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I have long been a fan of Edmodo after it was introduced to me as tool in the Global Read Aloud. This free social network specifically aimed at students and teachers is a fabulous way to integrate social media into your classroom, as well as setting up ways to collaborate with other classrooms.
While there are many great tutorials on how to use Edmodo such as this one by Jason Bedell, it is really one of those sites that needs very little how-to explanation, which makes it ideal for any techie newbie out there. So here is my top 5 reasons for using this social network
- Global collaboration made easy such as for the Global Read Aloud. We have different groups set up for teachers and small student groups. We love how easy it is for people to find each other, share resources, and even branch off on their own. This is our fastest growing site used in the GRA and parents can even be invited in to see everything we do.
- It is free! Teachers love free things and particularly ones that are really well made. Edmodo is easy to use, easy to facilitate, and does not charge us a dime.
- It is a great introduction to Facebook. I know this may sound strange but I love how closely Edmodo resembles Facebook without it being Facebook. Being a 5th grade teacher where students are legally not allowed to be on Facebook, Edmodo provides them with an opportunity to dabble in social media and getting used to using it well.
- It is private! I love the ability to set up different groups and the ability to add students to them. I also love that this is something only teachers or administrators can do and not just anyone. I also love how we have control over who joins the group, connects with us, and how we communicate. You cannot find someone on Edmodo outside of it and yet it provides enough flexibility within its privacy that students can create meaningful collaboration.
- It provides a direct pipeline to the teacher. I love that students can use Edmodo for informal as well as formal classroom work. My students often use it to ask for homework help, clarification, or just to boast of their latest achievement. They also use it to reach out to me privately with questions or concerns and I love this capability. Some students simply do not feel comfortable speaking to you about private things out in the open but this way they can contact me directly without anyone knowing.
Of course there are many more reasons, such as how easy it is to share resources, how it allows students to communicate with other classrooms and create polls, how parents can get a window into the classroom, and how I could use it to post and gather homework assignments. So this top 5 is just that; my top 5. Why do you love Edmodo?