How I Use It
I mostly used Edmodo to publish lesson resources to my students. I would use posts to describe the lesson, attaching all related content (PowerPoints, worksheets, textbook references, links to websites and videos for exploration, etc). Students would log into Edmodo to quickly access all the resources for that lesson. It is a huge part of my "Paperless Classroom", as I now distribute materials digitally through Edmodo rather than make paper copies. Since my students have iPads, they could open documents from Edmodo into annotation apps on the iPad to complete their work, which could then be loaded back into Edmodo. I frequently use the quiz feature to build math quizzes. It does not have a native equation editor, but it does support LaTex, so any equation or formula is possible with a simple LaTex generator. My students and I LOVED the immediate feedback of the Edmodo quizzes, especially because it accelerates the learning process. Students know immediately what they need to work on, rather than waiting until I finish scoring and returning all of them (this made me happy too, since it reduces my grading time!). I also use it for discussion around short videos. I write a discussion prompt and attach a video for student analysis. Then students post their comments below the video. It is an engaging way to have a focused, content-rich discussion.
I should say that I have mixed feelings about Edmodo, as indicated by the title of this field note. I was one of the early adopters of Edmodo in my district, ultimately leading to its widespread adoption district-wide. The reason for its success in my classroom as well as throughout the district is its ease of use. The learning curve for teachers and students is virtually nonexistent. It can also do an impressive range of tasks, such as posting announcements, attaching class assignments, linking to related websites and videos, creating assignments with digital drop boxes, creating and assigning quizzes, and more. I indicated that this website (and iPad app, by the way) is great with all types of students, from the advanced learners to the students with special needs; this is due to Edmodo's "small group" feature, which allows you to assign individual students to specific small groups for differentiated instruction, assignments, quizzes, or anything else you need to differentiate. Students can by added and moved between small groups at any time, and they only have access to the content in their small groups. One benefit of this feature is that it organizes all the resources by small group for the teacher, whether they are reading levels, math levels, reading circles, or any other way of organizing the class.
My main dissatisfaction with Edmodo is its organization of class content. Other LMS options offer the capability of organizing units or chapters in folders so that your entire class is organized from beginning to end. Edmodo only offers the endless feed of posts, assignments, and quizzes. Something posted yesterday or last week can quickly become lost in the sea of posts on Edmodo. Although not necessarily a deal breaker, it is something to consider.