Social media tools are changing the way we connect with our students!! Today, I want to highlight Edmodo, a free online social network tool for teachers and students.
A short description of Edmodo from their website:
Edmodo provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices. Our goal is to help educators harness the power of social media to customize the classroom for each and every learner.
Edmodo promotes anytime, anyplace learning. Functionally, it allows teachers to post messages, discuss classroom topics, assign and grade classwork, share content and materials, and network and exchange ideas with their peers – but in reality, it is so much more.
This short video gives an interactive look at the features and functionality of Edmodo and can give you an idea of how other teachers are using this social media tool in their classrooms.
There are teachers in HPS who are already using Edmodo with their students and are pleased with how the tool functions. But don’t take my word for it! Read what they have to say…
Rachael Moyer – HHS
English and Theory of Knowledge
I use Edmodo to “take up” all assignments for my IB classes. Students upload essays that I can annotate for feedback, they can pull assignments that I upload so that I do not have to make copies, and they can hit reply to open ended questions which makes each post somewhat like a blog.
My sophomores have a weekly vocabulary assignment that they must turn in on Edmodo. Additionally, I use the calendar feature for all of my classes (for due dates). Students can receive text messages or emails as reminders (depending on how they set up their personal accounts. Also, parents can see what their children have done with a parent code.
NOBODY outside the class (because of an invite) can access or post material.
I’ve used Edmodo now for over two years, and it has been an invaluable social media tool that I use to enhance and extend the classroom environment.
Screenshot of Mrs. Moyer’s Edmodo page:
Last spring, our district piloted a virtual desktop environment. Teachers who participated documented how they used the machines in their classrooms as tools for instruction. Their progress was documented using the social media tool, Ning. Below are excerpts from some of the teacher blogposts that related to the use of Edmodo during this pilot.
Rachael Moyer – HHS
English and Theory of Knowledge
Well….today was proof that our hard work, frustration, and paradigm breaking was all worth it. When my students came in to take their final exam today, I said, “Go grab a computer.” They were, as you can imagine, pleasantly surprised. I gave them my standard open-ended question that they can then apply to any of the major works that we’ve covered this semester. They answered the question using Word and uploaded it to Edmodo. Other than the short disconnect at about 8:30, everything was perfect. OH…and the question was “What is Catharsis?”
First period was a little of an experiment:
- Students logged on to Edmodo and opened a word document that I had posted for them earlier in the morning.
- Students read the “story” and used the comment feature to make their own comments.
- I then read my seminar questions and typed their responses which I was then able to load to Edmodo for immediate feedback!
Woohoo….my fantasy of going paperless seems to be a reality.
My Sophomore English class is finishing their research projects (at least the paper) today. Since everything will be loaded to Edmodo, I don’t need to worry about being out with a sub. YAY!!!!…..no more lost work.
LGV – 2nd grade (That’s right, SECOND GRADERS used Edmodo!!)
This week we are finishing up our weather unit, I have set an Edmodo account and had all my students set up one under certain groups under my account. They were so excited. It was like them having a Facebook account. While they are on the account, they have assignments. They have to click on the weather link to help them answer questions about weather. When they finish they have to reply back to me and let me know if they are finished or still working. This is very easy to keep up with where they are. I have also had some students to go on to their Edmodo account at home and write to me. Exciting!
HHS – Science
We used Edmodo throughout the week with my AP classes to work on 2 projects that they are doing before the end of the year. The kids said that Edmodo was like “Facebook for school” which I thought was funny. It does mean that they are familiar with the format and feel comfortable using it.
LGV – 5th grade
Introduced my students to Edmodo today. Ambitious for fourth graders on day two of using the laptops? Maybe. Ambitious for me, having only looked at it for a few hours prior? Definitely! But I successfully created a reading assignment that follows along with our novel study of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. I attached a word document with their questions, which was awesome, since I didn’t have to make copies. It took my students WAY too long, but it was their first time. I’m sure that with time, they’ll get faster at navigating Edmodo and turning in assignments.
This week I was able to move out of attaching word documents as the primary source for assignments in Edmodo, to creating, simple, but effective web research projects.
We participated in several webquests. …After reading a few chapters in The BFG, which has to do with a funky soda pop, students went to Allrecipes, through Edmodo, found and copied a recipe, then went to eFoodDepot to find the prices. …They had to come up with a shopping list and total cost for their recipes.
…The second webquest dealt with poetry. Students were given a list of website resources and needed to find definitions to general poetry terms, and look up information on various popular poets. Both of these webquests were designed in Edmodo.
…Fun, simple, but I’m still learning all of the things that I can do through Edmodo. … Students had a blast with this.
It took a day, maybe two, TOPS, for my fourth graders to catch onto the login procedure for the laptop AND all of the login procedures for Kidsblog and Edmodo. I must be honest here, I was super impressed that they were able to follow and remember all of these steps. It made lesson planning and “creative ideaing” much easier.
Find out more about Edmodo: