If you are a teacher and you haven't been introduced to Edmodo yet, then please don't skim over this post and pass by the opportunity to learn about something that may change the way you teach and the way you make materials available to your students and to their parents.
Edmodo is a site that in appearance is similar to Facebook, but it is a secure site that is designed for education. You can start a group for each class and you can either have the students sign up, or you can sign them up and students can go into the site later and change their password. (Students do NOT need an e-mail address to sign up.) After your group is set up, you, as the "owner" of the group, can send messages to group members, post photos, and.....embed just about anything your students will need such as class notes, papers to complete assignments at home, links to videos, etc.
I started using Emodo this fall with my Spanish 1 & 3 classes. It is user friendly and I've found numerous uses for it. I'm sure I haven't tapped into all of the possibilities...but I'm working on it. (One caution, if all of your students do not have access to a computer and internet at home, you will need to make adjustments/plans for those students.)
Ways I use EDMODO
1. Summary of Daily Activities - If a student is absent, they know that they can go on Edmodo and read what we did in class, download papers that I distributed, see what was assigned for homework, or even click on a link to any videos or podcasts that we may have listened to in class.
2. Homework Assignments:
- listen to a podcast and fill in a graphic organizer for notes
- read a story and answer questions about it (replies sent directly to Edmodo so no paper is needed)
- post a story from class and students read it to their parents
- post photos that students respond to
3. Embed "How to..." screencasts. i.e. directions on how to use a new web2.0 tool (I use Jing and screencast.com)
4. Photos for discussions in class
5. Photos of class activities
6. Links to other sites, i.e. Music videos, QUIA games, Quizlet, etc.
7. Online Quizzes made on Edmodo or other sites
8. My online filing cabinet - I post these things in my "practice group" and it's easy to find them when I want to use them in class: audio parts of quizzes so when a student is absent I don't have to take class time to give him/her the listening part of the test; Jeopardy games I've made, Wordles, etc.
9. Extra practice for students - I post a worksheet w/ answers for students that want/need additional practice on their own
10. Connect w/ other classes in other states/countries (I've joined a group that is made up of a several Spanish teachers in the U.S. and their classes but I'm embarrassed to say I haven't done much with that yet)
11. Connect w/ other educators, and learn from others when you join other groups (World Languages group)
12. Take POLLS - one is available on Edmodo for you to use w/ your group
13. Keep Parents informed - Edmodo provides a parent code for each student that you can give to parents. Then parents have an inside scoop on the class activities and homework.
14. You can even record grades on Edmodo.
15. Stay in contact with students when you are out due to conferences, scheduled sick leave, or other reasons
and on, and on, and on...
I have access to Moodle at my school district, but personally, I have found Edmodo to be more useful and user friendly.