Friday, August 17, 2012

Dipping My Toes in the Edmodo Pool

How can you share videos, assignments, links and other online materials quickly and easily with students all in one place? With Edmodo, of course!

Several of my colleagues have been experimenting with this Facebook-like interface for networking, but I have only jumped on board this summer. Because the functions are often so similar to the ubiquitous Facebook, students often instinctively understand how to use it. It may seem gimmicky to some, but to me it is looking more and more like a streamlined way to communicate with students and network with teachers.

When you begin with Edmodo, you create a profile with your basic information and school location. You can connect with other teachers much like "friending" on Facebook. Also essential, you can create and join groups with other teachers and students. For example, I created a group for each of my classes and as they begin, I will give the access codes to students to join the group. I also joined a group of teachers involved in flipped classroom when a colleague sent me that access code.

As most teachers will tell you, the planning and the instruction are the fun parts of teaching. By far, the low point of the day is the stack of grading that never seems to go away. While there is no replacement for hands-on teacher assessment, there is certainly a place for "quick and dirty" assessments, particularly with homework assignments. Not only does Edmodo allow you to send assignments virtually to students, there are also quiz functions that self-grade. If even one assignment per week was graded electronically, it would certainly put a significant dent in my grading stack!

As I get more comfortable with Edmodo and its functions, expect to see lots more posts about its role in our classroom. Until then, the first-day-of-school homework assignment will be a quick Edmodo poll!


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