Sunday, December 9, 2012

Classroom Website: Edmodo

When I joined my school this year, I was expected to create a classroom website. The majority of the teachers used ClassJump, but a few were starting to branch off to Edmodo. I created a website with each website, but decided to go with Edmodo.

I was first introduced to Edmodo in college when one of my professors used it. It was mostly for notifications of class cancelled, changed, etc. But I have taken it to a whole new level and used it as a student and teacher community. I have to do a leadership project as my first year in KY (second year overall) and I chose to do it on Edmodo because of how successful I think it is. Several teachers, including the entire 6th grade, have converted to Edmodo or at least are more comfortable with using it. I chose to use Edmodo as my classroom website for lots of different reasons. 
  1. Student Interaction, Promotes classroom community
    • On Edmodo students are encouraged to post questions on the group wall or can direct message the teacher. One concern that I had is messaging each other, but Edmodo only allows them to message the entire wall or the teacher. If students have questions on homework, were absent, etc. they can easily get in contact with me. I did set an expectation at the beginning of the year, that I would not respond after 8:00.
  2. Quick and easy to update, comment, post
    • This year I have planning at the end of the day. I try to set aside the first fifteen minutes to update Edmodo. I post a few sentences about what we did that day, the homework, and will sometimes post a picture of notes, a handout, or worksheet. I can post this to several of my classes at once (regular vs. advanced) in minutes! If I have assigned a quiz, test, or other deadline, I can quickly update the calendar. If parents have signed up for Edmodo, they can elect to receive text notifications or download the app and receive notifications. Everyone is kept up to date so no more excuses of "I didn't know!" I can post videos, links to website, worksheets, warm ups, etc in a library where they have access to everything. 
  3. Accessibility: Receive notifications through text, email, and iPhone, iPad, and Android apps.
    • I have the app downloaded on my iPhone and iPad. A lot of my students have a smart phone or device (kindle, iPad, tablet) that can download the app. If they do not have access to the app they can receive text messages or emails whenever I post something, and always use the website. 
  4. Organization: Allows a student to connect with all teachers at once.
    • This was the first thing (maybe quick updates) that ClassJump and Edmodo had in common. A student can have access to all of their teachers that have Edmodo all at once by joining a group. On ClassJump, the teachers are associated with the school group and they can find them from there. 
  5. Create small groups, add co-teachers for co-lab or PLC (grade level partners)
    • I have a co-lab teacher in one of my classes and she has been added to the class group. My PLC partner and I added each other to one group at the beginning of the year to help each other out when we were first learning things. I can create small groups within my classes if they were doing a project, etc.
  6. Great support team! Quick and fast to respond to questions
    • Any time I have had a question or stumped on how to make something work, I have posted something to their support group and have gotten a response, or multiple responses within a day, and sometimes an hour! This was wonderful at the beginning of the year.
Like I said, I love Edmodo! It's had a real positive impact with my students and our learning community. Because of the KTIP project, I have a PowerPoint on Edmodo (basics, set up, etc.) if you are interested in it. :-)

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