Teens, teachers, librarians, lend me your ears. And your eyes and your monitors and keyboards, for that matter. If you’re looking for a new web tool that has lots of potential for book reports and visual pathfinders, look no further than Glogster. Glogster is an online tool that helps you to create interactive online posters. You can embed videos, there is an eye-catching array of clip art, the results look professional and impressive. Glogster is a hip online alternative to the good old Power Point presentation. And the perfect example has been created by MLIS student Katherine Bowers, whose epic Hunger Games pathfinder can be seen here:
Katherine also offers some tips on what she learned from creating her Glogster Hunger Games read-alike guide
* Be patient. Take some time to sift through menu options and clipart libraries (clipart is called “graphics”; pictures you add are “images”) on the left. Don’t be afraid to try features only to delete them.
* Book trailers can usually be found by searching YouTube. Publisher websites are also a good source. I chose all professionally made trailers, but there is some good fan-based stuff out there, too.
* Save frequently. It may have been because I was using Chrome, but the software is a bit buggy, and sometimes you just have to take a break and come back later.
* One of the best features took me awhile to find. You can turn graphics into links by clicking them, then selecting EDIT and then the link button (two overlapping circles). The final link is indicated by the pink circle that appears when you hover over the image. I linked my book covers to the C/W MARS OPAC’s static records.
* Visually speaking, spend time unifying the color and theme, and reducing text to a minimum. Suit your presentation to the strengths of such a visual medium
As Katherine stated, the best way to experience Glogster is by taking some time to explore it. It may require a little patience, but as I have been trying to compile my own pathfinders inspired by hers I have also found Glogster to be strangely addictive. One of its great strengths is that the visuals help make an impact without having to present complex content; you could create your own dystopian pathfinder very quickly using a guide such Maria Kramer’s recent Hub post. Or use any of the excellent YALSA booklists to get inspiration for titles and themes; the Popular Paperbacks list is already built around themes and would translate into Glogster easily. Start fooling around with it now, and by the end of the summer you’ll have a whole new way to wow your teachers (or students) when the time for summer reading reports are due!
–Katherine Bowers, currently reading Home by Marilynne Robinson
–Mia Cabana currently reading The Incorrigible Children of
Ashton Place: the Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood. (I could not love it
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