Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Student Blogging Using Edmodo

The web 2.0 free blogging service for educators and their students, Edmodo, was selected as one of the Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning 2011 by AASLA (American Association of School Librarians).  It falls under the umbrella of the Social Networking and Communication standard within the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner.  The specific standards it addresses are: 3.1.2 Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.  4.1.7 Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information.  4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

As stated on their web site:

Edmodo is a secure, social learning platform for teachers, students, schools and districts. We provide a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content and access homework, grades and school notices. Our goal is to help educators harness the power of social media to customize the classroom for each and every learner.  Edmodo is free for all teachers, students, schools and districts.

As a teacher to register a username, password, email address, title (Mr. etc), first name and last name need to be given.  Students register using a group code their educator gives them, determining a username, password, an optional email address, first name and last name.  According to the terms of service students under 18 need parental permission.  In reading down the page the age of 13 is stated.  Parents need to read the terms of service prior to giving consent for usage. 

With registration complete educators need to complete their profile by filling out a short description about themselves (goals, objectives, history of teaching, etc.).  There is also a tab under profile for adding items such as links and files to folders in their professional library. 

By clicking on the account tab a photo can be uploaded or a graphic can be selected.  Registration information can be edited, privacy and notification settings can be adjusted and saved. 

Events can be added to a calendar that includes a description, a date range and to whom this information will be sent.  There is also a grades tab  for easier access to student groups using this application when assessments are evaluated.

At this point I am going to start using this with grade four students perhaps expanding it to encompass third grade students later in the school year. 

Edmodo provides extensive guides generated by the site as well as by its users in print, video and webinar format.  I attended the August 29th Introduction to Edmodo webinar. 

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