Note: The following post is a guest post by Robert Miller, who is a 5th grade teacher at Port Orange Elementary in Port Orange, Florida. Robert Miller is an Apple Distinguished Educator, BrainPOP Advisor, and one of NSBA’s 2009 “20 to Watch”. Robert can be found on twitter @RobrtMiller and at his class website http://www.maxclassonline.net if you would like to contact him or see the cool things he is doing with his students to enhance their learning experience.
This year has been one where I found myself moving away from the static teacher showcase web page towards web applications leading my 5th grade students into a more interactive online experience that does not end at the two o’clock bell.
This past fall, I discovered Edmodo referenced on my Twitter feed and after reading the homepage and researching other teachers’ usage, I knew immediately that Edmodo would be an anchor in my classroom’s online experience. As it turns out, Edmodo is now our main aggregate for both classroom communication (both with me and with student peers) and the collaborative portal for works and projects.
Jeff asked me to share some of the ways my 5th graders and I use Edmodo in our classroom. I, too, have picked up many tips from other educators on the Edmodo Group available to all of us and I encourage you to continue or start to share your best practices!
- Many Language Arts programs are using Literature Circles… Have you ever thought about creating an online component? Although I believe the face-to-face discussion is the most exciting way to share a great book, some students just cannot wait until the next day and often they share a few thoughts the night before in their private Edmodo Lit Circle Group… Each group-of-four loves to have their own private room!
- Here’s one that I gleaned from the Edmodo Group: Create a “Recess” Group that will draw in your less-than-motivated students. This is a room that they can do their “chat posts.” My students and I have set prior parameters for such a group and I have found that some will log in for the Recess Group but stay for my actual content and peer collaboration.
- My class webpage has a sidebar of web application links to which my students can jump (VoiceThread, Animoto, GoogleDocs, GlogsterEDU, Pixton Comics, etc.). Edmodo allows for each some sort of embedding or linking to a student project or showcase. Students can chose to share their projects/assignments and collaborate with classmates to make them better in one location… I love it!
- I am teaching my students proper digital netiquette by making myself accessible in the evenings with Direct Messaging. We discuss what is important to interrupt me after school and what can wait until the next day. If a student has a burning or important query/issue, that student may “DM” me knowing that I am going to receive a text message immediately of their post. They can expect a response soon thereafter. This function has solved delays, deadlines, and parental questions and alleviates disruption and the flow/progress of the next morning’s routine. Students who DM me with frivolous or irresponsible questions (“Mr. Miller, what page was the math HW?”) are addressed personally in the morning.
Maybe you too, see the endless possibilities of Edmodo in your classroom. Might any of you be partaking in classroom-to-classroom/school-to-school groups (something I and another distant teacher are exploring)? Are any of you finding the Edmodo Assignment Post/Gradebook a time saver? (Support Comments lead us to believe that Gradebook is going to be further improved in future updates). I hope that you are finding Edmodo as an enriching web 2.0 resource as I do and I look forward to reading and implementing your shared classroom ideas.
As I tell my students, “Great idea! Want to share? Go Edmodo!”
Note: We just wanted to thank Robert for taking the time out of his busy schedule to share his experience with Edmodo. We are also looking for others to share their experience’s with Edmodo. Feel free to contact us and share your experience.