Most educators feel the internet could be a powerful teaching tool if the right applications would magically appear, and a new one has just come along. Check out Edmodo to see a great new utility to keep in touch with students and manage classes.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published April 30, 2009.
Edmodo is trying to position itself as a Twitter-type application specifically designed for teachers.It’s a web 2.0 application that allows for networking and working with groups.Unlike Twitter, which does not have the capability of uploading and storing files or creating threaded discussions, Edmodo has a great deal of potential as an educational tool.It seems to combine features of an on-line class platform with the instantaneous communication and micro-blogging capabilities of Twitter. Edmodo offers a number of features that will allow creative and technologically-savvy educators and class leaders to create some very powerful learning tools.
Edmodo’s Twitter-Like Features
Like Twitter, Edmodo allows a teacher or group participant to post short messages to group members. It allows for direct messaging and has a ‘public timeline’ where everyone in your group or class can see what is posted instantly. Edmodo allows users to create accounts similar to Twitter, and offers the same feeling of instant communication. Each user has a personal account page to use in managing his or her information. Users can upload or choose a picture or avatar for personal identification. However, the creators of this site have added a number of features that will make it far more attractive to educators than Twitter can be on its own. Instead of having to track down and install endless outside applications to help you accomplish simple yet essential tasks, Edmodo offers capabilities to do these things already built into the system.
Edmodo’s Unique Offerings
Unlike Twitter, there are different types of main account pages, depending on whether you are signed up as a teacher or a student. Teacher pages offer a great deal of control over what their student pages can access. Edmodo allows educators to create groups of students for different classes, and to grant different privileges to each. Teachers can post assignments, announcements, and reminders in their various classes. There’s also a file-sharing feature that allows students to turn in assignments within the system. Students do not need a separate email account to use their classes on Edmodo, which can be a real boon to those who have very limited internet access. If parents and teachers wish, the system can be kept completely separate from the wider internet with its various temptations and pitfalls.
What Does the Future Hold?
Edmodo is definitely a system to watch.There is a public timeline of comments, as well as a site blog where the developers keep users informed of plans and upcoming changes.There are usually very interesting conversations going on in both places between educators who either use Edmodo already or who are considering it and looking for advice.Developers have mentioned additional features which will add to functionality, such as a grade book.
If you are trying to stay out in front in the world of educational technology, you will want to sign up as a teacher on Edmodo and visit regularly.Even if you’re not quite ready to develop a class or class tool with this system just yet, you will want to stay informed as they grow and develop over the coming months.
For more information about Edmodo and its possibilities in the area of project management and collaboration, visit Natasha Baker’s article, Edmodo - Microblogging for Project Management Teams.
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