My friend told me she's been using EdModo to allow students to continue class discussions outside of class--"it's basically Facebook for school," she said. I was excited by what she described, and I am finally getting around to checking it out. Wow! I'm extremely impressed with what this site can allow us to do.
Many times in a day I have to tell students, "That's a great comment! Let's come back to that idea later," or "This conversation is so interesting, but we need to get back to ________." And my students and I both know that most of the time there's no occasion or vehicle for coming back to the conversation.
Now, perhaps, there is! I started with this basic video from ASCD. A few great things I learned from the video:
- When a stduent signs up, a parent code is also generated, allowing parents to watch what their child is doing on the site. I'm not entirely clear on how this works, but I can imagine some benefits to this.
- Teachers can create polls for students, and see the results immediately. We often use Google surveys at my school to do this, but this seems even more direct and easier to view and share results.
- Teachers can create quizzes on EdModo, grade them or have the computer grade them (where possible) and send feedback to students instantly. In fact, teachers can have their entire gradebook on EdModo if they want. I wouldn't be able to do this, because we already have an online grade book with parent access at my school. But creating online quizzes with instant feedback has some great possibilities.
- Finally, you can create small groups on EdModo. I imagine creating small groups for group projects so students can easily communicate about the work asynchronously, and I can observe and chime in if I want. I can create an Edmodo group for my small group tutorial as well as each of my regular classes. I can also post out questions for the whole grade.
This past year there was quite a bit of interest in differences in the experiences of extroverted and introverted students at school. The book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain, caused quite a splash and a lot of new thinking around how we can empower introverts in school. I'm interested in the opportunity EdModo could provide for less vocal students to get involved in academic conversations. Based on Cain's work, I predict that some students may find themselves leaders in the online environment, who are often silent during face-to-face discussions.
Do you use EdModo? How do you like it?
[Image Credit: techmunoz.edublogs.org--above is the starter image for a nice Prezi by Mrs. Munoz on Using EdModo in the Classroom that includes some quick teacher interviews.]