Edmodo is a Premier Online Learning Tool for K-12, for Good Reason. Do you Know Edmodo?
I've been aware of Edmodo and respected its capabilities and popularity for a few years now, but recently my appreciation for this application's utility and significance has really grown. During the recent Teaching and Learning with the iPad conference, we used it for sharing presentation content and more, and this gave me an opportunity to spend more time with it. I couldn't help but notice how popular it was with conference participants, many of whom were already users and advocates.
In the weeks since, I have spent a good deal of time becoming more familiar with Edmodo, and the more I learned and experienced, the more impressed I was. In some current work with school districts, advising on tools and techniques for incorporating digital learning in the classroom, I have begun advocating for Edmodo, and below are some of the many reasons why. The price is right, the functionality is powerful, and it is safe and secure for our students.
Here are 10 reasons why I believe Edmodo is an excellent choice for launching or expanding digital learning in the K-12 classroom.
1. It's Free (and no Ads). Like John Lithgow used to say in those silly commercials, “… it's just that simple!” (They make money through in-application app purchases and they have venture funding capitol).
2. It's multi-platform and device agnostic (as the best digital learning tools should be). There are apps for iOS and Android, so you can get to it on smart phones and choose whether to use the tablet app or just use web access on a tablet. Unfortunately, I can't say that it's a flawless cross-platform experience as the iPad app seems a little glitchy, but hopefully they're working to improve on that.
3. It's a safe environment for kids: With no advertisements, and a process for inviting and managing which students access which classes, it addresses the fundamental concerns of privacy and safety that are an issue with many other free tools on the Internet that are great for sharing content and social learning, but are not education-specific or particularly student-friendly.
4. It's easy to learn and use: By not being overloaded with features, and offering learning aids like Quick Guides, FAQs, and lots of other support and help tools, Edmodo is not very hard to get started with.
5. It's a great platform for Blended Learning initiatives: If a teacher or a school is looking to get started incorporating more digital content in their curriculum and looking for a robust platform that is affordable (like, free!) then Edmodo may be a perfect fit. There's a reason (actually, a lot of reasons, like the 10 listed here!) why they are quickly approaching 30 million users (as of this writing), and why 88 of the 100 largest school districts in the U.S. have an Edmodo network.
6. It facilitates various types Active Learning: Are you a fan of Active Learning? I am! By having an easy to manage platform where you can provide digital content, and let students post content and have online discussions, you open up the possibilities for active learning. Provide assignments and related resources, have discussions about them, collaborate in defined groups, and provide a place where student-created digital content assignment can be posted.
7. It's a great flipped teaching delivery vehicle: Flipped Teaching requires a platform for the delivery of digital learning materials. Edmodo's secure, mobile accessibility, and the fact that it is free, are just a few of the reasons that it is a great, and very popular partner in the flipped classroom. The ability to have private online class discussions around posted content is a great way mechanism to facilitate post-content-consumption activities like reflection or answering questions you may pose about the content.
8. Get the Parents Involved! Edmodo allows Parents to sign up and be involved in their children's learning, but with a mindful approach that doesn't ‘over share', and respects the teacher-student relationship. Learn more here, in their Parent's FAQs.
9. Features: Discussions, Learning Communities, a Parent Role, Analytics, Security, Groups, and much more. Edmodo has the right features, without there being so much to learn that teachers get overwhelmed and lost.
10. Real Time Analytics: “Want to know how many students logged in, assignments were given, or quizzes were taken? Check your admin dashboard day or night to get real-time analytics. When you implement a tool that teachers and students already use, getting the data you need is simple.”
I could keep coming up with more reasons, but I urge you to go explore yourself. I know this may sound like some kind of paid endorsement, but it's not – Edmodo has never advertised on EmergingEdTech, and I have not been paid a dime by them. I just truly believe it is an excellent platform, and one of the best things I can do to promote the power of instructional technologies and help educators learn about good technology tools is to turn people on to premier free solutions like this one.
Of course, nothing says it like teacher's testimonials, and there are plenty of them out on the Internet (just search for “why I love Edmodo” and see for yourself). Of course, we would love to hear from EmergingEdTech readers who are using it. Please comment if you want to share your appreciation of this wonderful free digital learning platform. Thanks!
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Flipping the Classroom Facilitates Active Learning Methods – Experiential, Project Based, Problem Based, Inquiry Based, Constructivism, Etc.
Movenote – Another Easy Free Tool for Creating Digital Learning Content
The Digital Public Library of America – A Wonderful Free Resource for Education