About Me

Education, the knowledge society, the global market all connected through technology and cross-cultural communication skills are I am all about. I hope through this blog to both guide others and travel myself across disciplines, borders, theories, languages, and cultures in order to create connections to knowledge around the world. I teach at the University level in the areas of Business, Language, Communication, and Technology.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Why I like Edmodo

For the last few years I have been using Edomodo.com in my classes.  I use it for discussions and for my students to upload assignments.  We have an LMS for the university but I don't like using it as it is very UNFRIENDLY for users and sometimes just takes too much effort.  We don't have technical support for Edmodo, but we now have minimal support for the LMS as more people are encouraged to use it but the number of support positions have stayed the same (3 dedicated positions for a university of 10,000 students).

So what do I like about Edmodo?

  1. I, the teacher, have control over features like accessing material and who can access it.  I can set different privacy settings for different materials and who sees it when.  For example, I can create a group project and send access information to group leaders without other group members being able to see the material.  I can then do an in-class activity in which only the leaders have in the information until the activity has been completed, then I can show the entire class the information after.  This helps in teaching concepts in which I want students first to try out concepts, make mistakes, come up with their own analysis, and then compare it to what research says should have happened.  In other words, I'm able to teach critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  2. It used to be that students would have a technical problem and I'd have to send them to the help desk.  Students perceived this as my not knowing what I was doing.  The fact was I had no control over many of the technical problems they had.  Now, I can reset passwords (edmodo allows the instructor to do that), check student status and what they have uploaded or not, and create/modify groups.  Of course, this also means that when there is a technical problem, I'm on my own.  However, I have found the support/help function very responsive.
  3. I like that I can create something ahead of time but schedule the time and date for it to go "live".  I now preview a question of the day and then have the "assignment" come up live after class with the answer.  This means my students are more prepared to extend themselves in class and go back after class if they got an answer wrong (fits well into a flipped classroom).
  4. My students LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the mobile app.  I love the fact that I can have notifications sent to my school email when students post.  And it is not just that they have posted, but I can read the posts so I know if there is a problem right away or just something to handle when I have time.
Like any software, there are some things I don't like about Edmodo.

  1. There is no syllabus creation function.  I will always miss the syllabus function of Prometheus/Early WebCT which allowed you to put dates in, days of the week you taught, even holidays and then it populated your syllabus form automatically with dates for classes that you could then input readings, assignments, and even an overview for each class.  Since Edmodo was created with the K-12 user in mind, I'm surprised they don't have this feature.
  2. My students that use Mac's have had some interaction difficulties.
  3. The mobile app is great for the students but more limited for teachers.  I wouldn't mind a separate "teacher's" mobile app.
  4. I'd like them to improve their attachment ability in the "notes" section.  It works well in the assignments section, but not so much in the notes section.
  5. There is constant upgrading.  It would be nice to have a newsletter when this happens with instructions or a training video.
Overall, I would strongly recommend Edmodo for anyone looking for a safe alternative to facebook but more user friendly access than many LMS's provide.

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