In the spring of 2010, I was getting ready to share technology tools that I had learned at the MACUL Conference, the Michigan Association of Computers Users in Learning Conference, for my staff in an after school lab session. I went through my notes that I had written to see which web tools would be the best. When I looked over my notes from a Steve Dembo session, I came across, “Edmodo…future for school’s websites.” Edmodo had not been demonstrated, but Steve was talking about how static web pages would be replaced by interactive websites where parents could share resources and information on a school’s page. When I checked out edmodo, I immediately signed up and signed up my students. When my students and I used it, edmodo was in its infancy. We could post notes, links, embed videos, and post a poll. Edmodo in 2012 is quite different, as the company has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. In fact, check out the rap that was written and posted on the edmodo blog. (Click here!)
I attended the second annual EdmodoCon, which was held on August 8 as a global web conference. 11,000 participants from all 50 states and 117 countries attended. I was excited to find out that Edmodo will continue its growth this fall with some new features for students and educators! I tuned into the keynote of EdmodoCon, led by Nic Borg, one of the co-founders. He gave the participants a sneak peek of what we can look forward to seeing coming soon to Edmodo. Some of the features that I am most looking forward to are the expanded grade book options, the topic pages, and the apps.
The grade book will be updated to allow multiple scoring methods. Currently, the scoring can only show points and percentages. Soon, the grade book can be used for progress monitoring. Being a third grade teacher, I do not work in percentages often, so I am excited to be able to use the grade book now in edmodo. Topic pages will now be able to be created and searched for. The topic pages will includes lessons and videos that teachers have posted and allow them to be searched for. Currently you can post videos and files for other teachers to add to their library, but you have to add them as you scroll through the communities or with your connections. I imagine this is going to open up a whole new world of opportunity to build our libraries with content that will benefit our students! Finally, I am excited to see how the app store will grow. I was lucky enough to have access to the beta version of the app store this spring. My students were able to use the premium version of VocabularySpellingCity. I have been a user of the free version for years, but I have to say…I am hooked on the premium version and can’t imagine going back to the free version. I am excited to see what other educational sites will be added as the year goes on, as I also love the ease of having only one login for the kids to use and remember.
If you would like to watch any of the EdmodoCon sessions, they have posted them to: www.edmodocon.com
Last week my district had our annual Spice It Up Technology Conference. We used edmodo to post resources for each session, as well as to have backchannel conversations. (We use twitter too, but not many teachers from our district are using it.) Overall, it led more people to edmodo , which hopefully will lead them to using it with their students. I also hope that teachers continue to post to the groups they joined and continue to share resources. We have a large school district with 12 elementaries, 4 middle schools, and 3 high schools, so edmodo can be a powerful tool to connect all of us together!
I know my classroom has been impacted over the years by edmodo, and I look forward to introducing it to a new group of third graders in a few short days and excited for the new tools coming this fall! Happy Back to School (for those in Michigan) and Happy Edmodo-ing! (If you would like to get started using edmodo, go to www.help.edmodo.com! The Rollout Resources will guide you all the way!)
|Here I am sporting the edmodo shirt from ISTE this year! FYI...it is a great to wear in public areas, as I have had many people thank me!|