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Pros: Small learning curve for anyone who uses popular social media, as well as a robust community and support.
Cons: The user interface is very busy for teachers, especially with ads, and it could use a rubric tool and better collaboration options.
Bottom Line: This free platform allows for teacher-monitored classroom communication with basic tools.
Edmodo is a free learning management platform that merges classroom content, safe communication, and assessment with social media savvy. Students and parents can get quick answers to questions as well as stay current on class assignments and happenings via the student planner and discussion threads. Post a warm-up question, or take a quick poll to get student input on the day's topic or to quickly assess understanding. Save time by using teacher-created assessments, and let Edmodo do some or all of the grading for you. Collect, grade, and return student essays virtually, perhaps using an outside feedback tool such as Floop to promote student collaboration. Or use the teacher and student planner feature to efficiently manage assignments and deadlines. If you're looking to monitor student progress or personalize learning, try using the CK-12 and Wisewire integrations to increase student engagement and assign standards-based formative assessments.
Need some new ideas? Look no further than the professional development community, and get suggestions from other professionals. The interface can be busy with notifications and community postings, so teachers will want to come up with strategies to manage these potential time stealers. Also, although ads may be a small distraction, they are well vetted and keep the website and apps free.
Editor's note: In the past, Common Sense Education has partnered with Edmodo. However, Common Sense Education's reviews maintain editorial integrity and independence.
Editor's Note: Edmodo is no longer available.
Edmodo is a free Facebook-like learning management system (LMS) that teachers can use to manage online instruction. Teachers can create an account, classes, and their first assignment or quiz within minutes and can invite students and parents to join them via class code, email, or handout. Once students join, they can see content, manage deadlines, receive and submit assignments, and interact with the teacher and other classmates by participating in activities and writing posts that include embedded files, links, and media. Teachers can see all posts and can moderate content or put class members on read-only mode. Users can share documents, links, video, and images using the drag-and-drop feature, integrating files from Google and Microsoft accounts. Teachers can also use the Discover page to find apps, games, and student-focused news to add to their assignments. Plus, the Reports feature allows teachers to track assignment completion and grades.
Featured collections, such as the Distance Learning Collection, can be great time-savers for teachers who want to up their level of virtual instruction without reinventing the wheel. Plus, there’s a robust community of Edmodo users who are eager to share ideas with one another through multiple discussion forums and groups, enhancing the site's educational quality and professional development (PD) opportunities.
While the design of Edmodo is fairly basic, the opportunities to reach and engage students are plentiful for teachers who design thoughtful instruction, give responsive feedback, and commit to providing students with rich educational resources and experiences. The online discussion forums may encourage less vocal students to share and give more reserved students a low-stress way to respond to prompts and benefit from peer input. Quick formative assessments and conversation-starting prompts provide students and teachers immediate feedback and can help teachers to improve instruction by identifying struggling or disengaged learners more quickly. Choosing exciting activities to supplement instruction can engage reluctant learners and provide opportunities for collaboration, creativity, and game-based learning. Finally, in addition to content standards, students can learn necessary SEL skills, such as time management, self-reflection, and perseverance.
As with any social media forum, teachers will need to monitor student posts and communication for appropriateness, but overall, this safe, easy-to-navigate site provides a platform for teachers to engage in sound instructional design and a user-friendly way for parents to monitor their child's progress.