As we gear up for EdmodoCon 2013, we’d like to introduce you to our featured speakers. Over the next couple of weeks, profiles of our chosen educators will appear in our blog, giving you a chance to learn more about their work and how they are leveraging Edmodo in their classrooms. Register for EdmodoCon here, and check out the full EdmodoCon schedule to see when you’ll be able to catch these talented folks live!
Liz Calderwood is a middle school science teacher at Southern Regional Middle School in Manahawkin, New Jersey. She will be presenting with another featured EdmodoCon speaker, Kate Baker; their presentation is entitled, “Classroom Gymnastics: Flipping, BYOD, & Blended Learning with Edmodo.” As colleagues in the same district, Liz and Kate often present together at conferences. Liz’s husband, Kyle, is also an educator and a fan of Edmodo!
Previous EdmodoCon events have helped Liz connect to science teachers all over the United States. She notes: “I’m looking forward to EdmodoCon because I love to hear how other teachers are using Edmodo to benefit their students. Once the school year starts, I have very little time to get out and see all of the great things that others are doing. And, I love to share ideas and have others help me refine mine. EdmodoCon is at the perfect time and helps to inspire and motivate me for the upcoming school year.”
Take a look at our recent interview with Liz, and find out how you can use Edmodo creatively in your classroom!
What problems does Edmodo help you solve as an educator?
Originally, Edmodo helped me solve the problem of communication with my students. They were unsure how to contact me and continually getting my email address wrong. Once we were on Edmodo, they were able to message me or post to the group to get their question or problem solved quickly. Since then, Edmodo has become a very important part of my class. Essentially, it is my class online. my hub.”
What is your favorite feature?
Alerts! I have found the alerts to be great for getting important info out to students quickly, especially since most of my students use the Edmodo app on their device. They get a notification when it is sent. I use alerts when something comes up school-wide or there is just something I feel they need to know about an assignment we are currently working on.
What is an interesting project or unique example of how you’re using Edmodo in the classroom?
I use the small group feature for group projects that are being completed both in and out of school. I also have my students attach their Google Drive account to their Edmodo account.
During class sessions, I have one or two students on a netbook doing research and others on their devices finding images, videos, etc., and all students post their findings to their small group. This helps to ensure that resources are not lost. Once all of the research is finished, the groups collaborate in a shared Google Doc with me for planning purposes, which is also posted to the small group. Lastly, they decide on the format for the final project, and it is then posted on the main class Edmodo page. This isn’t unique, but it has been a lifesaver for me, my students, and their parents when we’re working on group projects. All of the directions, expectations, and rubrics are accessible all of the time, and there is evidence of what each student has contributed to the overall project.
How can teachers use Edmodo for professional learning?
Edmodo has many different content-based communities and groups that teachers can join and benefit from.
What advice would you give a new Edmodo teacher?
You can’t incorporate everything Edmodo has to offer at the forefront. Choose the features that are or will be most important to your class and start with those. Once your students are proficient and comfortable, add more features one at a time.
Liz and Kate will be presenting on August 7th at EdmodoCon. Check our web site for the full schedule in your time zone, and be sure to follow Liz on Edmodo and Twitter! Her classroom blog can be found here as well.