Simon Withey is a Computer Science Teacher, Edmodo Certified Trainer, Ambassador and Luminary, Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, STEM Ambassador, Code Club Teacher Trainer and Volunteer, Apps for Good Trainer, and OCR Examination Board Team Leader Moderator. He is in his 12th year of teaching and has taught in mainstream and special needs to children from the ages of 8 to 18. He has also taught in a purely online environment and has used Edmodo to remotely teach children who have needed that facility.
As part of a journey that I began in 2011, I saw other Edmodo user profiles had a little star by their names. I found out that this meant that they had the special status of Edmodo Ambassador.
Edmodo Ambassadors are a community of K-12 educators leading the edtech movement around the world by supporting, empowering, and inspiring teachers inside and outside of Edmodo. They spread the Edmodo love throughout their networks and partner with the Edmodo Team to help other educators become power users of edtech.
At that time, the total number of users was around the 15 million mark which was an increase of 4 million since I onboarded just a few months before this article was written in December of 2012.
In order to give something back to the learning community, I wanted to be part of a community of educators that help other educators enhance the outcomes for their own learners. Edmodo Ambassadors are these type of educators. From the research I had read, I knew that using a flipped or blended classroom pedagogy has a 0.48 effect on learning outcomes, with 0.4 being significant. Flipped or blended learning is explained in 2 munites 14 seconds here.
I have always felt that when someone asks me a question I usually learn something at the same time. My thinking was if I became an Ambassador then when lots of teachers ask questions then I would also learn something as well.
In order to become an Edmodo Ambassador, there was a process to follow as well completing the online training. In my cohort, 2,000 teachers applied, but only 153 were successful. I felt very pleased and honoured to become one of the few. I do not believe that a teacher should have to pay for the privilege of being part of a professional development programme.
Currently, they are 670 members of the Ambassador community helping over 73 million Edmodo users. If you are an educator reading this, I thoroughly recommend that you apply to become an Ambassador. It is fun as well as rewarding. You will also form meaningful relationships with other educators around the world.
I have now attained my Ambassador status for the second year in a row and I am looking forward to continuing to help other educators. Just like the students I have had the privilege to work with, I really enjoy getting the badges that appear on my profile. I have quite a few, but the badges that mean the most to me are among the rarest. These are Certified Trainer, Ambassador, and Luminary. This trio is also known as the “Hat-Trick”. To the best of my knowledge, I am the first UK based teacher to obtain all three.
For over a decade, I have been working with children and young people in various roles and educational contexts. For a number of years, I have worked with children who have documented multiple special educational needs. I have also been the head of the department at a very interesting time for my subject specialisation of Computing.
Since becoming an Ambassador I have also become a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, Code Club Teacher Trainer, Code Club volunteer, STEM Ambassador, and examination board moderator.
I must give credit to the Edmodo Ambassador programme. Without my completion on this part of my professional development, I would not have the confidence or the expectation in getting involved all of the other programmes I am now associated with. Also, being an invite only process you can not just pay a fee to earn your Ambassador badge. Unlike other programmes, there is no fee to pay. The status is earned and must be continually maintained. I have the most respect for these types of professional development programmes.
Taking the path marked “Edmodo Ambassador” has led to a number of developments and relationships that I would not have benefitted from if had not chosen that path. It is a journey that has helped to make me a better professional, informed my practice, and developed my own pedagogy.