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Edmodo: The Online Classroom

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1 Edmodo: The Online Classroom
An Emerging Technology by Shannon Borum

2 What is Edmodo? Edmodo is a free online classroom website.
The online classroom resembles the popular social media site Facebook which allows for easy use for students and teachers. The purpose of the website is to provide a free, monitored online place for students to receive and turn in assignments, as well as collaborate with peers on discussions. Click here to see how Edmodo is being used in real life!

3 Why Edmodo? The mission of the Douglas County Technology department is “to enhance the learning environment through the infusion of technology into the instructional process...that will impact learning for all students and assist teachers in providing instruction.” Edmodo supports the DCSS technology plan by supplying a platform that offers students a place to interact with global resources (linked videos, articles, images, etc), each other and teachers. Furthermore, Edmodo offers functions such as individual student-teacher communication, quiz, poll, and gradebook options to assist teachers in collecting formative data and providing meaningful feedback and instruction.

4 Who can use Edmodo? As most students are not allowed to have Facebook or other social media access until they are years old, Edmodo would be most effective for students in middle school and high school. As Edmodo is a free website and Mason Creek Middle School has ample computer labs, mini computers, and internet access, providing access to Edmodo for all students and teachers will be relatively easy. Teachers may require a “getting started” session with technology leaders, or they may also watch tutorials available online. Students will require computer access to sign up for an account, which is also free. The suggested way of providing access to each student is to have teachers visit computer labs as a class .

5 What do we need in order to use Edmodo?
Edmodo requires only internet connection and computer. For teachers who use sound and/or voice recording, a microphone and speakers may be required as well. In addition to being able to log into the Edmodo website, students and teachers can download the Edmodo app on their smartphone or tablet for more mobile use.

6 How do we learn to use Edmodo?
As more teachers are using Edmodo around the world, video tutorials and online resources are being created to provide technical support and ideas for meaningful classroom integration. In addition to internet sources, our school has at least two teachers who are well-versed in basic classroom functions of Edmodo who can guide staff on using the website effectively. These teachers have also created screencasts for students on certain functions they will be required to use on Edmodo. Edmodo also has content area community groups that serve as global collaboration platform for teachers of similar subjects and grades. There are also professional development communities on Edmodo.

7 Is Edmodo safe? As opposed to Facebook and other social media, Edmodo was created with the safe digital classroom in mind. Students register for one class and may only participate in that class (as opposed to interacting with students in different classes, grades, subjects, etc). Parents also have access to their student’s Edmodo classroom. Teachers can monitor and restrict any student’s ability to create posts in their online classroom, and Edmodo notifies teachers of every post, communication and submission a student makes. Teachers may require re-training on copyright law regarding digital resources and ethical digital behavior.

8 What does Edmodo cost? Edmodo is a free website and app for students and teachers, therefore no cost will be associated with implementation. Funds may be required to provide staff with training on Edmodo if it cannot be done in staff meetings and/or planning periods. If such funds are necessary, the school may use SIP funds if available.

9 How does Edmodo help students achieve?
Edmodo is a tool to help students to achieve not only in content areas but also in technology proficiency. Edmodo is a tool to meet Content area standards by providing: A place to host flipped lessons A forum to engage students in discussions about topics A safe place for students to collaborate Collaboration with local and global experts

10 How does Edmodo help students achieve?
For each of ISTE’s NETS-S standards for students, an example has been given of an effective use of Edmodo. NETS-S Standard 1: Creativity and Innovation Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. Edmodo example: Students participate in an online science lab that has been linked in the online classroom. After completing the lab, students can discussion boards to identify key concepts in the lab. Edmodo can be a clearinghouse of information for students to follow the proscribed steps of scientific experiments and inquiry.

11 How does Edmodo help students achieve?
NETS-S Standard 2: Communication and Collaboration Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others. Edmodo example: Students can collaborate and publish essays in Language Arts. Teachers can create project-based learning for students on the Edmodo website as well as provide students a way to demonstrate mastery of reading, writing and listening domains of a Foreign Language or Language Arts. Edmodo also allows teachers to create small groups within an Edmodo classroom; this function allows teachers to assign differentiated tasks to fit student’s learning needs.

