I had been looking forward to Edmodo’s arrival since I first found out about it earlier this year, when I was researching for the Languages ICT Outlook. Since its launch earlier this month, happily coinciding with the beginning of term for us, my students and I have been exploring Edmodo as a means of teacher-student communication.
Given that our school does not yet have a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), one of my personal objectives this year is to explore alternative ways in which communication could be improved between students and teachers, as a way to help us bridge the home-school divide.
As I explained in my previous post about Edmodo’s launch, I believe micro-blogging can be an extremely useful tool for both teachers and students to keep in touch with each other regarding academic matters via the instant delivery of short text-messages and more…
What else then? Edmodo has taken the concept of micro-blogging and has adapted it for use in education. Unlike other platforms, Edmodo is built around closed group collaboration, which means only your students can join your groups with a secret code provided by you.
In addition, Edmodo gives you the the ability to set assignments online, as well as events and alerts. Edmodo also allows you to add hypertext links and gives you the ability to attach and send files, so students can forward work to you easily and you can make resources, such as web pages, documents or powerpoint files, available to them.
Edmodo in use – some examples
Click on the individual screenshots to find out how we have been using Edmodo in more detail
As you can see Edmodo has proved quite useful, not only in terms of setting and collecting work, but also in terms of communicating other information, such as queries about the assignments or simply letting the teacher know if you’re unable to attend a lesson.
What students think
So, after three weeks of using Edmodo, I interviewed two classes of 6th Form students (16 to 18 year olds) who have completely and immediately embraced this new form communication between us and now deliver their work via Edmodo almost exclusively.
I asked my students to compare Edmodo to our AsiSeHace Ning social network which we would otherwise use for the purpose of communication. For the students I interviewed, these are Edmodo’s main benefits:
- Edmodo’s simplicity in terms of interface is what makes it so effective
- The ability to send homework to the teacher as soon as it’s done and then forget about it
- Being able to communicate with the teacher if a student is struggling with work or requires further guidance
When asked what features they would like to see in Edmodo, they highlighted the following:
- Useful links to external resources get lost in the timeline, therefore they suggested the possibility to have a permanent links section for each group on the sidebar
- Some students expressed an interest in being able to communicate with each other synchronously when they are both on line – instant messaging
- Other students would like to have the ability to customise their profile or group pages to a greater degree
Click below to hear the interview with my students:
It is only rarely that my students seem so enthused about a new tool. They have genuinely found Edmodo useful and I look forward to rolling it out to other, younger year groups.
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