After learning about this topic in class, I decided I’d check it out a little more and see what all the hype is about. Surprisingly, Edmodo is actually a very interesting tool. Basically it’s a private and scholarly version of Facebook. I started by visiting the Edmodo website and being greeted with their slogan “Where learning happens.” I decided to take their word for it, and keep looking. On their website, they actually provide visitors with a nice video about what you can do once you join with your students. In the video, they talk about how Edmodo helps connect all learners with the necessary people to result in success. They then go on about different activities one can do with students in class. I found it very interesting that they suggest having polls to get students thinking and get their opinion, as well as use the tool for homework reminders and announcements. The website allows the teacher to set up a classroom group as well as a parent group so that they can be informed as well.
I decided to visit different blogs to see what kinds of things different teachers were doing with this tool. I came across this interesting blog, which suggested different things that she was doing herself in her classes. The first thing she mentions is how Edmodo allows her to have time to teach beyond classroom time. Sometimes it’s hard to get all the material across, so Edmodo allows an interactive way to connect with students once they’ve left class. One of the activities this educator uses in her classroom is Peer Conferences. She has students post their work on the page, and other students are required to give feedback to the students that will allow improvement. They are required to reply with a specific positive comment, and as a “what if” question. I thought this activity would be a great idea with students, and it also gets them to practice their writing skills and developing ideas.
I came across this presentation, which nicely sums up the practical side of Edmodo. First they mention how you can have a library of all files, which means you always have a copy of students’ work. Also, it means students can hand in electronically which is practical in a lot of different ways. Students and parents also have almost instant access to the teacher if they need to ask a question or whatnot. The presentation also mentions that it’s a great way to get students thinking by starting the class discussion before the class even begins.
I enjoy the way this tool makes a classroom more personal. Each student is a part of a group, and the teacher or other students are always there to answer questions. I enjoy the different possibilities of using this tool, and students will likely enjoy it due to its similarity to Facebook. After reading all of this information, this is definitely a tool I would consider using in my classroom.