12 How does Edmodo help students achieve?
NETS-S Standard 3: Research and Information Fluency Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information. Edmodo example: Students in Social Studies classes can locate and analyze articles and historical documents based on global topics to illustrate themes in culture, economics and geography. Edmodo can also be seen as a pre-publishing site: students create presentations and or documents to submit on Edmodo to demonstrate mastery of a concept; once teachers and students have collaborated to fine-tune the product, it can be submitted to outside websites like YouTube, Vine, or an online newspaper for local or global consumption.

13 How does Edmodo help students achieve?
NETS-S Standard 4: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources. Edmodo example: Students can be assigned a project and group members using the grouping function on Edmodo. Within those groups, students can assign themselves the various roles required to complete the project at hand.

14 How does Edmodo help students achieve?
NETS-S Standard 5: Digital Citizenship Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior. Edmodo example: Students will understand and practice safe and healthy netiquette in classroom discussions and publications

15 How does Edmodo help students achieve?
NETS-S Standard 6: Technology Operations and Concepts Students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations. Edmodo example: Through integration of current technology systems into instruction, students will become increasingly proficient in operating systems such as Microsoft Office Suite, OpenOffice or the Apple productivity suite.

16 Is there evidentiary support for Edmodo?
While no research has been done solely on the effectiveness of Edmodo on student achievement, there are elements that Edmodo provides have been well-documented. Edmodo allows teachers to collect formative data on student achievement (quizzes, polls, discussions, etc). Dwyer (2013) redefines Wiliam’s 2004 findings that using data to inform students of areas for improvement as well as redirecting lessons promotes higher student achievement (source)

17 Is there evidentiary support for Edmodo?
In addition to offering students a wide variety of learning opportunities by linking to the outside internet, Edmodo provides teachers online communities for collaborating based on subject or topic. The Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement states “Research shows that collaboration between teachers can be a powerful tool for professional development and a driver for school improvement by providing “opportunities for adults across a school system to learn and think together about how to improve their practice in ways that lead to improved student achievement” (Annenberg Institute for School Reform, 2004, p. 2).” (source) Thus, when teachers participate in Edmodo communities, they are collaborating worldwide with other professionals to improve their teaching and thereby student achievement.

18 Phase 1: Teacher Familiarization
How do we implement Edmodo? Phase 1: Teacher Familiarization During the months of November and December, we will hold 2 training sessions after school on Edmodo basics for teachers. Mrs. Borum and Mrs. Patterson will lead the sessions. These sessions will focus on creating the online classrooms, understanding how to control student access and use, and creating basic assignments. By Christmas Holidays, teachers will have created classrooms and signed up for computer labs in register students.

19 Phase 2: Classroom Implementation
How do we implement Edmodo? Phase 2: Classroom Implementation In January, teachers will register students in Edmodo and have students complete basic assignment. Teachers will register for Computer lab/mini-computer cart days on a minimum bi-weekly schedule and use Edmodo as part of the lessons for computer lab days. By the end of Janueary, every teacher will have students registered and participating in Edmodo classrooms. On a monthly basis, Mrs. Borum and Mrs. Patterson will host after-school Edmodo trainings, focusing on a different Edmodo tool in each training. Teachers will implement those topics and submit reflections, data and/or lesson plans that analyze on effectiveness of the tool.

20 Phase 3: Ongoing training and development
How do we implement Edmodo? Phase 3: Ongoing training and development Once teachers implement Edmodo on a frequent basis, training sessions will be offered as needed during the school year. For each new school year, a refresher/getting started (for new teachers)session will be offered. As part of ongoing collaborations, teachers will include Edmodo lessons in their lesson plans and weekly collaboration documentation.

21 Reflection In researching Edmodo and using it in my classroom, I learned that it can be an effective tool to encourage students to be life-long learners. It also is a powerful tool for teachers to create digital learning experiences for students and to make online learning a real component of their education. I also learned that there is a need for students to understand that online learning is as important as classroom learning; I have assigned projects that students did not see as actual assignments and therefore either put very little effort into or simply did not complete the assignment. As educators, we need to expose students to online learning and make it count just as much as classroom learning so that students are prepared for the digital component of their college education.

22 Reflection In researching Edmodo deeper than what I already knew, I realized there are various ways to use the website for different content areas. Edmodo can easily be used in most every content area to promote higher-level thinking and thoughtful discussion. I was also excited to learn about the grouping function and how it can help to promote differentiated instruction to fit student learning needs. In closing, I have a vision that every student at my school will have an Edmodo classroom to match each of his/her courses and that we as a staff will increase our students’ learning and engagement in school by using this powerful online tool.

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