Meet the Speakers of EdmodoCon: Bijal Damani
Posted by: Lucia Giacomantonio
As we gear up for EdmodoCon 2013, we’d like to introduce you to our featured speakers. Over the next week, profiles of our chosen educators will appear in our blog, giving you a chance to learn more about their work and how they are leveraging Edmodo in their classrooms. Register for EdmodoCon here, and check out the full EdmodoCon schedule to see when you’ll be able to catch these talented folks live!
Business teacher Bijal Damani will be traveling from Rajkot, India to join us in San Mateo, California where we’ll be livestreaming EdmodoCon. Says Bijal, “I have presented at Educational conferences like ASCD, Microsoft and UNESCO, but this is going to be my first virtual presentation. I am very excited and looking forward to this experience. This conference will give me an opportunity to meet some of the most creative and wonderful teachers around the globe who are using Edmodo differently. I am excited about sharing my story and learning a lot from my fellow teachers. I am also excited about meeting the Edmodo staff - never in my wildest dream had I thought that I will be visiting the Edmodo HQ and meet the wonderful people who are running the show!”.
Time zone differences kept Bijal from EdmodoCon 2012, “I had signed up for EdmodoCon 2012, but could not attend any live sessions because of the time difference. So, this time I was determined that I will miss my midnight sleep to catch up with the live sessions. I was surprised to find out that this time – I am one of the presenters!”.
Find out more about how Bijal uses Edmodo by checking out our recent interview with her.
What problems does Edmodo help you solve as an educator?
I believe in Project Based Learning and Edmodo helps a lot with communication and collaboration. For two of my major projects – Galaxy Bazaar and Innovative Product and Marketing Competition, I lead 150 students. Edmodo provides a platform where I can reach out to all the students and can communicate the instructions on time. I use Edmodo with other Web 2.0 tools like Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Sites, etc. for effective collaboration.
What is your favorite feature?
I like using Edmodo Polls because it helps me get real feedback from my class. This tool gives students a voice. It helps me a great deal in making project decisions more democratic and student centric.
What is an interesting project or unique example of how you’re using Edmodo in the classroom?
There are two interesting projects which takes place every year with my 150 students : Galaxy Bazaar, a Social Entrepreneurship Project and Innovative Product and Marketing Competition.
In Galaxy Bazaar, we set up a real bazaar for three days prior to the festival of Diwali (the most celebrated festival in India). The project is a real time business experience. We provide a platform for wholesalers and new manufacturers to showcase and sell their products. We use Edmodo for communication between various departments and it is very helpful.
For more details on Galaxy Bazaar projects - http://www.galaxybazaar.in/
How can teachers use Edmodo for professional learning?
I believe educators can use Edmodo for professional learning in three ways :
By following Communities of their interest. I have signed up for Communities like PBL, ISTE and Mobile Learning which connect me with educators who share the same passion in that field.
By connecting you with other educators from around the world. It gives a platform for collaborating on different projects.
By taking online PD courses. I received the chance to complete my PBL teacher course from BIE (Buck Institute of Education) through Edmodo. I am sure I would not have been able to get this opportunity without Edmodo.
What advice would you give a new Edmodo teacher?
EXPLORE. EXPLORE and EXPLORE. This tool has lot to offer to suit the needs of every educator.