Wednesday, October 5, 2011

UPDATE: Glogster Project Speedbump

So- this is pretty much unprecedented- 2 blog posts in one week. Usually I wouldn't be so on top of it, but today something happened that simply had to be blogged about. Glogster screwed up my life. Really.

I'm in the midst of doing my fieldwork at an elementary school. I've been at it for 3 weeks now, but this week was my first week with kids. the first 2 weeks were spent designing and setting up some really awesome projects with the librarian. One project will see the students researching and then creating a glog about life in the swamp. Accounts were set up- I was stoked to find out that we (the librarian and I) could each set up a free account and add enough students to get the project going for this semester. I created a demo glog and was pretty excited about it. This week we introduced the project to the students who were really, really excited!

Then, today, disaster struck. I logged in to change the passwords for the students and couldn't get to my student list. Why? Well, because as of today Glogster Basic no longer exists.

Yup, in order to continue this project I would have to upgrade to Teacher Light ($29.95/year and we would need 2 accounts) or Teacher Premium ($99/year). Even doing the month free upgrade won't work because this project spans 6 weeks... maybe I can squish it into 4, but that will put a lot of pressure on the kids to learn how to create a glog and actually do it in a short amount of time (roughly 3-4 classes what with Thanksgiving getting in the way and all).

Oh and for all my IST611 buddies- that project Erin and I turned in just last week? Yeah, it's kind of inaccurate now. The tutorial holds up, but some of the other information, especially in regards to the different account levels no longer applies. The strengths and weaknesses of Glogster would change too, since one big bonus was the ability to have free access for the most basic application. You couldn't do much with Teacher Basic, but it was enough to give students a little taste of what could possibly be done. Thank goodness Task One had us looking at alternatives- I may need to tap into those now!

So now what? Well, to start I have to get a hold of my librarian who is out of town for a few days and then try to figure out if there is a way to salvage this project or if we need to come up with soemthing totally different despite having already started the project with several classes. Needless to say I'm not overly thrilled with Glogster. They gave 5 days notice, which, because I only teach 2 days a week fell during the time I was not at school and therefore not working on Glogster. So for me, I got zero days notice. Not even an email to my actual email address (which I provided on account set up). 

I guess the moral of the story here is that you never know when a speedbump is going to be laid out in front of you. This is probably what life in the library is like all the time, so it's good to get used to it as quickly as possible. Also, have a back up plan. I better go get working on Plan B now.

UPDATE: So, despite Glogster messing my Wednesday up, I have to say I'm really impressed with the way it's gone from there. You'll note below in my comments that Glogster responded to this here post. Well, technically Jennifer from Glogster responded. Turns out that while I can't do it exactly the way I want to there are ways I can still get this project rolling and allow the kids to create some awesome glogs. It may take me a few more steps, and a little more time, but the fact that someone took the time to make some suggestions (and answer more questions via email) speaks volumes for the company. I get that they can't continue to provide everything for free (although, lets face it, that would be awesome) and that was never my issue. In fact, when I'm in a position to do so, I will probably pay for an account. It just doesn't make sense at this time, for this project. Now, thanks to Jennifer and her chance encounter with my blog, I've got a handful of things to take to my librarian and some feasible ways to keep this project going. So, in short, kudo's to Glogster. It's great to hear from companies, especially when you are frustrated! 


  1. Kate -

    Oh no! So sorry to hear this. There is nothing worse that being so psyched up for a project (and one that the students are psyched for as well) only to have something go wrong.

    I did learn to always have that back up plan for each and every lesson. It is double the work, but makes life less stressful in the end. You have many resources available - and lots of us who might have ideas on what your plan B should be. Bright side - yes, you did happen to just write a paper about this tool and it's alternatives.....

  2. Yikes! Sorry to hear about this Kate! I can't believe Glogster is charging now... I remember using Glogster for our IST 612 project this summer and how great a resource it was... I hope you find an alternative for your project.

  3. Kate,

    First of all, I want to apologize for your negative experience with this pricing change. We certainly didn't mean to catch teachers off guard. We did send a few emails, so I'm not sure why you didn't receive them in your registered email (if you still want to receive emails from us, you can write to me with your address and I'll double-check that it is in the database). Regardless, I'm sorry that this happened to you in the middle of an important project.

    We realize that the pricing change isn't ideal for all educators. Budgets are tight, and resources are limited. Simply put, Glogster EDU cannot continue to support such a high-quality student management platform completely free of charge. With this new pricing structure, we will be able to respond to your needs for new features more quickly, effectively, and with a higher quality than ever before. We take feedback from our educators very seriously and want to provide you with all the improvements you’ve asked for – but these improvements would simply be out of our capacity without a new pricing structure.

    Good news is that you don't have to upgrade to Teacher Light in order to complete the project ( though I suggest you at least consider it, because Teacher Light has several crucial improvements to Basic, like no ads, customer care, data attachment...but I'll spare you the sales pitch :) ).

    If you choose not to upgrade, your account will convert to Single Free, and your student accounts will convert to Single Free as well. If your students haven't registered for Glogster EDU yet, then they can sign up for a new Single Free account. You will no longer be "connected" to their accounts. But no Glogs will be lost -- Glogs you created will appear under your account, and Glogs your students created will appear under their accounts. With Single Free, all Glogs are private, so they will have to send you their Glog URL for you to view it.

    I hope you’ll find the value of Glogster EDU worth the new price tag, and if not, that you'll continue to create and share Glogs using the free version. The Glog creation tool will always be free.

    Please let me know if you have any questions or need anything at all. Your feedback is always welcome.

    -Jennifer, Glogster EDU

  4. I'm glad there is a work-around solution for you, Kate. Also happy that you acknowledged Glogster's (i.e., Jennifer) attention to you and concern for your situation.

  5. Wow - impressive customer service and good news for your students. Great news from Jennifer.