Melissa Giddins

Exploring technology and literacy in education.

Enthusing about Edmodo

I mentioned on my blog last year that I was going to try out Edmodo (http://www.edmodo.com). Now let me gush enthusiastically at how wonderful Edmodo is! This is now the second year of classes and this year has been infinitely more successful because I set everything up right from the first week of classes.

Before school began, I set up the groups, archived last year’s groups and put a welcome message in for everyone. Then in the first week of school, first day of class with each new class, I gave them the group code and encouraged the sign up. I took them to computer labs and made them sign up while I watched and generally ensured that the majority of students were now connected with Edmodo.

Then I started posting homework on Edmodo, EVERY DAY. Even if there was no homework, I posted a message saying there was none. When students came in and told me they had forgotten they had homework I reminded them that they should be checking Edmodo each night.

This has been a very successful strategy. The number of students not completing work or being prepared for class work has perceptibly decreased. A parent commented to me that her daughter checks Edmodo for her homework every night and that they both like the ability to see what needs to be done. I have also had very positive feedback from the students regarding their ability to be able to ask me a question when they think of the question. I may not answer it immediately, if I am not online, but they can at least ask it at the time rather than trying to remember it the next day in class. Edmodo really comes into its own prior to assessment tasks. All my students know that they can leave a question, submit a draft for comment and seek reassurance at any time in the lead up to the assessment task. The students also use Edmodo to talk to each other – if I have not responded to a question and another student knows the answer, they will help each other out by answering questions, giving suggestions and encouraging and supporting each other. I had an amusing incident last term when prior to a science test one of my classes spent several hours on my English Edmodo group asking each other questions and helping each other to prepare for the science test. They then apologised to me for using the English group to do this but explained that there wasn’t one for science, so they were using what they had. This truly showed me how much the students value Edmodo as a communication tool when they were using it on their own, with no teacher input or direction.

Students are now also uploading tasks on Edmodo -the Wide Reading Log for Year 10 had a large number of students upload the task on Edmodo rather than printing it out and handing it to me in class. While we are not yet utilising all the aspects of Edmodo, as a communication tool it is winning hands down on anything else we have available, including Moodle. I think that we will utilise Moodle for most of the other tasks that Edmodo can do, but we will continue to use Edmodo for our class communication as it is the easiest platform for students to understand and access at any time.

If you are thinking about taking up Edmodo for the first time, I suggest that you read the first post on Edmodo that I wrote that contains instructions for how to get started: https://mgiddins.wordpress.com/2009/04/28/edmodo/.

I would also give the following recommendations for effective Edmodo use:

  1. Do something that ensures that all students have signed up – such as standing over them in a computer room until it is done!
  2. Post something on it EVERY DAY when you first start out, so that students get in the habit of checking it.
  3. Talk about it in class – “I have posted the topics on Edmodo”, “your homework will be posted on Edmodo by 4pm”, etc.
  4. Ensure that you do actually respond to students in a reasonably timely manner, particularly when you first start using it with a class, otherwise they will consider Edmodo as “not working” and a waste of time, and will stop using it.
  5. Prior to an assignment, set boundaries for your time e.g. “I will be checking Edmodo every few hours across the weekend” so they don’t expect instant responses, and “I will be signing off at 10pm on Sunday night – no further answers after that” so they don’t expect to continue talking to you until the wee hours while they catch up on the work they procrastinated about doing earlier.

Edmodo has been a roaring success with five of my classes so far, and I am sure will continue to be so through the next few years.  Other members of my faculty are now also using Edmodo on a regular basis and are also enjoying the benefits of better communication with students. Edmodo has proven to be one of the most useful Web 2.0 tools I have encountered.

Advertisements

May 16, 2010 - Posted by | edmodo | ,

4 Comments »

  1. Hi Melissa

    I love Edmodo, we are using it pretty extensively in our centre and many of the teachers who come in for a deployment walk away using it with their classes. It is simple, the kids love it and it encourages communication. I also gush!

    Great tips on using it effectively as well.

    Comment by Concetta | May 16, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thanks for a really good explanation of why edmodo works and should be used. I am going to use your suggestions to approach IT and my principal about using edmodo as well in concert with moodle. It is a better way to communicate with students than email – I just wonder- could it be construed as a type of social networking which allows grooming behaviour between staff and student? These are the reasons why we are banned from using facebook, Twitter and even email with our students. I just hope fear is replaced with sanity if I go forward with this plan. Thanks again for making it at least sound sensible! 🙂

    Comment by Victeach | May 16, 2010 | Reply

  3. Hi Mel,
    The uptake of edmodo at RBSC has been like a rolling snowball. Initially, I introduced to our (then Year 9 in September last year) gifted selective students as a way for me to communicate to them on a project we were doing “beyond the swell”, they then went onto present to staff at a staff meeting (yes blew our staff away).
    The HSIE faculty, took up the challenge & which was led initially by a leading learner as a easy to access tool for kids to use. & easy for teachers. The HT then mandated in year 10 that all work was electronic, no more books and that teachers would communicate all work, marking, sheets etc through edmodo.
    The pivot point is HTS as leaders of their faculty.
    The take up was slow, however just recently we have had a real rush on. I have once again re-introduced to HTs at exec. And endeavoured them to lead their faculties. We are now on a real growing snowball.
    I realise why.
    1.It is easy & fun!
    2.It is unblocked by DET
    3.In our school, there is support in each faculty who have been using Edmodo with great success.
    4. Staff who were reluctant, almost have got no choice, but to get on board, as HTs have begun to use with curriculum delivery and almost as a mandatory tool for collaboration in their faculty.
    And your tips are great. I shall add to our wiki!
    http://litehouse4skools.wikispaces.com/12.Eating+edmodo
    Thanks Mel for putting your ideas out there!
    Denise.

    Comment by Denise Lofts | May 16, 2010 | Reply

  4. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, iwspo.net

    Comment by Preornweewgef | May 22, 2010 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: