Vol.#15: The Edmodo Education

I started using Edmodo over the past couple of months. Specifically, I offered it as one option to complete a reading project. I’d thought having a smaller group of students to start would help me ease into it, however over 75% of my 109 students opted for the Edmodo choice instead of the more traditional alternative.

 
I used the Edmodo quizzes as part of the assessment for the project. Now having used them, I see the quiz feature as having a likely future in my classroom as formative assessments, such as homework, as opposed to actual “quizzes”. Edmodo does not allow retakes easily and both the timed feature and occasional glitches in the system make quizzes that “count” stressful. However, the instant feedback it provides would be very vaulable in the formative stage and would reduce class-time reviewing answers on completed assignments, allowing for more time on new, engaging tasks and collaboration.

While pondering the future of this possibility, I had my students complete the following Consens-o-gram.

20121113-221803.jpgStudents who had not taken any quizzes on Edmodo used a yellow sticker and were choosing between our CPS Pulse clicker set and a traditional paper and pencil assessment. Students were given the orange sticker if they had taken an Edmodo quiz before, and were therefore answering which of the three they liked best. I told students to assume everything else about the assessment was the same.

With Edmodo so heavily favored, I wanted to know the why, as well as address the possible challenges. My students came up with the following  Plus/Delta chart on Edmodo:

  • I get to see my answers graded right away
  • Don’t have to write
  • We’re saving trees
  • Easy to use
  • I get to see other’s ideas
  • Allows discussion, connections
  • Phone app access
  • Online reminders of my due dates
  • Can contact teacher outside school
  • Quizzes were open book
  • Kept me more organized
  • No paper assignment to lose
  • Don’t need pencil, a sharpener, etc.
  • Related to what I already do  (fb, etc)
  • Shy people participate more
  • Safe – I had privacy from strangers
  • I can have groups for subjects
  • I like making a profile
  • Grades are private vs. when quizzes are handed out in class
  • If I click the wrong button by accident… 😦
  • No requizzes/retakes
  • The timed quizzes
  • Need Internet and not everyone has it
  • People can cheat online
  • Copying ideas/comments of others
  • Glitches & App problems
  • Forgetting a password
  • People posting spoilers to the book
  • Students having arguments online
  • Not allowed to talk about other things
  • If computer shuts off, you lose your work

I told them my biggest concern about using Edmodo more regularly, as opposed to an “option” in a project, was for those without internet access at home (their 3rd Delta bullet.) So, again, I turned it over to them.

They amazed me.

Of course some of what they listed below I’d thought of before, but some – the PS3 option for example – would have never even crossed my mind.

For students without Internet who need to complete Edmodo assignments, here’s my students’ list of solutions:

  • Our school’s Media Center (It’s open 30 minutes before school, 30 minutes after school, and they can go at lunch if I give them a pass.)
  • Lunch Time in my classroom (I have 4 desktop computers for student use)
  • Public Library
  • Mobile Phones (Some students said their Apps did not cooperate with the quizzes, others did)
  • Our Team’s Wednesday Alternative Schedule (20 minutes both before & after lunch)
  • Homeroom time (at the discretion of that teacher)
  • Time after assignments are completed in class (at the discretion of that teacher)
  • a friend’s house, parent’s office, or neighbor’s that you know well
  • PS3, Wii, or any game system that accesses the internet
  • Programs only open to a few:
    • After school programs such as our YMCA & Math Counts tutoring
    • Curriculum Assistance (a Special Programs Class)
    • ESL Guided Study (a Second Language Learner Class)
  • If all else fails, ask the teacher to print out the assignment as a worksheet.

After having just taught them how to use Edmodo, I was pretty impressed with the Education on Edmodo with which they’d provided me.

Are there any suggestions or strategies you could add to their list?

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5 thoughts on “Vol.#15: The Edmodo Education”

  1. Your students are “on the money” with their thoughts. Since we are trying to engage ALL of our students, there are several options on their list that can be accessed. Plus, it’s always good to get their input to keep us “fresh” and up to date with their “ways of learning.”

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  2. I like that this post is about input and feedback from your students. Most often we see posts with teachers sharing their perspective. This is quite refreshing and informative. We’re piloting Edmodo with a group this year and it seems as though it, along with posts like this, will increase over time to other teachers and students. Thanks for writing such a clear and helpful post. Sounds like you’ve got some great students!

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