This week, we’re talking about online collaboration and collaboration tools. The more I experiment with these tools in class, the more excited I get about using them in a classroom someday. Kids are so wired in these days (my 10 year old niece just got on Facebook last week and has already updated her relationship status) to ignore online collaboration would be to miss out on a huge opportunity to connect with them through a medium in which they feel comfortable.
When students are comfortable, they are more likely to engage in the discussion, to actively participate in their learning and ultimately, more apt to retain what they learned. However, whenever we talk about using social media as a means of collaboration with our students, especially our younger students, we have to consider our students’ online safety. Which is why I was so excited to find out about Edmodo this week when I was searching for interesting collaboration tools to discuss with you all. Edmodo has been billed as Twitter for the classroom and given more growing love affair with Twitter, I am beyond excited to have a classroom friendly Twitteresque option.
So how does Edmodo work? First, teachers set up their own account at the Edmodo website.
From your account page you can then create groups (one for each class or subject you teach for example).
When you create a group you automatically receive a group code which you can give your students so they can sign up for Edmodo and join your group. No one can sign up for your group without the code and you can lock the group code once all your students have created accounts and joined the group.
Like Twitter, Edmodo allows you to post messages. It also allows you to post assignments, polls, quizzes, and alerts. You can also grade assignments and let students know what they received through Edmodo. As the teacher you also have your own library where you can upload files and links to share with your students.