Why use Edmodo with students? (Your feedback requested!)

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May 30th, 2011
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A View from the District with Andy McKiel:

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve seen and heard the buzz everywhere – blog posts, tweets & Edmodo communities are chock-full of mentions of the upcoming summer holidays.  While I, too, am counting down the days until the end of the 2010/2011 school year, my excitement isn’t building quite as quickly – if anything, my envy is escalating!  
From what I’ve read within the Blogosphere and the Twitterverse, it seems that most of my American counterparts will wrap up their school year at the end of this week, if they haven’t already done so.  To all of my friends & colleagues in the U.S. of A. who are ready to shift gears and enter into a much-deserved holiday… enjoy it to the fullest :-)

Up here in Canada, our school year stretches out a little longer – our schools don’t close their doors until June 30th.  This means that we still have a solid month left to work with our students and there’s a great deal of teaching and learning yet to take place in our classrooms and schools.  Our teachers have several more weeks to dig a little deeper with some of the big ideas that have been taught, and our students will have many more opportunities to demonstrate their learning.  And I would suspect that a lot of our teachers and students will want to incorporate Edmodo into their plans for the month of June.

Those of you who have been following my Monday ‘View From The District’ blog posts know that I’m in the process of implementing Edmodo within my school district.  Many of the teachers within my district have discovered great ways to use Edmodo on their own, by sharing ideas with colleagues, and by joining several of the amazing Communities within Edmodo.  But you and I both know that you can never offer an educator too many good ideas ;-)

So, my Edmodo blog post this week is more a request than anything else.  Before you launch into your summer holidays, whenever and wherever they may be, I’d like to ask a small favour of you.  I’m hoping that many of you will be willing to share just one little Edmodo tidbit with me so that I can pass some of your great tips and tricks onto the teachers within my school district.
If you could take just one minute to answer the following question by leaving a comment, I’d really appreciate it – and so will a whole bunch of Canadian teachers who are still plugging away in their classrooms for a few more weeks…

If a teacher in your school asked you why they should start using Edmodo with their students, what would you say?

*General comments are great – specific examples are even better :-)
Image Credits: ‘Graduation Cake Guy’ + ‘3D Character

 


26 Responses to “Why use Edmodo with students? (Your feedback requested!)”

  1. Ian Addison says:

    I liked edmodo, it seemed to offer a pupil-friendly facebook. However the one main feature that was missing and that all of my children wanted, was the ability to message each other. 
    I think edmodo has massive potential, but this is a key feature that needs to be included before my students want to use it. They all asked me what the point was because they could contact each other through gmail, so why not edmodo? 
    Include a teacher/admin option to control it and you have an even better product. 

    • Andy McKiel says:

      Thanks for your input, Ian.  With the ease of students messaging each other with all of the other readily-available tools that are out there, I didn’t see this as being a necessary feature within the Edmodo environment.  I agree that Edmodo has massive potential, and the teachers in my district have found so many creative ways of enabling their students to create, connect & collaborate within Edmodo.

    • Bmackenzie says:

      I quite agree, Ian! I have only recently started using Edmodo but one of the things that I have heard several times from my students is the fact that they cannot message each other directly (unless there is a way and I just have not figured it out!)… I also agree about including a teacher/admin option to control it… Just today I had a very bright student asking what was to prevent him from going to the Edmodo site and pretending that he was a teacher to create his own Edmodo page… Hmmm… I wasn’t really sure how to answer that one. I suspect that he will try it just to see if he can actually do it!
      Out of curiosity, your blog reply seemed to hint that you were not using it anymore. Is this the case?

      • Andy McKiel says:

        Hi Bmackenzie – so you have a student who wants to play the role of a teacher in Edmodo, eh?  The only way that he would be able to join as a teacher is if he got his hands on a school code. 

        When teachers are entered into a district sub-domain, they use a school code that they’ve been assigned.  When students join Edmodo, they do so with a group code that they’ve been given to join a specific group.

        Thanks for weighing in on this post :-)

    • Mary says:

      They CAN message each other.. but it’s an educational, public space so the messages are monitored by the teacher. If students are working together in a group, the teacher can create a group and then they can “talk” to each other within the small group, knowing the teacher is also present to make sure the conversation is appropriate.

  2. Lisa M says:

    Edmodo is a staple in my classroom. When the state blocked Edmodo for a couple of days, my class and I were devastated! Thankfully, the state listened to reason, and unblocked it! I post assignments, grade work, share projects, chat, share websites, allow my class to keep in touch with a sick student, you name it, I can do it with my students, and they love it! The most innovative thing I used it for was developing not one, but two sets of pen pals for my class. We chatted, shared Vokis, Glogs, letters, videos, news, and best wishes with two other classrooms in NJ and California. It was fun! Looking forward to next year when I will incorporate the parent component. I love Edmodo!

    • Andy McKiel says:

      Thanks for the great tips, Lisa!  I know many of the teachers that I work with will love the tips you’ve shared here…

  3. Ron says:

    I found Edmodo via @Daylynn on Twitter and have never looked back. Edmodo has simply changed the way I teach. This school year I have moved beyond the classroom for student teaching and learning with Edmodo. Now students get assignments, ask questions, collaborate and communicate outside the confines of the school and classsroom.

    Students can post questions on the site and I receive a text message and am able to respond within minutes. This has given my students confidence in their abilities to work hard knowing they have me and their classmates to assist them.

    Additionally, My students and I are connected to many other teachers, classes and communities through Edmodo that further assist and expand our education. Yes, I have learned so much more this year through Edmodo and I’m still learning to use it in many more ways next school year.

    Good Luck!

