Saturday, September 29, 2012

Edmodo - Easy as 1-2-3

Last year one of my students asked me to set up an Edmodo account for the class.  I told her I would look into it, but somehow I never really found the time.  Looking back, I wish I had made the time.  I had no idea  what Edmodo was not to mention what a difference it could make in my classroom.  So I thought I would give you step by step on how I started implementing Edmodo as an integral part of my flipped classroom,  then maybe you will find the time to make it work in your classroom.  

1. First, I joined Edmodo using my district's Join code.  Then I created a group for my class.  I had to get parental permission for each student to set up their account on Edmodo.   While waiting on the permission forms (it didn't take long- 1 day to be exact) we discussed the importance of good digital citizenship, and the rules they would need to follow to keep their posting privileges:  using respectful language and being courteous when posting, using school language not texting language, posting school related topics only.  Edmodo has a great resource on their site for developing digital citizenship. 

2. Once that was done, I checked out one of our laptop carts. (I like calling them COWS - computers on wheels).  I used the Smart board to show them how to join our group.  I wrote the join code on the board and students logged in and joined our group.   After everyone joined our group, I "closed" the group.  If a new student moves in it is easy to reopen access. I would not recommend emailing the join code to your students or sending it home. 

3.  I posted a question to the class, something like "what are your expectations for this school year?" and the students began responding. We learned the difference between replying to a previous post and creating a new one. 

And we have been using it ever since. I would also recommend that you create a fake student account.  That way you can see exactly what the page looks like to the students.  It is also a good idea to use the fake student's account when modeling procedures to the students . . . like where to look for videos, how to add items to their backpacks etc.  This has been a "learn as I go" process. I am still learning . . . everyday!

I am going to try and post a poll at least once a week.  This week I polled the students to see which method of multiplying multi-digit numbers they preferred to use.  I am still learning what is the best method for posting videos for the students. The great thing about Edmodo is there are plenty of professionals who are more than willing to lend a helping hand!

If you are still not sure you want to use it with your students, I would recommend setting up your own teacher account and hanging out for a while.  You will find so many useful teaching resources just from reading the post of other teachers.  It will change your thinking?
What can I say....I love using Edmodo.  The support community is the best!  Whenever you have a question or concern, they always respond very quickly.  I really can't imagine flipping my class without Edmodo! 

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