Edmodo, an Educational Social Network

Let’s be honest. Students love social networking. My 5th graders claim (and most are being honest) to have Facebook and use it to social network.  And if you have any open mind at all, you can admit that there can be some beneficial aspects to a networking site like Facebook…in fact there are many examples of how Facebook and similar can be used effectively in the classroom.  The problem is, most district have chosen to block these resources and I really can’t say I blame any administrator who does so.  Our biggest problem right now is bullying and cyber bullying only adds to that. We can manage the content our students are exposed to on Facebook and so no matter how educational or useful some aspect of it might be, it’s just not going to work for most of us.  At least not yet and not for a while.

This is why I introduce you to http://www.edmodo.com.  Edmodo is an online social networking website built for students and teachers.  In fact, if you are like my district and students aren’t suppose to use email within school, Edmodo is still wonderful because there is no requirement that students have an email address!  Simply put, Edmodo brings the familiarity of social networking to the students in the classroom.  Interfaces like Moodle can be great tools but sometimes the kids will avoid it like the black plague due to it’s “old school” feel.  This is where Edmodo comes in.  Immediately once students create an account and join your class using a secret code (privacy! wahoo!), they are greeted with a layout that any one of them would say looks like Facebook.  There is a class wall, like pages, messaging to and from teacher to student, assignment turn it, quizzes, links, libraries, and more.  The best part? It’s built with teachers in mind! Students can’t private message each other and anything they do can be deleted by the teacher or…even edited!  Furthermore, parents can get a code to watch what’s going on and teacher can ultimate block a profile, delete it, change a password…we have full control! It’s like a meeting of two worlds; students get the social networking in class and teachers get to use it in a productive way.  Students can talk with the class about questions or context we’re learning and teachers can respond and keep the kids updated.  You can even sync your class Twitter account to pop up on the newsfeed.

So, once again….

Pros:
– assignment turn in
– online grade book
– quiz maker with instant grading
– secure messaging
– no room for cyber bullying
– parent access
– no need for email account
– syncing capabilities
– instant communication
– familiarity for students
– teacher control
– open forums
– and more!

Another great thing to keep in mind is that Edmodo is new and ever evolving – it is constantly adding new things like teacher connections, community pages, and resources for teachers.  What’s more so, your classes are completely private and no one may access them without your permission or secret code (that you can change whenever!) I urge you to check it out!

 

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5 responses to “Edmodo, an Educational Social Network

  1. I have used Edmodo for a number of my HS classes this year. I like it. It is a “clean” place to upload assignment concepts, requirements, assessment tools, etc. for students to have access to in and out of class.

    I like the fact that you (and your students) can set notifications to go to cell phones, too. It is also nice in that it can send you a notification when a student posts something for you to respond to…saves time in not having to go back and check to see if something has been submitted.

    However, we will be switching (district-wide from my understanding) to Canvas by Instructure for next year for consistency for students…not having one class on Edmodo, one class on Study Wiz, two classes on Canvas, etc.

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