Edmodo Provides Limitless Possibilities

Last week Richard Byrne posted 15 Things You Can Do With Edmodo on Free Technology for Teachers. He touched on a couple of things that really peaked my interest. One of the activities was embedding Wallwisher into Edmodo for group brainstorming. The embed feature makes options for embedding content limitless...all you need is an embed code and you can create a wide variety of assignments, activities, and resources.

As this fall progressed, I continually found new ways to utilize Edmodo. It has proven to be a most helpful tool. I facilitated all of my projects through Edmodo, posting project instructions there and then having students submit all of their projects to the site. This made grading projects so much easier and it allowed for me to comment more fully on each and every project. Students also liked receiving their grades there before they were posted in the grade book.

Until the Quiz feature was added, I embedded Google Forms frequently. Most were graded activities and I used self-checking templates for those. Once the Quiz feature was rolled out in Edmodo, using the Google Forms has lessened, although if you were needing to compile information, there is still a need for their use.

I have used the Poll feature several times for project evaluations as well as website evaluations. One of my students even posted a poll about tech preferences: Dell vs Apple. While we are a Mac district, I have to say, Dell was the overwhelming student favorite in that poll!
I think one of my favorite tools I used this fall was embedding Quizlet flashcards for students to review information and play games in preparation for tests. I have also figured out whenever I now prepare a review for a chapter test, creating it as an Excel spreadsheet rather than a Word document will expedite the creation of the flashcards. Quizlet allows you to just copy and paste information into Quizlet site and it will generate a set of flashcards and some review games with the click of a button! Many of my students have even created their own Quizlet accounts.

Edmodo has definitely added a valuable dimension to my classroom this year so I decided to jump off a ledge this week and use Edmodo to facilitate my semester exams. I really wanted to give this a try, but the thought of relying on things like the Internet and power made me a little leery. It did however, force me do some major problem solving as I planned and plotted to pull this off. After the test, I had students take a poll evaluating this activity and the response was overwhelmingly positive. A couple of things I did in preparation for this were:
  1. Made a paper copy of the test just in case the Internet or Edmodo went down.
  2. Sent the test to each student individually rather than as an entire class since I some were taking a modified version of the test. 
  3. Positioned student desks facing away from me so I could view all laptop screens at all times.
Students used laptops to take their semester exams located in Edmodo.

A couple of things I would like to see Edmodo add to the Quiz feature:
  • A randomizer button so multiple versions of the same test could be created with ease.
  • An option for the quiz to assign a grade, not just how many they got right out of the total number.
Students have quite naturally acclimated to Edmodo and it has been very rewarding to view their communication on the feed in which they are helping each other with questions that crop up outside of class. All in all, Edmodo has probably had more of an impact on my classroom than any free Web 2.0 tool I have ever come across.
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