All week we’ve been telling you about our new school and district level features, free of charge as always. Now we are introducing you to some of the teachers and technology administrators who are using Edmodo’s free social learning network school and district wide. Tomorrow, Thursday, August 19th at 12pm PDT, you can join us for a special webinar to learn even more about these new features and hear from users like 8th grade teacher, Mrs. Dyane Smokorowski, and Director of Technology, Rob Dickson, from Andover School District in Kansas. You’ll also hear from Darlene Rankin, a District Director, and Brenda White, a Technology Integration Coordinator, from Katy School District in Texas. Both Andover USD and Katy ISD have been using Edmodo since 2009 and are now deploying Edmodo across their entire districts. Below are short interviews with both groups.
Q: As a teacher/administrator, what do you like best about Edmodo?
Andover: I love the simplicity of the tool and the community it helps me build with my students. Through the use of Edmodo, I have the ability to extend my classroom walls and class hours to communicate and collaborate with students easily. Even in the summer months, the students and I were able to collaborate on writing projects thanks to Edmodo. It gives the flexibility of the web interface yet still has a large feature set to build content as needed. As an administrator, I am satisfied with the security of allowing certain sharing and security enabled into the web portal.
Katy: Edmodo is so easy to use – teachers create their own accounts using a school code – there is no work on our end setting up or importing student or teacher accounts. Once a teacher has created their account using their school code their account is moved under the Katy ISD umbrella. Edmodo is always eager to listen to our ideas and address them. Strong support team and very much in tune to the customer.
Q: What do your students like about Edmodo?
Andover: Their favorite features of Edmodo are the text notifications when I send out assignments or direct messages, the Edmodo App from iTunes to do homework or commuicate with me via their phones or iPods, the ability to communicate with the class from home when they are absent, and the ability to reach me with questions easily at night and on the weekends while they are doing their homework.
Katy: Students are naturally attracted to Edmodo because the concept is so familiar to them. Once student accounts are created and they are “in” they easily pick up on how to operate in Edmodo. Students enjoy being able to communicate with their teacher and get timely feedback on their projects.
Q: What is the biggest surprise you have experienced using Edmodo?
Andover: The community it built between my students and me, especially with the more shy ones. If they weren’t comfortable asking questions in class, they could easily send me a direct message. We essentially became a professional learning community together through Edmodo. I couldn’t teach as effectively without it.
Katy: I have been surprised at how easy Edmodo is and at how quickly the students and teachers understand how it operates! Therefore you can get right to the work rather than trying to understand how to work the technology.