An Open Letter to Superintendents From Edmodo CEO, Crystal Hutter
Posted by: Crystal Hutter
Technology is now an exciting and undeniable part of education. The widespread adoption of online learning and collaboration tools is allowing teachers to use real time feedback to personalize instruction for their students, identify and aggregate trends in their own classrooms, and become part of a global network of educators. It’s time to take a considered look at these new technologies and ask how they can be used to maximize the effectiveness of public education resources.
As the world’s largest K-12 social learning platform, with almost 20 million users, Edmodo is at the forefront of the movement toward a more connected and effective K-12 classroom. The 2013 California eLearning Census: Between the Tipping Point and Critical Mass reported that 39 percent of school districts in the state are using Edmodo’s free platform as their Learning Management System (LMS). Yet Edmodo has consistently declined to participate in Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for LMS, most recently for Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
We’d like to take this opportunity to explain to you why Edmodo will continue to opt out of these RFPs and invite you to join us in starting a national conversation about the next generation of learning management solutions.
First and foremost Edmodo is not an LMS. Edmodo is a free, teacher-centered social learning platform. Powered by a global network of teachers and students, Edmodo emphasizes collaboration, discovery and sharing of new resources and best practices, access to the latest educational apps, and classroom management tools. Edmodo’s grassroots usage can thrive alongside official LMS deployments and in many school districts, Edmodo is used as a no-cost LMS alternative.
Defining Edmodo as an “LMS” would be in conflict with our core values. Our vision has always been to ensure that all schools, teachers and students enjoy equal access to the best learning platform for classroom management, communication and online learning. The only way to guarantee permanent, universal access is to make the platform free. We’ve been able to accomplish this without making any compromises to functionality or support. Our business model helps districts forego the hefty fees of an LMS and instead redirect those resources toward high quality content aligned with Common Core Standards or professional development activities that better prepare teachers for modern learning environments.
This Summer, Edmodo will convene a Superintendents’ Roundtable in Silicon Valley to discuss “Beyond Learning Management Systems – What’s Next?” At this roundtable, we will explore the fiscal implications of a shift from complex, costly and outmoded LMS to free, collaborative solutions that are embraced by teachers, students, and parents. This is an important conversation given that free learning resources like Edmodo did not exist when the legislation was codified that now informs nationwide spending decisions.
In the coming weeks we will provide more information about the date and location of the Superintendents Roundtable and the application process.
We look forward to working with you to address this important issue and shaping the future of K-12 education.
Crystal Hutter, CEO