Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Social Networking for Students with a Twist

I recently held a workshop for teachers in our district on a widely known but lightly used web resource within our district. The site is set up so that both students and teachers can have an arena for which to learn, collaborate and share information both in and outside of the confines of the four walls of your everyday classroom. There are two things that I really like about this site.
  1. Students DO NOT have to have email at all.
  2. It resembles another extremely popular website that students are familiar with that will hopefully make it more personal to them as they use it. (Facebook)
What site am I talking about? It's Edmodo. Here is a snippet of the description given by the Edmodo team.

"..Edmodo is a free, secure, social learning platform for teachers, students, schools and provides teachers and students with a secure and easy way to post classroom materials, share links, videos, documents, presentations, and much more. There are also special institutional features for schools and districts that can be accessed for free by administrators..." You might be asking, how does it work? Well it is really simple for the teacher to set up and for the students to access. Just a couple of clicks and you are ready to go with your students.

For the teacher: Go to
  • Click on I'm a Teacher and fill out the short form
  • Find Groups on the left side of the page and Click Create
  • The Group(Class) you create is for your students to Join later
  • When you Save the Group you will receive a Student Access Code
Now that you have created the Group(Class), all you have to do is start entering information for students in the Message Box in the top center of the page.

In the Message Box you can:
  • Enter Notes for students
  • Create Assignments
  • Ask questions by creating a Poll
  • Send Web Links, videos and files
  • Even send Alerts when necessary
Everything that both you and the students key in will show up in the Feed Roll in the center of the page, similar to the aforementioned website. Both the students and the teacher have the ability to send, receive and store documents within the Edmodo site. Which is a plus now that there is a push to "go digital" and leave the paper behind. But how do the students access Edmodo so that they can participate. It is very easy and remember no Email address required they just need the Code that was created when you set up the Group(Class).

As a Student: Go to the website
  • Click on I'm A Student
  • Enter the Code that the teacher provides you
  • Start following the Discussion in the center of the page
  • Join in the conversation
Edmodo offers the user many resources to Help get you started. From "How to" videos to resources dedicated to Help you figure out how to use Edmodo within the classroom. The Community page offers Groups that you can join to find additional resources by collaborating with others teachers and professionals that are using the site.

So why would you want to use Edmodo? What is the draw for me as a teacher to use this product over and above what I am currently doing in my classroom? Over the past few years it has been increasingly obvious that the Digital Age is here and we need to become a part of it. As teachers we need to look at different avenues to get our students attention. This website may just be that focal point. Students are already using Facebook, and Edmodo looks similar in design so that could be the buy in.

For teachers this could also factor into the new evaluation tool for Standard IV for integrating and utilizing technology in instruction and helping students to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills. It can also encompass the new Common Core standards for using technology tools and skills to reinforce classroom concepts and activities. As well as using technology and other resources for the purpose of assessing, organizing, and sharing of information.

Give it a try and see what you think, don't just take my word for it. You may discover that this tool will be a benefit to both you and your students. Take a look at the video below to get a little bit more information on Edmodo.

Image provided by
video from and ipadsammy

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