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March 2, 2012

Week one of teaching in a one-to-one classroom is in the books!  The students were beyond excited when they learned about their big surprise, and this week has certainly been an interesting.  My personal struggle has been to keep my head up even when it feels like we aren’t getting the curriculum covered.  The fact is that we are running the uphill portion of implementation right now, and we can’t be up to pace.  I spent a large part of the week reminding myself that we will be going downhill soon and the speed will pick up!

One accomplishment we had this week was getting all the students signed up for Edmodo.  It’s a social network meant specifically for educational purposes.  While my district has an impressive student email system set up, I still wanted students to be on Edmodo.  It provides them an opportunity to communicate and collaborate using a platform very similar to Facebook, which most of them are already familiar with.  Being able to have threaded conversations amongst themselves is a great benefit of this platform.  Edmodo also streamlines assignment turn-in to help keep my Inbox uncluttered.

The biggest pro for Edmodo in your classroom is that it allows all of these benefits without requiring a student email.  It’s amazingly simple to use, especially if you are already familiar with Facebook.

One thing to be aware of when helping your students sign up is that they will need some kind of group code, which you must create.  You need to create groups for students (I would recommend doing this by class period) and then relay their group code to them when they sign up.

From there, you have bunches of options including:

  • posting discussion questions for response,
  • embedding YouTube videos for school viewing,
  • assigning projects to be turned in on Edmodo,
  • turning in electronic documents and iPad screen shots,
  • grading turned in assignments,
  • communicating with students,
  • bringing parents into the fold,
  • connecting with other teachers,
  • and lots of stuff I don’t know about yet!

It should also be noted that while Edmodo does work on the iPads (download the free app for best results), it’s also great for the good old-fashioned computer.

Note for MNPS teachers: We have a special domain,  If you log on at school, you will automatically be taken there.  If you’re at home, be sure to login using this domain so you are included in our community!  For your school code, email Tischann Nye in the Learning Technology Department.  She also has lots of great tutorials that can be found here.

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