At the end of July I was prompted to take another look at Edmodo when they released a new version. It was exciting to be able to chat with them and ask the pertinent questions – like age limits – NONE!
I created an account and set up a group for my class. I then created 6 group logins for each of their classroom working groups. Last week I introduced Edmodo to them via some questions and walked them through their first group login and chat post as well as assignment turn in.
I then introduced them to our communications starter activity and the questions I’d set in Edmodo.
When you post an assignment it looks a little different to a chat note and includes a due date. The students also have a “turn in” link to click when they want to turn in their answers.
As an the teacher I can see who has completed the assignment quite quickly by clicking on the “turned in” link – group members who haven’t turned the assignment in have a red highlighted “not turned in” under their avatar while those who have turned them in are shown as waiting for grading or graded.
After they’d had a chance to log in and complete questions over the course of a few days we’d ironed out most of the initial problems (hitting the spacebar makes a difference to your login name or password even if you can’t see it!).
One of my youngest students (turns 8 next year) who signed up last week when she was home sick (and completed quite a bit of the classwork as well) is using the DM feature to ask me questions about homework and where to find different information.
Today is homework day. We send homework home for 10 days. I wanted the students to create their own personal login and get into the habit of checking Edmodo for questions/assignments etc. Shortly after I arrived home from our staff meeting an email notification popped up telling me one of my students had sent a DM to me in Edmodo. Over the course of the following 2 hours several more students had signed up and were posting messages to me and to the class – and found how they could talk to each other by answering public posts!
I realise that having started this there is an obligation for me to be available for these students – but that’s one of the prices we pay when we work with Web2.0 tools. Another obligation is teaching them responsible use – I’ll let them have a fairly loose rein for this week while they’re learning what different areas do and teach them about appropriate posting and responses.
I’m happy because my students are excited about using technology in this way.
Thanks to the guys at Edmodo – you’ve got a winner here.