Edmodo Success, RSS Feeds, and Peer, Teacher, & Parent Collaboration

As a requirement for my EdTech 501 class, I tried out online educational tools.  One specific tool that came up in the course discussions was Edmodo, which is a “social learning network for teachers, students and schools on the Web.  Teachers and students worldwide use Edmodo every day to connect and collaborate in a secure, fun environment. [The] free network offers a safe and easy way to post classroom materials, share helpful links and videos, and access homework, grades and school-wide notices” (http://www.edmodo.com/about)

Once I visited the site and explored the content, I immediately fell in love!  I sought out to experiment with this resource in my own classroom.  It took a lot of effort to get approval for this new technology in my rural school district. I was required to present a proposal to my school’s district cabinet.  I began my presentation with the video that Dr. Schroeder shared  in one of our learning modules: A Brave New World Wide Web. I then discussed what Edmodo was and why we should use it.  I included quotes from interested students as well as email correspondence from teachers and principals across the nation.

Below is a list of resources I used to create my proposal.

Apple Distinguished Educator’s Experience with Edmodo
“Integrating Technology with Edmodo” – Howard Chan
Using Edmodo in the Classroom – Mary Lou Cerullo
Secure Social networking for the classroom using Edmodo

Edmodo and RSS Feeds

I was given the approval to begin a pilot program using Edmodo and have been able to reap many benefits.

One benefit was the use of RSS feeds. I have two ways in which RSS feeds can benefit teachers with the use of Edmodo.

1. I am using RSS feeds to post dictionary.com‘s word of the day into Edmodo for my SAT/ACT Prep class. Once I subscribed, I was done. Dictionary.com posts daily automatically with no work on my end.

2. Edmodo comes with a public page attached to each group so that the world can see. The content is chosen by the teacher, of course. This feature is beneficial in that my parents can subscribe to the content of their child’s class by RSS feeds and anytime something is posted to the public page, they will receive it. It is a great way to boost parental involvement. It is easy and convenient.

I believe that the RSS feed feature of the Edmodo public pages could be used with cooperative learning.  A teacher could set up a group in Edmodo for a small group project that they wanted to collaborate with another group in a school in another state or country. Each group’s teacher would have to do this. They could post their progress on their respective public pages and the other group would automatically receive updates through RSS feeds.

My Edmodo Statistics

Approximately 23% of my students are participating in the Edmodo pilot program.

Some students have experienced significant grade improvements.

13% of the participating students have improved at least one letter grade.

I have been able to communicate with students outside of the classroom and typical working hours about homework assignments and projects.

I have been able to provide students with supplemental, online resources and provided instructions for these resources with a click of a button.

I also have been able to post lecture notes, homework assignments, and alerts for tests and quizzes.

The students love the fact that they can get all of the information immediately on their cell phones through text notifications.

What My Boise State Peers Had To Say About Edmodo

“One thing that seems nice about Edmodo is that it can provide a window into the classroom to parents, without being too disruptive to the learning process. One hesitation I’ve had with allowing parents into our Moodle system, is all the horror stories I’ve heard from teachers who say parents can’t behave themselves. They constantly monitor other students’ contributions, complain to the teacher about constructively critical comments students make about their child’s post in the forum, and students are less likely to write openly if they know mom and dad are always looking over their shoulder. Edmodo provides a nice middle ground, where the teacher controls exactly what the outside world can see.”                ~Justin Reeves

“Before the break, I proposed using Edmodo with our 10th and 11th grade classes to my director and colleagues (thank you Vertoria for the inspiration). Within a day, I had approval to use it with my Business Studies class. We started using the site this week and I have received several student post saying that they appreciate having another medium of communication outside of the classroom. They have already begun discussing class related issues with each other on the site.Using Edmodo was especially important for me because I needed a way to continue communicating with my students while on maternity leave. I’m happy to announce that I just had a baby boy over the break, so it was nice to receive all the congrats from my students.”        ~Mumina Abdullah

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