Creating Historical Timelines with Glogster (Part I)

Right now my students are working through a chunk of Canadian History, examining a series of events that lead up to Confederation. In order to have them understand this flow of events, and how they lead from one to another to the final creation of our country, I have asked students to create a timeline. Last year, on a similar chunk of history, I had students use xTimeline, but in the end I wasn't that pleased with the products the students created.

This year we're trying Glogster, (thanks to Jared Nichol for sharing again!) and so far both me and the students are excited about the potential. Glogster lets you create multimedia posters, where you can embed text, image, voice, sound and video. When I signed up for Gloster, I was very impressed with the way they quickly set up student accounts - a very slick and effecient system to set up a teacher and class of students.

Last week my students began researching the historical events, and I was really pleased with the way it worked. Instead of focusing on the Glogster, I've been really stressing the historical understanding. Since this particular time in history leads to the creation of bilinguialism in Canada, I've assigned students either a Francophone or Anglophone perspective, and they are interpreting the causes and impacts of a list of events based on their assigned group. I then put them in work groups of 5-6 students, where they are working out their historical understanding. Students were given information charts to fill out - asked to collect the basic facts about the events on their own time, and then come to class ready to discuss deeper questions about meaning of the events with their groups. After collaboratively filling out the charts, the students decide how to summarize and express the information on their Glogster. They can use text, voice and video to communicate their topic's perspective on the events.
So far, I've been really happy with the way the students are examining this time in history - I think because I've focused on the collaboration skills and the historical understanding, not the technology. The Glogster is the final step - and while I think it's a super fun web tool to use - I don't want the glitz of the Glogster to drive this chunk of our project. Here's a quick mock up of a Glogster that I made - to show the students how to get started - and give them some ideas. I'm really looking forward to seeing the final project next week. They are just starting to embed text, voice and video into their Glogsters. I'll share more next week when they're all done and finished! And I love the creativity that Glogster allows..

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Tags: collaboration, glogster, history, inquiry, socialstudies

Comment by Jim Dachos on April 1, 2009 at 8:48am
Hello Neil,

I am the new education manager with Glogster EDU. It is exciting to see your innovative work on the confederation and it's role in Canadian History. As a former History teacher, I appreciate the scope of your project and envision your student's excitement in working with the limitless resources that GlogsterEDU offers. As we grow we plan to offer more and more opportunities for the integration of our 2.0 platform. Let us know how we can help!
Jim Dachos
Comment by Neil Stephenson on April 1, 2009 at 8:51am
Jim, Thanks for the comments. Great to hear your thoughts on how we're using Glogster. We're currently on Spring Break, but my students are wrapping up their historical Glogsters next week. I'll be sure to send you a couple finished ones.
Comment by Jim Dachos on April 2, 2009 at 6:53am
Great to talk to you! I look forward to seeing your student's creations. Enjoy your break.


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