With the emphasis on the utilization of learning management systems (LMS) in education today, an educational facility needs a method of organizing online learning. The problem is, many LMS’ can run into the thousands of dollars for an entry level system. Enter Edmodo!
Edmodo is a secure, social learning platform. There is no advertising associated with Edmodo. Edmodo is free for all teachers, students, and schools. The good folks at Edmodo have provided a safe and easy way for your students to do the following:
1. Connect and collaborate,
2. Share content from your class
3. Mass email students or a single group of students
4. Access homework, grades as well as important class announcements
In other words, educators as well as students can post messages, discuss topics, assign and grade class work, and share classroom related digital. Edmodo is structured much like Facebook, so the learning curve of how to use the system should be pretty flat for those familiar with that system.
Prior to a student being able to enroll in an Edmodo class, they must have 6-digit group code that is provided by you, their illustrious educator! Once they have received their group code, your students should go to Edmodo.com and select the “I’m a student” button. From here they can enter the group code provided by their teacher, complete the registration form and select “Sign up”. Edmodo also provides a mobile app for students to install and use on their smart phones and tablets.
How to Use Edmodo
1. Student Learning Assessments
Edmodo has an easy to learn quiz builder as well as an online poll feature. This is a great way to provide an end of lesson quiz. I would caution that using this for high stakes testing must be approached with caution
2. Peer Review
One of the best ways of learning is to turn your students in to educators. Allow your students to post assigned work to Edmodo. Have the other students critically evaluate and post comments regarding this work.
3. Back Alley…I meant…Back Channel Student Discussions
If you are not familiar with the concept of back channel student discussions, don’t feel alone. The concept relies upon technology to allow students to use social learning media, such as Edmodo to post questions, make comments and assist other students who may be struggling with particular concepts. One word of caution! Back channel student discussions should be moderated by the instructor. Not doing so could turn into the wild, wild west with students posting items of off topic material. Keep the discussion focused on the matter at hand.
4. Learn from around the world.
The United States is recognized as one of the leaders in the development of EMS around the world. But let’s face it…we don’t own the patent on the best way to do “everything”. Connecting with other EMS classes from around the world allows your students to learn new and innovative techniques as well as breaking out of the “we’ve never done it that way before” mentality that can be so deadly to creative learning.
5. Virtual Office Hours
One of the wonderful aspects of the internet is that communication can take place in very inventive ways. For example, as I post this, I sit in the shadow of the beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains. Many of your students may not be able to schedule a conference with you during normal working hours. Edmodo allows instructors to set up virtual office hours to advise and direct their students at times that would be convenient for both.
6. Blog Module
An excellent way of moving student “lurkers” into active participants is to require them to blog about specific topics. Edmodo provides a method of student blogging as well as student as well as instructor commentary