Common Sense Review
Updated October 2016

Edmodo

Good stepping stone to LMS classes
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Common Sense Rating 4
  • The social network feel of the teacher dashboard allows for ease of use and navigation.
  • Add assignments. Start engaging discussions. Get the conversation started with a poll. All options are easy to do.
  • Build a robust digital class library online integrating links and files from Office and Google.
  • Create a quick formative assessment with varied response types and let Edmodo grade it.
  • Praise students for a job well done and being digital rockstars using Edmodo's Badge selection.
Pros
This safe platform lets you and your students post, collaborate on, and annotate assignments, projects, quizzes, and other classroom work.
Cons
The parent view is not as full-featured as the student view, and teachers must monitor frequently.
Bottom Line
Make all your classroom communications digital and trackable, but be prepared to supervise.
Paul Cancellieri
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Kids will love the Facebook-like interface and connecting with each other, but teachers will need to oversee and enforce communication and content rules.

 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

This kid-friendly social network is a great way to teach about appropriate online interactions. The assessment and annotation features allow for paperless classrooms.

 

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

A detailed help section and online forums for posting issues provide ample support for users.

 

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Let students navigate the digital classroom using Edmodo as an easy, familiar-like starting place. The easy-to-navigate site will allow teachers to design and manage assignments and assessments as well as conduct discussion and polls to energize conversations outside of class. Project collaboration and classroom community become easier to foster through the site's threaded discussions and wall posts. Students will no longer have to wait to ask questions the next day, and parents can keep updated on class curriculum and news.

Start out with classroom opening discussions, the move on to Edmodo-graded, teacher-created assessments for quick formative data. Motivate students to self-manage readings, writing assignments, and deadlines using Edmodo's very safe, friendly blackboard-like platform. Edmodo is also on-the-go with similar featured app native to iOS and Android.

Watch this video to see more ways you can use Edmodo:

Editor's note: In the past, Common Sense Education has partnered with Edmodo. However, Common Sense Education's reviews maintain editorial integrity and independence.

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What's It Like?

Edmodo is a full-featured social network (website and Chrome app) designed for the educational environment and serves as a great stepping stone for teachers interested in taking their classrooms to an LMS- learning management system.  The appearance and functionality of site has been streamlined to appear like Facebook, and just like with Facebook, student posts and communication will need to be monitored for appropriate content. Key features like adding discussions, polls, and assessments boost the educational quality of the site, but can also service professional development and parent communication forums. Another cool perk of the site is the Library which is capable of integrating files from Google and Microsoft accounts. Teacher can also add apps from Office such as Sway, Office MIx, PowerPoint, and Word which would allow students to edit products make in all Office features.

Students use the group code they obtain from a teacher to set up accounts and connect with additional teachers. In the typical social media style, they can write posts (which are visible to the entire class or just the teacher) that include embedded media, links, and images. Teachers can see whatever is posted and can choose to moderate posts or put students on read-only mode.

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Is It Good For Learning?

Editor's note: Teachers should know that Edmodo has some privacy concerns. Consult our full evaluation for details.

Let Edmodo impact the quality of instruction through a teacher-maintained digital Library, online discussions where every student feels comfortable contributing, quick formative assessments, conversation-starter polls, and opportunities to collaborate outside of classroom walls. The "walled garden" approach to learning allows teachers the chance to expose students digitalized curriculum and collaboration, but time management and self-motivation soft skills that students need to grow in addition to content standards. Careful monitoring of the "wall" paired with insightful digital citizenship lessons will help students blossom into thoughtful gardeners of online discourse.

 

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