We are going to start with Edmodo. Why because it’s AWESOME and because our district is not yet ready to turn on Google Classroom for students. Both are great examples of what an online class can look like. Edmodo has some extra bells and whistles that I’ll get to in a few.
Edmodo is an online environment that allows teachers to share resources, administer assessments, and receive student feedback. That short statement doesn’t really begin to cover the awesome-sauce that is Edmodo. Using slide decks in your classroom like Powerpoint, Google Slides, Slideshare, or Prezi? Share them on Edmodo to allow your students to use the slides to study. Do you use videos as part of your instruction...whole group? Small Groups? Why not post the videos in Edmodo so students can watch at their own pace. Frustrated by trying to run your class around intervention and gifted groups being pulled? Share lesson resources to help these students stay on track.
Beyond instruction, Edmodo has built in assessment tools. Spelling test? Multiplication quiz? Piece of cake! Your Exit ticket can now grade itself! Take a quick look at your computer and get an idea of how your students are doing as a group or individually. Build assessments with multiple choice, fill in the blank, or drag and drop matching. Tell Edmodo which answer is correct and you are good to go! They also have a snapshot tool that includes Virginia SOL objectives!
Students have a safe place to learn on Edmodo. There is no student-to-student messaging and students are only a part of classes they are invited to or enrolled in. No outsiders. There's no one lurking in the shadows. Teachers see every post and every reply. You can suspend posting privileges if needed or moderate posts so that nothing shows up before you have approved it. Parent accounts can only see your posts and the work of their students. You can also control notifications so that you don’t have to deal with your phone going off when Joe submits an assignment at 11:58pm!
Teachers and students are empowered with this tool. Teachers have the power to share resources and gather feedback to make instructional decisions that allow them to meet students where they are and move them forward. Students are empowered to take more ownership of their learning. They can control their pacing by staying on a skill with your help until they have reached mastery. Students can also interact with the content on Edmodo in a way that simply can't be done on paper.
I think you will come to love Edmodo as much as I do. Once you’ve gotten started, this article will take you to the next level! Your kids will thank you for it!
I'm Natalie Davis, an ITRT in Richmond, VA. I taught first, second, and third graders in Richmond for 12 years before becoming an ITRT. I truly enjoy finding useful ways to breathe new life into lessons by integrating technology to help students achieve their learning goals. I am passionate about closing the digital divide by teaching our children to be consumers and creators of technology.