Can you imagine being on Facebook at school? Impossible you say? Not with Edmodo, a free, private social platform for teachers and students to share ideas, files, events and assignments. This Web 2.0 tool was created by Jeff O’Hara, who recently participated in a Classroom 2.0 Ning webinar explaining how to use it successfully with your students. I have used it with my students and have had fabulous results!
Once the class got past the “adding a picture to my profile” phase, we discussed the Great Depression and how it affected Americans. The comments from my Special Education students were far more comprehensive than any other assignment we have completed. I think the students feel more comfortable using the social networking platform than pencil and paper. The students’ comments are viewed by their classmates, and therefore there is more accountability with their peers than when the teacher is the only person viewing their assignments. Also, some students who are uncomfortable responding in class are more comfortable responding in this format. The students were so motivated to participate that some even went to the public library to check their accounts since they do not have Internet at home! I also noticed that the students’ level of participation increased significantly when using Edmodo, and they ask at the beginning of class, “Are we using Edmodo today?”
Since Edmodo is private, it is a safe alternative to traditional social networks to use in the classroom. Teachers and students can send notes, links, files, alerts, assignments, and events to each other. No email is required and it can be private or public, depending on the teacher preference. It is so easy to use. Teachers sign up for accounts, and then create groups. Each group has a unique code which the teacher givers to the students. Then the students can sign up and join the class group. I was very surprised at how intuitive it is to use with my students. There is also a mobile web version, which allows teachers and students to use Edmodo on their mobile device. There is even an Edmodo wiki with screenshots and directions for using Edmodo.
Edmodo is becoming very popular, and it has been reviewed on:
Edmodo continues to include more features. During the webinar on Feb. 13, 2010, Jeff O’Hara talked about the Beta version of “Chalk”, which will be an added feature, which will allow students to collaborate on the same document in a way that is similar to Etherpad or Google docs. The lesson possibilities for Edmodo are endless. If you have not checked out Edmodo yet, you need to because your students will be so excited to use it you will have to beg them to stop working at the end of class!