How I Use It
Right now we use it with our Skype buddies in WI, but will extend this to other schools in the USA and other parts of the world.
Edmodo works only when the teachers involved allow time and encourage students to stay involved. If you are partnering with another school, make sure the teacher is invested in using Edmodo.
Here is a specific example of how it works for us:
1. Sharing: Students love to share, that we know. It allows students to share across geographical divides. Our students will post "mystery animals" that the other school must research and discover what they are. Our partner school in WI may post a math technique that we can use in our classes which just happened recently with our two schools.
2. Assessment: Our partner teacher will post quizzes related to a shared book that both classes are reading. It is interesting so see the reactions of our students being graded from a teacher so far away. Also, all student responses should be on formal good grammar and they are deleted if they are not. This is very motivating and public but done in a fun and safe way on the site.
3. Online Morality: Here is something we don't discuss very much. It allows us to evaluate and teach students about online manners and moral judgment. We ask questions such as
It that post meaningful?
Is your comment helpful and said in formal language?
Do your ideas contribute to our online community?
These lessons using Edmodo make the lesson "real" and has the positive pressure that it is being seen and shared with others.
1. Don't allow students full control, be a good coach. The students should feel a sense of community and freedom, but this has to be done with good coaching on online manners and ethics.
2. Find good partners to work with: Occasionally we will have an expert scientist join the site to be a part of our discussion, but rarely this is long term. It is best to find group members that are invested in keeping the Edmodo community alive and thriving.
I have used Edmodo for 4 years and I am still a fan of the product.
I think the best thing about Edmodo is that it easily connects classrooms around the world. I like the polls and these keep the students on and engaged. Students enjoy connecting and seeing comments on what they posted. I think students do need coaching on how to post with positive comments only etc.
Favorite Part: It is easy to use. I have had second graders use Edmodo without any difficulties.
What I would change: I wish it was easier to find partners to hook up with on specific topics. Maybe if you were doing a unit on Volcanoes, you could find others working on that at the same time, real time. That would be really neat.
My bottom line is that it is one of the best community sharing apps and sites available.