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Keith Pender is a K-12 Music teacher at the Baltimore School Complex in Ferryland, Canada.
Assisting Students Beyond the Classroom
Edmodo provides a virtual classroom environment that enables the teacher to help students in an informal setting. When we finish our duties for the day, many students need some extra help. Having a secure social environment where students are monitored (cyberbully-free environment) and can ask questions of either the teacher or peers is one of the great features of this platform. When I was first introduced to this program two years ago, I tried to imagine the things that would be possible in either my English or Music classrooms and each day I learn things.
The Perfect Mix of Features
The mixing of several features in this platform is what makes Edmodo superior to other websites. My favorites:
- Calendar, which is linked to projects and quizzes
- Badges, which can be used to highlight successes
- Sharing, the ability to share media in the forms of YouTube as well as other websites for discussions
Using Edmodo for Assessments
I am presently enrolled in a masters program in Newfoundland. During my first course, I have been researching ways to enhance the learning environment in the music instrumental classroom setting. As part of the project, I thought that Edmodo would be a great place for students to upload recorded performances of themselves for assessment in the program.
I first created a how to manual video using Screenr and uploaded it YouTube, so that the links were all together in Edmodo for the students to access. These videos show the students how to record themselves using the program Audacity, as well as how to upload their performances (songs from the band method series – Standard of Excellence).
As this pilot program has only been launched for one week, I am very excited to see how everything works. In addition to Audacity, some of the students found ways of recording, either through video or audio apps to send during the classes this week. I can’t wait to see how Edmodo is going to flip my classroom to bring internal assessments to informal settings.
Advice For New Edmodo Teachers
Any teacher that is wondering about ways to enhance their classroom, Edmodo is the place to be. Creating a virtual classroom beyond the normal classroom creates ways for motivating students who have transitioned to a ‘technology society’. There are many great benefits and you will immediately see the enthusiasm from the students.
Students from grades 4-12 like the social aspect of sharing ideas with each other. My general English class in grade 12 like that their assignments are organized in one place and that they can work on something and come back and work on it later and it is easily accessible 24/7.
If you haven’t tried Edmodo, create an account, start a group for one of your classes and invite your students. Don’t be scared of the tech, in many situations, the students end up teaching us a number of new things about the world of technology.