Until last year, I regarded the idea of virtual communication with students as something to be avoided and also vaguely (or actually, in some states) illegal. Then my colleague and friend Crischelle Navalta turned me on to Edomodo, a free and safe social networking cite designed specifically for teachers. Here are some reasons why Edomodo is worth a shot in your classroom this year:
- there is a HUGE amount of online storage space which I used to post all of our class handouts. This eliminated a lot of “can I get another copy of X?” because students could just go online (at home or at school) and print off another copy.
- Edomodo helped me do some “front-loading” or “flipped classroom” instruction where students learned for homework (watched a history video online, explored a website, did their own research) and then came to class ready to discuss/write/practice in some way the material they learned for homework.
- there is a mobile app for Edmodo that made responding to student posts really easy to do with my smart phone. Likewise students with smart phones had quick access to online class-related content.
- Edmodo was helpful when I had to be absent from class in terms of communication with students and posting assignments. When I took my maternity leave this was particularly helpful.
- the school where I worked has a 80%+ free or reduced-lunch student population and despite limited access to technology at home, given enough time, students found ways to access content either at school, on smart phones or at the local library.
Although I graduated from college well before the advent of Facebook and do not consider myself a techy-teacher at all I found Edmodo to be pretty intuitive and user friendly. Has anyone else used Edomodo? Are there other helpful teacher/student social (educational?) networking websites?