An Open Letter to Superintendents From Edmodo CEO, Crystal Hutter

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June 7th, 2013
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Dear Superintendents,

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.

Sincerely,

Crystal Hutter, CEO
Edmodo


8 Responses to “An Open Letter to Superintendents From Edmodo CEO, Crystal Hutter”

  1. Nazar Yousif says:

    As CTO of a non-profit educational publisher, Developmental Studies Center, it’s monumentally important for me to watch trends like this so that we produce digital resources that work well with other systems being embraced by schools and districts. It would be invaluable to attend such a meeting to learn directly from superintendents. Will you invite any organizations like ours to this event? If so, please be sure to put me on the list!

  2. Having been an Edmodo user since the early days , I can say that Edmodo IS an LMS to be sure. It was just the first of a new breed built around the social structure primarily, with the classroom management tools as an added benefit and no costly district owned servers needed to run it. And the real beauty of the platform is that it allows for resource sharing among teachers across the world, not solely within district PLC’s like more traditional enterprise systems. I look forward to future updates on the progress of this conversation and applaud you for initiating it!

  3. Paula Spencer says:

    Edmodo has been such an instrumental tool in finding quality tools and best practices for effective instructional delivery. With today’s generation so plugged in to social media, Edmodo gives me the opportunity to not only connect with my students but actively engage them in learning. My favorite part of Edmodo as an instructor is the sharing of resources and research by educational professionals. I look forward to more and more innovative techniques to get my students ignited.

  4. Congrats to Edmodo for taking on this important issue. My students and I have benefited from your product and look forward to using it for years to come. If it was not free we would not be able to use it.

  5. RoseAnn Hernandez says:

    I have had much success this year with Edmodo. My students, parents and I have enjoyed being at the forefront of 21st Century learning thanks to Edmodo. We, are a CONNECTED Classroom/community communicating in real time!
    I do believe it is important to emphasize that Edmodo is a a free, safe social learning platform powered by us teachers and students. We, collaborate, connect and discover new ways to make learning authentic, relevant and FUN! Thanks Edmodo.

  6. I used Edmodo in an alternative high school setting over this past summer school session and it went absolutely swimmingly. I had the students take an end-of-course survey about their experience with Edmodo and had the questions relate to best practice in alternative settings. The students responded overwhelmingly positively to the incorporation of Edmodo into the class routine. My students found Edmodo to be relevant to their lives, found that they learned as much or more as they would in a traditional classroom, and found that Edmodo gave them flexibility and a greater awareness of their progress in the course. With the transition to the Common Core, students need to be given access to technology to be prepared for the global economy! Edmodo for the win!

  7. Crystal,
    This is precisely why QuestionPro prioritized integration with Edmodo over other platforms – to be part of the change in our education system Edmodo is fostering. Wonderfully impassioned post! If we can assist in any way, such as gathering feedback from attendees before and/or after the Superintendents’ Roundtable, please do not hesitate to ask.

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