Today's topic is Edmodo. Link
I should mention that although I can see where elementary teachers and classes could use edmodo for certain classes, this is going to be mainly geared toward MS and HS students and classes.
What is Edmodo?Well, to put it simply, Edmodo is a Course Management System (CMS) that allows you to give assignments, set the calendar, collect assignments, give quizes, etc, etc...
Here is a short Youtube video that goes over some of the basics.
Why use it?
First off all, it is very simple and easy to use. I started using it last year in my High School PE classes for our Health/Assignment days, and was so happy with it, I started using it in all my MS Health classes.
Secondly, for me it was helpful in keeping all assignments, quizzes, discussions, in one central location. Instead of having students turn in one assignment here, and one assignment there, I had everything turned in via edmodo. There is even a quizmaker right on the edmodo site, so you can put your assessments on there.
Third, It looks like Facebook. What better way to connect with students, than to use a format that they are familiar with. In fact, that is what Edmodo calls itself, "an educational social network".
|Edmodo's format is very similar to Facebook.|
Fourth, Edmodo can be integrated throughout the school. Students only need to remember one username and password to get into Edmodo. Each class (or "group" in Edmodo terms) is assigned a specific code by Edmodo, the Teacher then shares that code with the students, and they join the group. So once a student is logged in to Edmodo, they can simply switch classes by clicking on the appropriate group. Multiple classes can be accessed with one simple log in.
Fifth, anything you want the students to do... visit a website, write a paper, listen to a podcast, can be linked to the class page. Basically any web based activity can be accessed from their class page, and it will remain there, until you decide to take it off, or not.
Sixth, you are in control. You can limit if the students can make public posts to the class. You can set cut off dates for assignments. You can re-set a student's password if they forget. If a student withdraws from your class, you can remove them.
7th, Parental Involvement. For each student, they have a code that can be given to their parents. Their parents can then see every assignment that has been given them through Edmodo. They can also see the assignment that their student has turned in. Parents will need to have their own login and password, and you can provide them with the code for their student. After that, it's easy.
8th Mobile Format. Edmodo has a mobile app, that allows Teachers/Students/Parents to access their Edmodo over their Smart Phones.
I only used Edmodo in the classroom for one school year. But only because I hadn't heard of it before then. I do see that the Elkton staff has been exposed to Edmodo (although I'm not sure as to how much), as it is a link included on the school's links page.
Before that I used the State's webct program (Which is now Blackboard). That worked fine, but I much preferred Edmodo. It was just easier to use, and the students enjoyed the edmodo format much more. In addition, the longer I used it, the more I was able to integrate it into what I was doing. It got to the point where my Health students were surprised and disappointed if we weren't working on Edmodo that day.
If you ever need help in getting started on Edmodo, send me an e-mail and I'd be glad to assist you. It's a really neat tool, and something that can be used throughout the curriculum.