    • Andy McKiel says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Ron!  It’s amazing to see how the use of Edmodo really can transform teaching.  Turning classroom walls into windows to the world has such a huge impact on the way we teach and the way our students learn…

  4. Peter McAsg says:

    There is sooooo much talk these days about student use, and misuse, of social media. One solution that is often repeated is for teachers to model positive uses of social media (and for that matter 21century skills in general!).
    Edmodo provides a secure environment for students to use and devolp positive social networking skills.

    • Peter McAsh says:

      Too bad I can not spell my own name correctly! If this was within edmodo, I could edit it! (another advantage to edmodo)

    • Andy McKiel says:

      Hi Peter!  I know that all teachers who are using Edmodo could learn a thing or two from you and I really appreciate you weighing in on this post :-)

      You alluded to the need to model positive uses of social media for our students and I agree that this is one of the most valuable aspects of using Edmodo in classrooms.  Kids can post content, collaborate with each other, and connect with their teacher(s) in very meaningful ways. 

      We need our students to become familiar with all aspects of using social media, and helping them to ‘learn the ropes’ in a secure environment can encourage our students to express themselves more freely and with confidence.  

  5. Melinda A Lula says:

    My students love edmodo because they can keep up to date while on the move . They use the edmodo app on their iPods!

    • Andy McKiel says:

      Hi Melinda,

      You’re right – the portability of accessing Edmodo on mobile devices is a really nice touch!  I look forward to seeing even more features being incorporated into the Edmodo iTouch app in the near future :-)

      Thanks for the tip!

  6. Hscott says:

    This year I have witnessed the amazing transformative powers of Edmodo. It has changed my teaching, my classroom, and my students (9-12 English LA). My students have built digital portfolios of their work throughout the year thus creating positive digital footprints. They have learned to investigate and share with each other, truly becoming a student PLN. I have been able to provide differentiated small group instruction so all students can get what they need. I have been able to be absent from class without being gone. Absent students have joined us live time in class when important discussions or presentations were taking place. My students get texts about assignemnts and other class information and so do I. We are a connected community. At the end of the year (last week) many of my 150+ students commented that they would miss Edmodo over the summer. I reassured them that our class wouldn’t go away and that we could still post– especially about good books we were reading over the summer! Several lamented that next year just wouldn’t be the same because they wouldn’t have “an Edmodo teacher.” I reassured them I would keep talking to teachers about it. Students crave social interaction and they are doing it anyway (texting, Facebook, etc.). Why not harness that desire and use it to help them learn and interact in socially positive ways?

    • Andy McKiel says:

      Thanks so much for your reflective comment Hscott!  I can’t wait to share your comment with our teachers :-)

      There are so many benefits to using Edmodo with groups of students at any age & stage!  I particularly like how you mentioned that the learning can continue over the summer – it doesn’t have to stop at the end of the school year…  I love the idea you suggested about using Edmodo to compare good reads throughout the summer!

      Thanks for sharing & have a great summer ;-)

    • Mike says:

      Hello,

      I realise this post is quite old but I hope you still see this reply. The work you have done sounds amazing and I am keen to follow in your footsteps. However, I have 150+ students too, so I was wondering how you managed that volume effectively on Edmodo. Was it more efficient than paper and pen? Do you have any advice for keeping on top of things? Did certain activities work better than others?

      Any comments you hae about dealing with large numbers would be very helpful. Thank you!

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is the second year I used Edmodo with my 4th graders. I started the year using our class group to teach them online safety, digital citizenship, and netiquette. I then created a group where other 4th grade classes in my school district joined us and we collaborated within the group. Finally I created a group that we shared with other classes around the country. We did our Identity Day Project with about 100 other students. We also Skyped with them to share our presentations. My students and others embedded their Glogsters into the Edmodo group and got feedback from each other. 

    Since some of my students wanted to use Edmodo over the summer, I created a summer reading group that has about 60 members from around the country. The kids post questions about books and favorite authors for others to answer and I am posting book suggestions for them. Several of us are now reading the same book so that we can chat about it on Edmodo. I Love It.

    • Andy McKiel says:

      I love hearing about how the use of Edmodo has led teachers and students to other collaborative tools.  The fact that kids can hone their skills in a secure environment, incorporate and embed content into these protected places, but then begin to branch out and connect in more transparent ways is very inspiring.  

      Thanks for sharing, plnaugle!

  8. Laura Kees says:

    Edmodo se ha transformado para mí en una herramienta esencial para mis clases de Informática… precisamente por todas las buenas características que ya han comentado aquí!!
    Yo en particular, quiero destacar otro de los tantos aspectos positivos de Edmodo: la maravillosa asistencia, que también tiene, para con los profesores de habla española.
    Sigan así, siempre avanzando!! Felicitaciones!!

  9. Laura Kees says:

    Edmodo se ha transformado para mí en una herramienta esencial para mis clases de Informática… precisamente por todas las buenas características que ya han comentado aquí!!
    Yo en particular, quiero destacar otro de los tantos aspectos positivos de Edmodo: la maravillosa asistencia, que también tiene, para con los profesores de habla española.
    Sigan así, siempre avanzando!! Felicitaciones!!

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  11. Hello there
    I am making a research project about edmodo and EFL reading abilities fostering, there is anybody here which can provide me a source where somebody has made a research about edmodo classroom in EFL ?
    Thanks a lot
    Martha Moreno

  12. Pat Woody says:

    This tool can be used to further extend the important “home to school” connection. The ease of use, low time to master, and moderation capabilities are all pluses!

  13. Sachin says:

    Hi, I am a student but I really want students to be able to create groups for projects OUT of school. I also want there to be direct chat between students (With a content filter of course) and then you will have the perfect product and i will be more willing to use it. Thank you for reading and have a nice day.

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