Educators have access to a plethora of technology, applications, platforms and other electronic wonders to make the task of teaching easier. I, for one, admittedly get overwhelmed, especially when I’m exposed to multiple new electronic resources at once. I’m all for jumping in, taking risks, and using various technologies, but I also know that I require time to really know if a resource is the one for me or not.
This is my second year using Edmodo as a classroom teacher. I’ve also been able to use Edmodo in the parent and student roles. Our school had a 60-day plan devoted to utilizing Edmodo schoolwide last year, and I credit this exposure for helping me quickly acclimate to the platform. Also, because we were using the app schoolwide, our students are all familiar with it, which makes incorporating it so much easier.
Having used Edmodo longterm, I can say this app is definitely one for me.
How I Use It and What I Like
I post assignments, reminders, documents, links . . . basically everything . . . to Edmodo. I can post openings and closings, give quizzes (which are graded for me!), place daily reminders on the planner, have students turn work in (want to quickly see who didn’t turn in an assignment? Click the Not Turned In tab. Whoo!), drop all our documents and links into folders . . . it’s more like what can’t I do with Edmodo? I like to think of the app as a gateway into our class, that’s open during class hours and beyond. I check into Edmodo a couple of times each evening as students post questions when working on homework or studying, but I have often found that students answer each other before I answer them. Edmodo boasts that its purpose is to connect people, and as middle schoolers thrive on connection, I find the app really does make these connections, between students and me, between students and students, and between students and their learning.
What I’m Not Crazy About
Edmodo frustrates parents. I cannot tell you how many conversations I’ve had with parents where they tell me they can’t see their child’s assignments or can’t figure out their child’s grade or . . . you get the idea. The parents’ view is limited to protect the privacy of all students in a group. I’ve taken to giving mini-tours of Edmodo during Open House or parent conferences, showing parents how to view the planner. I also make sure if I am sending out an assignment reminder, an important link, an alert or other key post, I include parents. This means if they have the Edmodo app on their personal device, they receive a notification and can see what I’m sending to students. This practice continues to protect students’ privacy, but keeps parents connected at the same time.
Overall, Edmodo has become one of my favorite teacher tools. Do you use Edmodo with your classes? If so, what tips do you have for the rest of us?