Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tech Tools: Edmodo



I thought I'd spend today's post sharing a website that I just love for classroom teachers.
It's edmodo.com

Have you used Edmodo in your classroom yet?

I am a huge fan of Edmodo for the classroom. In the past I've used it to have students turn in work so that I could grade it and give them feedback right on Edmodo. As a language arts teacher, it was such a relief not to have to carry papers back and forth. I could write right on the papers they submitted if I chose and share a grade with them right there. I also used it to have students submit work right on the class wall so that others could view and comment on it. We did this when the students created projects, like websites or podcasts. Then they were able to learn from each other and share constructive feedback. It also made it much quicker for presentations so that students did not have to find their project (online or on their H-Drive), they could just open it from the Edmodo page. Any time saving strategy in the classroom is a win in my book!

Other great ways that I've used Edmodo in the classroom were to connect my students with students in other states. Another teacher and I made small groups in Edmodo based on the books that our kids were reading. They had a blast discussing with students their own age in a completely different state. On a smaller scale, I also made groups that connected kids who I taught in different sections. They loved knowing that they were communicating with peers who were not in their specific class. Besides the fact that this was engaging, it also offered the opportunity for more viewpoints, which led to very thoughtful discussions.

One of my other favorite features of Edmodo is the Communities. The Communities allow for teachers to connect, share, and inspire. I've received many great lesson ideas thanks to the Language Arts and Technology Communities. You are able to link or upload files that can then be saved to your own personal Library for later use. It truly is a place for inspiration among teachers. I highly recommend checking it out, even if you don't have any other use for the site.

There is a new tool on Edmodo that looks pretty amazing as well called Snapshot. This allows language arts and math teachers to assess their students' understanding of Common Core concepts. It then provides the teacher with data that they can reference throughout the year to really measure student growth. You can vary the amount and type of questions as well. It seems that Snapshot provides a quick and effective way for teachers to assess students and help students become more familiarized with an online assessment system. It seems testing is heading online across the nation, so this could become a very useful skill for students to understand how to do.

I recently shared Edmodo, and my obvious love for it, during a staff PD and I'm happy to say, I already had a few teachers who are eager to get started with it. While there are many other platforms that have some or many of the features of Edmodo, the user-friendly platform and teacher collaboration features make it stand out the most to me.

Any other Edmodo fans out there?

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