I’ve been struggling with selecting a mode of delivery for my online content for my class. Last year, I went back and forth using Google Sites and Edmodo. Each method had its pros and cons, but trying to maintain a PLE through Google Sites and a LMS through Edmodo got to be too much. I liked the flexibility of Google Sites, but I think I need a more streamlined approach this school year.
Edmodo is ready to go from the start and all I really need to do is add students and upload content. Students referred to Edmodo last year as Facebook for school, which I liked since that meant that students would be able to use and navigate the site with ease. I participated in a webinar a couple of days ago (Training the Trainers), and these are the best aspects of Edmodo that were discussed and how I think they would fit into my classroom:
- Groups: While I would have my large, main groups for each of my classes, I can create smaller groups within the larger ones. This will work out great for differentiating instruction with some of my lower skilled students. I can give an assignment to the whole class, and then give additional help (such as a graphic organizer) to only those students in the small group. This feature can also be useful for group projects. I would be able to communicate and provide feedback to each individual group.
- Snapshot: Snapshot is a way to give your students a quick assessment based on the Common Core Standards. The teacher selects the standards they want to assess and Edmodo creates a series of questions and reading prompts to check the students’ level of mastery. This would be a great feature to utilize when starting a new unit (as a pre-test) or when data is required to support your lesson (as my teacher evaluation requires). Also, the data for each student is saved, and the teacher can see the growth that each student has accomplished throughout the year.
- Mobile App: Students can download the Edmodo app for almost all devices. This ensures students will get a notification on their phone when I post an alert. Students will have constant access to assignments and the calendar.
- Badges: Even in high school, students still like stamps and stickers on their papers. Badges onEdmodo allows me to take this concept digitally. I can also take it one step further, as I did last year, and create physical buttons based on custom badges.
- Materials Carry Over: As I prepare for this school year, it’s great to see all the materials I uploaded last year to Edmodo already in my library. I can add and take away materials as needed, but all the hard work is already done.
- Quizzes: It is easy to create and give quizzes on Edmodo. Scores are added to the grade book on the site, which makes it easy to transfer scores to another grade book system.
- Annotations: Teachers have the ability to annotate student work on Edmodo. This allows the teacher to provide timely feedback to the students, and for the students (and parents) to see what improvements can be made to their work.
I’m excited to use Edmodo this school year. I think it will work well in conjunction with the other online services I’ve selected for the school year. .