There are so many tools available for teachers these days, many more than when I first embarked on my tech in edu adventures way back in 2009 – coincidentally the year I first found Edmodo. This multiplicity of tools is both awesome and overwhelming, especially for those teachers who are just (finally) dipping their toes into the (sometimes) murky waters of edtech. What should I use? When should I use it? How do I use it best? These are the big questions that teachers need to find answers to if they are going to use technology effectively to enhance student learning and engagement.
For me, Edmodo continues to be a staple in my web-based apps diet. Yes, they have changed it a lot since it first debuted, and yes, some of those changes haven’t been for the best (the iPad app continues to be dodgy!). However, its main functionality is the same, and I continue to find it super reliable and user-friendly for my students. I’m thankful that the school I’m now in sets all students up with Edmodo right at the beginning of year 7. This approach normalizes the use of technology in learning, and means students aren’t messing around signing up in class etc.
I’ve tweeted a bit about my love for Edmodo recently, so I thought I might go the whole edu blogger cliche and list 5 reasons I continue to be enamoured with one of the most used, and well known edtech tools:
1. Silent discussions.
There’s nothing simpler or more engaging than posting a provocative statement, question, image or video to a class Edmodo group, and letting students respond quietly in a given time. I’ve done this recently with year 10 (who studying consumerism) and year 11 (who are studying journeys) with great results from both classes.
2. Assignments. I use this feature for homework and class tasks. I don’t give students a grade, rather I prefer to use smiley faces – most kids receive this :)/:) which means they’ve completed a task. I then use medals and missions feedback to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses with a particular task.
3. Embedding videos and links. So freaking easy that Kindy kids can do it! I share a lot of resources, and so do my students, via Edmodo. You can add them to folders too – which keeps everyone organised. So easy!
4. Google Drive connectivity. Oh man! Now that our department has unblocked Google Drive, it’s so easy to have my students collaborate! My students have all been using Google Drive – docs to collaboratively analyse texts, and presentations to share their learning with the class. They even each have their own google doc learning journals. The fact that Edmodo allows us to directly link from our Google Drive accounts is AMAZEBALLS! No more worksheets getting lost, or eaten by the dog, lol!
5. Connecting with teachers (and classes) all around the world. The teacher communities continue to grow, with so much interaction and sharing it really is remarkable. I bet it’s one of the largest education-specific online communities around! Just this morning I connected with a teacher in Turkey, and we plan to connect our classes to talk about WWI and the importance of the centenary. What a fantastic opportunity for us all, and it happened totally organically via Edmodo.
There are lots of ways to use Edmodo, but these are the five that I keep coming back for. I hope that Edmodo continues to be viable, and that they start earning money for this awesome tool. If it wasn’t for Edmodo, I wouldn’t have had half of the awesome edu experiences I’ve had in the last 5 years.
How have you used Edmodo this year?