I use Edmodo for my classroom website. I have not logged on since May, and I was shocked when I did today. It has COMPLETELY changed! But I am glad that they did now and not during the school year. They did this last year and it made for some confused students. I have actually already written a post about Edmodo, but will try to talk about different things in this one. :-)
Edmodo is meant primarily for middle grades and above. It is designed similarly to Facebook with a wall that features new posts from any groups they are a part of. We will be going to the computer lab during BTS to sign them up all at once, and to complete a scavenger hunt to get used to the website. This helps out so much during the year, otherwise they are always asking where to find something!
Organize into GroupsI do these by class period, but you could do them by subject. Each group has a code that you use to join that group. I label mine by the class name and teacher name. If they are part of another teacher's Edmodo as well, it is helpful to have the teacher name on their. You can also add co-teachers to the groups! You will notice that I am also part of "Viergutz". This is my grade level partner's group. We found it helpful to be a part of each other's group to see what we were posting to help keep us accountables. I had the co-teacher for my 4th Block assigned as well.
FoldersI post the learning goal and homework on Edmodo nightly. If their is an worksheet I can post this to Edmodo as an attachment as well. This is to help when you get the inevitable "I lost it" excuse. I can post the homework to the wall, and then assign it to a folder. If at the end of the quarter they are missing an assignment, they can find it there. I also post Show Me videos, math games, info for their INB, etc. All of which is organized into folders!
If you are doing a digital project (prezi, ppt, video, doc, etc.) you can have the students upload them to an Assigments post. You can view and grade them right within Edmodo! Saves so much paper and time! I would grade these write on my iPad! Super easy! One of our teachers had them do this after working on a simple word doc in the computer lab. No more printing!
Edmodo is primarily made for students and teachers. There is a parent code attached to each student account that the parents can sign up for. This is tied ONLY to their student for privacy concerns. They have access to the calendar, wall posts, grades, etc. I give my parents homework to sign up the first week, the kids love it!
Edmodo is a website, and had apps for ALL devices (YEAH!) They can get notifications sent to their phone when I post something to the wall or an alert. They can easily contact me or post to the class. Parents can have it on their phones. I have it on my phone and iPad. For those users that do not have a Smart Phone they can get text notifications sent to their phone. I never know their phone numbers.