Incorporating Edmodo in my classroom is my main technology goal for this school year. I would only be using it with my 8th graders. Many of the core teachers (aka Communication Arts, American History, and Science) already use Edmodo with the students, so it will be implementing a tool that the students will already have some familiarity with – not expecting them to use a random new tool altogether.

The official Edmodo blog has discussed some new (or new to me) and improved features within Edmodo. The three are going to give Edmodo the edge: parent accounts, badges, and bookmarklet.

  • Giving the parents personalized access to their child’s account – including grades and missing assignments is a game changer. When I relied mainly on Moodle, the parents could view the site as a guest, but they could not see what their child did or did not do. This will take away that guess work. It is not a complicated process to set up, so I will make it available to any parent who is interested. It will also streamline questions. On assignments, the same questions are often asked repeatedly – this will be a single place with the answers easily accessible and re-viewable. With slight training, the parents and students will check the Edmodo site before asking the teacher.
  • The concept of badges could be a motivator – especially for Middle School students. I saw the effort the students would put into earning a Spanish themed Silly Band last year, I would guess that most of them will strive to earn badges. It is easy on the teacher side to create (and hopefully ‘hand out’) the badges. I have already used a thesaurus to look up as many synonyms of the words Master and Student to include in the badges. I want each to be unique and some mildly entertaining (like Master Conjugater and Sports Sage).
  • The bookmarklet has the potential to be awesome; however, I still personally have not gotten it to work (I tried in both Firefox and Internet Explorer). One aspect I did not like with Edmodo is how tedious it was to add a group of links in the library before they could be added to the group. The bookmarklet would add the link from outside Edmodo while I was working on the website I wanted to add. It sounds like the perfect plan. Before the school year starts, I will figure out how to get this to work.

The Edmodo booth is one of the few exhibitors I actually spent some time talking to during ISTE. I am excited to learn more during EdmodoCon next week (August 10th). The online conference is a great chance to find inspiration – and it is early enough in August I will still have time to play before the school year starts. I can already see the potential in my classroom, and I hope to learn how to make it a reality.

About Lisa Butler

Middle school geography teacher, tech trainer, Flocabulary MC, Nearpod PioNear, and Edcamp Hershey Founder. I have embraced the power of purposeful technology and am creative with their application. If I am not doing something with ed or tech, I am probably reading children's books, baking with a toddler sidekick, running around, or dreaming of traveling.
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