opposed to a Glogster.  

I should first start out by describing what the activities are respectively.

A character poster is an activity in which we were asked to engage Microsoft Excel to form a large info-graphic of ourselves. This entailed a photo, a word describing us as a person, and then the definition of that word.  Ideally the project could be developed into a larger format to be used and applied in the classroom.

A Glogster is a form of internet poster which allows the user to have any format they wish and embed videos, pictures, graphics, and text onto a page that can be viewed easily.  The site does not take alot of work to figure out how to use and is free, however it does offer a venue for presenting information in a more modern way.

Now in my situation both of these tasks were simply that: tasks because they were homework.  However that doesnt mean that I cannot draw pros and cons from each activity, it just means I might come off more jaded from my experience of learning how to create the activities.

If I had to be honest about the process, I would say that learning how to use both of the concepts was enjoyable.  Both offer venues through which information can be communicated with ease.  If anything I would say both offer the ability of the user to create individualistic, creative expressions of the project.  As a future teacher, this is an ideal resource.  Giving students the freedom to be creative, and communicate information in a form that will be diverse based on the student encourages uniqueness of students.

I would say that the major differences between the two projects showed in the technology skills required to create them.  Glogster has a more friendly format for the younger user, however it will never have the professional look required to transition into full time use by businesses.  This is where the question begins of whether we teach our students to use Excel or a Glogster.  There needs to be a balance of we are preparing them while not discouraging creativity.  For my personal classroom,  I would create the character poster in the form of Excel because I believe it would better prepare my students for using that technology, and while that might not be happy time for them, it would be encouraging creativity while enabling growth in technological savy.

Overall I believe that the usage of Glogster is more for the individual presentation to be used in the classroom as a teaching tool, but not a training tool.  A Glogster would enable a teacher to make creative flowing notes, and interactive enough that the students would focus and pay attention to the task at hand.  Conversely, encouraging students to learn a technology that would not be applicable later in their lives would not be useful to them.  This is why I encourage the use of Excel, not the discouraging of Glogster, but simply the future applicability to the generic student.  Excel still offers the ability of a student to be creative (once they learn how to use it).  

It is my personal belief that it is in the game of teachers to encourage growth in students live that goes further than just memorization of facts.  As we encourage students to pursue careers and continue school, we need to be preparing them for the world that they are going to live in.  That means keeping up with technology and the most modern methods, but that also means holding to old technology such as Excel that is used everywhere in the corporate world.  I believe that it becomes the role of the teacher to encourage creative activities through useful technology to their students.  Even if it means that technology wont be showy or have colors, it means the students will learn how to use it.  In contrast, it is the responsibility of the teacher to use the modern technology to engage students in class.  When teaching students the teachers need to using every resource, but when students are preparing assignments for class they need to be practicing on real world applicable tools that could apply later in their lives.  It is my belief that the place for technology in education lies with the teacher engaging the student, then enabling the students to engage themselves in the real world.

For more analysis on educational methods in the education system check out this video of Dan Brown, raising the issue of how we teach our students:

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