Social networking has revolutionized the way that we interact with those around us, and educational networking is here to revolutionize our classrooms. Rather than networking focused on sharing personal photos and the latest scoop, educational networks provides teachers with a new way to facilitate collaboration among their students, and share in their learning experiences.
Enter: Edmodo - Facebook created by teachers for twenty first century classrooms.
I first used Edmodo as a student teacher, and researched it's potential as a classroom tool. The results of reading can be found at this website: Educational Networking - Towards The 21st Century Classroom.
This year, Jaime and I decided to use Edmodo as a platform upon which to build our current events assignment for the first term. We wanted students to share one article and analysis each week, and to comment on other students work regularly as well. Edmodo provided us with the perfect, private, controlled space.
Our students were immediately hooked on Edmodo once they signed up. "This looks just like Facebook!" and "check out my cool avatar!" were only a couple of the positive comments that we received.
Throughout the course of the first term, I was blown away by the calibre of posts and conversations that resulted from them. Students were having in depth conversations about current events, outside of the classroom! Occasionally the site would crash and not allow anyone to login, but I find it easy to understand how 50+ students logging in at once can crash a server.
While we are not using Edmodo for current events in the second term, I feel that it's worth as an educational tool is enormous! Teachers can post assignments, share grades, message students individually or in groups, and more. Students are able to sign up to receive text message notifications when you post information, and have said that the service really helps them to stay on top of things going on in class.
If you have not yet visited Edmodo, do not wait! Your students are ready and waiting!