In a previous post, I wrote about how I was dismantling my wiki and going with a new communication system. That system is Edmodo. I first learned about Edmodo at an iSummit conference last summer. Two middle school teachers gave a glowing and energetic presentation on Edmodo, but perhaps because they were middle school teachers, I resisted using the website with my upper school students, thinking it might appear too juvenile to them. After looking into the website, and comparing it to other communication systems out there, I decided it really was the best thing out there, at least until the next best thing comes along. Some of my students who have had experience with Edmodo in other classes are glad to hear I’ll be using it next year. That’s a great endorsement. So here’s my top 10 reasons for why I finally chose Edmodo, and as you read, know that, while I wish I was, I am not getting paid to endorse the site!
10. Community Groups: Once you are a member of the Edmodo community you can join other professional teacher groups, sharing ideas not only about how to use technology in the classroom but also all sorts of lesson plans and assessment ideas. For instance, I’ve joined a social studies group, a problem-based learning group, and a group that incorporates music into the history curriculum to name just three.
9. Calendar: Edmodo provides a calendar for the teacher to post homework assignments and due dates, and the calendar is color-coded by group (class). Each time the teacher creates a new assignment, the assignment is automatically posted on the calendar. Students can export the calendar to another calendar program like iCal should they choose to do so.
8. Library: Users can upload both files and links to their personal library. Files can be anything from a simple Pages document to a video or song.
7. Organization: Users can create file folders, as many as they wish, to organize the files in their library.
6. Sharing: Teachers can share whole files or single documents with their students. For instance, I can keep posting documents to a folder called “Study Guides” throughout the year. Once I share that folder with a class, each time I add a file to the folder, the students get it too.
5. Quizzing Students: There is a quiz feature that allows a teacher to assign a quiz on the Edmodo website, and the website will grade those quizzes for you depending on the kind of quiz. You can create short answer, true/false, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank questions. There is a timing feature that allows you to set the amount of time a student has to take the quiz once begun, and the students can see their results right away. Grades are automatically posted into the website’s grade book, another good feature. (Warning: Using this feature requires vigilance on the part of the teacher to prevent cheating.)
4. Alerts: Students and teachers can set up their accounts in such a way that they can be alerted by email OR text message whenever a change is made to their group. If a teacher adds an assignment or changes a due date, students know right away.
3. Groups: Teachers can set up their “groups” or classes (which are color-coded as well) and even groups within groups. Once a group is set up, a code is generated. Students use that code to join the group. Parents, too, can view, but not participate, in groups, allowing for parents to help their children keep up with their work (and keep parent emails to teachers at a minimum).
2. Assign and Collect Work: Teachers can post assignments with attached files or links. Students view and complete the assignment and return it to their teacher all within the website. When the student turns in the assignment, it is time-stamped so the teacher knows exactly when it was completed. Teachers can then view the student’s work, grade it, and return it – again, all within the one website. Grades go into the website’s grade book. Since everything happens on the Edmodo site, the teacher has excellent documentation. At the end of the year, groups can be archived so that they are always available should the teacher need to view them.
1. User-Friendly: Edmodo is an incredibly user-friendly, comprehensive site. Edmodo does everything my wiki did plus much more. The site is organized well for easy manipulation, and the “Help” site is indeed a help. In addition, Edmodo offers free webinars on all sorts of topics relating to the site.
And just in case you needed one more reason to check out Edmodo – IT’S FREE!