I have been looking forward to the lauch of Edmodo since I first found out about it earlier this year. Edmodo is now coming to the end of its private beta trials and is giving itself the last final touches before it goes live, ready to be exploited by students, teachers and lecturers.
What is Edmodo?
What on Earth is microblogging?
Microblogging is a very effective way to keep a closed group of people in touch with each other and informed via the instant delivery of short text messages, just like the status update in your facebook account.
How can microblogging help me as a teacher/educator?
Microblogging enables teachers and students to share resources, send notices to each other and generally keep in touch regarding school matters. Teachers could use it to set assignments, inform students of their deadlines or of school or college events, among other things. Students could use it to send queries to the teachers or even to send links to their work, if it can be found online, like in a blog or personal web page. The key is that one single message gets delivered to everyone in the group instantly.
As a teacher, say you wanted to bring forward the deadline for a project due to unforeseen circumstances, normally you would print or write a notice and pin it to a notice board or perhaps send an email to every pupil in your class… sometimes you might even have to actually find students and tell them in person.
Microblogging acts as an online notice board. Post your message and everyone in your group gets it. And you could have several groups, one for each of your classes or subjects.
Why Edmodo when there are so many other microblogging platforms?
Edmodo is the first of these platforms to have been designed by people involved in education specifically for use in the classroom by teachers and students. For me the key is safety. Twitter and Plurk, for example, are regularly used by tens of thousands of people, not all of whom might have legitimate intentions and who might attempt to contact or follow other users.
Edmodo, however, is by definition a specialist network of educators and students, so the risks of being contacted by strangers for non academic purposes are greatly reduced, thereby providing a safer environment in which students and teachers or lecturers can safely interact and collaborate.
So, keep an eye out for Edmodo. I, for one, cannot wait to give it a go.