Edmodo is regarded as a social networking site for teachers and students. It provides a free and secure social learning space for a class to connect and collaborate. Teachers and students can post messages, discuss topics, assign and grade class work, and share digital content such as links, pictures, videos, documents and presentations.
The Edmodo website is actually very similar to the layout and functionality of Facebook , which immediately makes it familiar to most students. Accessible online and from any mobile device via free smart phone applications, Edmodo really does help promote anytime, anyplace learning.
- Edmodo is free to use and contains no advertising
- It provides a secure learning environment protected by built-in privacy controls
- Teachers can post messages for their students and students can post to the group
- Teachers and students can share content and materials including web links and videos
- Post classroom assignments, encourage discussions and track progress online
- Teachers can also grade assignments online providing convenient feedback
- Enables teachers to network with other teachers to share ideas and resources
- Users can connect via mobile smart phones and be updated with the latest posts
- It has a calendar feature which helps track assignments and events
- There can be co-teachers within a group which is great if you co-teach a class
Ease of use
While Edmodo has may features, the creators have done a good job simplifying the process to get teachers started. Simply fill out a few details including your email address, a chosen user name and password. Once you are logged in, you can create your first group (or class). To do this select the create group link and then type in a few details about your group. You will then receive a code which allows others to join your group. And that is all you need to get started with your social networking site for teachers and students.
Students will need to create an Edmodo account, but they can do this easily by entering the code you give to them and a few details about themselves. They don’t even need to enter their email address into Edmodo. It is good practice to reset your group code after all members have joined your group, just to prevent other unwanted people from gaining access.
Most people will feel familiar with the layout of Edmodo because it looks and feels a lot like using Facebook. You can post messages, add links, videos and respond to others messages. Students are able to post messages privately to the teacher or publicly to the group, but they cannot private message each other from within Edmodo. This is a good feature in my opinion as it allows the teacher to see and manage all comments and thus discourages issues such as cyber-bullying from occurring.
The excellent “Edmodo for teachers” guide has detailed information and images showing you how to get started.
- Students can post off topic messages, so this needs to be monitored
- Some students may use it more as a social networking site than a site for academic purposes.
- Students who don’t have the internet at home may be at a disadvantage
- Teachers need to make students aware of copyright laws when posting material
Edmodo is 100% free to use and the creators want to keep it this way.
There is little doubt that technology and social media has become an integral part of most peoples’ lives, especially students. Edmodo allows teachers to utilize social networking for teachers and students in an educational context and it engages students in part because of its similarity to Facebook. When used effectively Edmodo encourages group collaboration and proactive learning outside of the classroom. It also allows teachers to present information in new and exciting ways.
However to use Edmodo effectively teachers need to set clear rules and expectations for their students about the use of and purpose of Edmodo. Otherwise it can result in just another medium for social interaction without constructive learning.
In their own words the creators of Edmodo “set out to create a tool that would engage students with the technology that has become an integral part of their lives while keeping them safe and protected.” And I feel that they have managed to achieve their goal.
Has any teachers used Edmodo in the classroom? Please leave a comment and share your experience.
Other posts you might be interested in:
- A great list of web 2.0 tools for teachers
- Dropbox “syncs your files online”
- Grammar Ninja makes learning grammar fun
- Attendance iPhone app for teachers