Edmodo-Pros and Cons

I’ve been using Edmodo for roughly a month now.  I really like it.  There’s more to like than not.  I joined groups related to my content area and some of the info. other teachers are posting is very useful. I learned about Three Ring on there, which I can’t wait to try.  There are so many networking opportunities on it as well.  My school just did a PD on it, so now I’m connected to our school’s group and the teachers I work with.

How I’m using it?   I use it in all 5 classes that I teach.  I made a group for each class.  I chose to use my last name because other teachers are also using Edmodo and it’s easier with my name in there for them to find my class.  Since I teach different sections of the same class I couldn’t use the course name. I color coordinated the classes so that I can send the same assignment or message to them at once.  For example,  the two classes in red are Computer Apps.

Edmodo is very fast.  It takes less than a minute to post on there.  You can share 1 post with another group or you can send it to as many of your groups as you would like.    If you notice on the image above, I sent messages to 2nd period or to both 2nd and 7th.    You can also send it to parents.

The calendar is one of my favorite features.  I use it weekly to announce due dates.  If you post an assignment on Edmodo the due date will automatically appear on the calendar.   It’s color coordinated to the group colors.  When student’s go on the calendar they only see their classes so the colors don’t matter as much to them.

The Poll is awesome to gauge student knowledge.  My classroom is a computer lab so I can use the poll as an exit slip.  If you have iPads or are in a lab or your school allows personal devices then you could do this or have them answer the poll from home.  You can ask them something related to the day’s lesson and see how they do.  It’s completely anonymous so students will not be embarrassed by their answer but on the same note you won’t know who did not answer.  I have 62 students and only 53 took the poll. I’ve used this once so far:

Assignments: Posting assignments is as easy as attaching a document to an email.  By the way this is where you pick what you want to post.  Note is the equivalent to a wall post on Facebook.  Alert shows up in bold letters. 

When you post an assignment on Edmodo you can add a tag like I did that says Minor.    The students and you can preview the assignment or it can be downloaded.

On the teacher Edmodo there is a Turned in button that says how many students have turned in the assignment  On the student Edmodo the button is located in the same spot but it says Turn In.  They click it and then attach it similar to an email.

Gradebook:You can grade the assignment on Edmodo as well.  When you score it ,it will appear on your Edmodo gradebook and the students will see their grade.  It will also allow you to filter the assignment by turned in, not turned in and graded.  I like this because I don’t have to download the document to grade it.  I can preview you and even mark incorrect answers and add comments.

I cut out the names of the students for privacy issues but this is what it looks like.

Here is the assignment turn in screen.

Here’s the gradebook.

Quiz:  I used the quiz as a practice quiz.  I personally would not use Edmodo to give a real quiz simply because it’s not as secure.  Students can look at each other’s computer or share answers.  The Internet is available to them because Edmodo is online.  However, the quiz feature can be used in other ways. For example instead of a handout, they could answer questions on the quiz. Informal assessments would be an option too, maybe even a open note quiz.

You create the quiz in Edmodo.  You can use True/False, Multiple Choice, Fill in the Blank, Essay, etc.  It’s very easy to use.  It will grade all the objective questions for you.  Then you have to go back and grade the rest.  The grades will automatically appear the gradebook.  The best part is it gives an awesome report.

The cons: As much as I LOVE Edmodo there is a few things I could do without.  I realize one of the purposes of Edmodo is interactivity.  However, I’ve had to limit that because my students tried to use it as a way to have public instant messages with each other.  Meaning a student would say hi and then someone else would respond.  All this was happening during class.   Once I told them that this is not how we’re going to use Edmodo it stopped but I wish I didn’t have to address it at all.    I also don’t like that parents using Edmodo can’t see the same things as the students.  It is very limited to them so it serves no real purpose, at least in my opinion.  Lastly, the quiz is great (I mean look at the pic above) but if you do a short answer question that has 2 or more answers students have to answer them in the same order as the key.  For example if the question is:  The colors of the American flag are _____, _____ and _____.  In my  answer key I type red, white,  blue.  The students have to answer in that order.  No blue, red and white.  It marks the answer wrong therefore you would have to go through and correct this.

My recommendation is that you try Edmodo.  Maybe set it up for 1 class this year and see how you like it.  It has great features and is easy to use.  It has mobile apps too!  It’s a great way to keep students updated.  I go back and put all the day’s assignments on Edmodo at the end of each day so that if someone was absent or is behind, I can tell them to check Edmodo. This saves time and effort. It seems like a lot to go back and update it daily but it only takes a couple of minutes.  I usually just copy assignments off my Promethean board and paste them into the notes on Edmodo.   In conclusion, I’m a big fan!

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