Edmodo: Twitter DESIGNED for the classroom

snag-0049.jpgWithout a doubt, Twitter has taken the education community by storm.  However, there really aren’t all that many people who are using it in the classroom.  Let’s face it, it just isn’t designed to be used in a teacher/student environment.

Edmodo is.

Jeffrey O’Hara is the network administrator/webmaster for Community Unit School District 200 in Wheaton, Illinois.  I remember meeting him at a TechCocktail event and spending a few hours talking with him about what worked and what didn’t when it came to Web 2.0 in education.  He shared with me a crazy idea for taking the Twitter concept spinning it around so it would suit a school’s needs.

Fast forward to a few days ago and his nutty idea has become a reality, and I couldn’t be more happy for him.  And to be honest, for teachers as well.  It’s really a great tool to add to your web 2.0 arsenal, and one that you can use immediately with your students.While I do compare it to Twitter, the comparison really does Edmodo a disservice because it does so much more.  At it’s heart, people can create short messages (140 characters or less) and blast them out.  But here’s where it starts to deviate from Twitter already.  Those messages don’t get blasted out to the world, they get sent out to individuals, groups of people, or multiple groups.   You have much more control over who sees specific messages, instead of just sending them to everybody and anybody.  If people choose to respond to your post, their replies are threaded with the original, making it easy to follow conversations.

Of course, if you were to send out an assignment, you might want to send a handout or resource along with it.  With Edmodo, you can.  You are able to attach files, embed links, or even turn a basic post into an assignment or event complete with date metadata.   Very easy to send out an assignment along with attachment out to a specific class of your students.   Or you could send  your contact information and office hours to ALL of your classes.  Or send a video to your after school club for them to enjoy.  You get the idea.  Lots of control here.

snag-0048.jpgNeed more?  You got it.  There’s even public pages available, complete with RSS feeds!   So if you have something that you DO want to share with the entire world, it will support that as well.  Students can save specific messages in their ‘locker’ to refer back to later.  Assignments and events hang around and will appear conveniently in the sidebar when their associated dates are coming up.

If you see the value of microblogging and have ever thought to yourself, “This’d be perfect for class EXCEPT….”  then you’ll definitely want to check out Edmodo.  It’s not only a great way to introduce microblogging to students in a safe environment, but it’s also a great communication tool.  Gets my seal of approval!

Comments

  1. Wm Chamberlain

    I think the reason Twitter works is because of its simplicity. I am not sure that Edmodo is as simple to use. I did set up an account and looked around a bit, but I haven’t the faintest idea of why I would use this in my classroom. I have fifth grade students with a 2:1 computer ratio. Most of my students do not have internet access at home. I use my blog and my voice to give directions to my students. What does Edmodo offer me that I can’t already do? I would love some application ideas.

  2. Josh

    Wm-
    While I see how it may not be beneficial for your 2:1 5th grade classroom, I think this would be great for 1:1 at any grade level. I also think that this would be better served in a secondary setting. I think this tool has its place in education and really could explode in that place.

  3. Colin Becker

    I’m going to use this is combination with a blog for my Year 7 maths class.
    I like the idea that students can send messages and I can reply to them – easier than email.
    If something goes wrong during the day, I can send a message out and attach the homework assignment.
    Of course, students need internet access from home for some of this.
    I know how valuable Twitter has been for me, so I’m willing to give it a go and see if it can be useful.

  4. K Marshman

    Thanks for the info. I will check it out and see if I can incorporate to my class.

  5. Katrina Johnston

    I am just learning about Twitter through a graduate class and was having a hard time trying to relate it to my classroom. This might be my answer since it is more customizable!

  6. Alana Eaton-Jacobs

    I’ve been learning about Twitter this week and I don’t have a clue on how to use it in my classroom. It’s fun, but I still don’t see the educational benefits. I will check out Edmodo and maybe use that in my classroom instead.

  7. Sonja

    I’ve just learned about twitter through my grad class and I would like to incorporate it into my classroom.

  8. Heather Wasemann

    I’m very knew to Twitter but hear is what I think it could be used for maybe?

    I think you can use them both as a way to send out reminders to students and parents in the evening or over the weekend? If a student or parent asks a question where the answer would benefit everyone you could send out the information.

    You could invite teachers and administrators to your classroom if something really neat is happening at that moment in your classroom.

    You could even use it to send out safety messages to the school. Snake on the play ground, bathroom over flowing, school is closed ect…

  9. Tom

    I don’t like the idea of Twitter because its public nature. I can see Edmodo being an excellent tool for my high history classes. I would be able to send assignments to all of my student so they could have access to the assignments. I could update any information I needed to. Last year there were quite a few time where a homework assignment that used technology had a glitch and I had to wait for the next day to address it. With Edmodo I could just shoot out a message addressing any problems. I also like the fact that you can attach documents.

  10. Mary Kuterbach

    I used Edmodo for the first time this school year and really liked it. The kids felt comfortable using it and I especially liked the privacy that we had. We also used it as a place where they could work on a project together and post documents for their partners to work on at home.

  11. Amy McCall

    This sounds like a good alternative to twitter for the class.

  12. Joy

    I like Edmodo because of the privacy it allows users. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Maria Pazlopez

    Thanks for sharing! I just signed on to Twitter and am still trying to see how I could apply it in my middle school setting. I like the control Edmodo gives you over who sees the messages and the additional features for attaching files and embedding links. Thanks for doing the initial leg work on evaluating this site. I’ll give it a try.

  14. Pam Moran

    The comparison to Edmodo and Twitter was very helpful to me. I am just learning about these Web 2.0 tools, and being able to see the advantages of Edmodo in a classroom setting from someone who knows has helped me greatly.
    I like how the teacher is able to offer students a safe environment to work in by limiting those who can join and by keeping the information private and readable only to selected people.

  15. Norma Gomez

    I am glad and somewhat relieved to find that I am not the only one who thinks that Twitter is not designed for classroom use. I found Edmodo to be more of something that I would use with my seventh graders.

  16. Jody Hollister

    I’ve look into Edmodo when taking grad classes before, but comparing it to Twitter is a great idea. It seems like a more controlled version of Twitter for the classroom.

  17. Rebecca Drazdowski

    Since we have Twitter blocked on our network, along with most social networking sites, I am going to try to see if we can access this at school. The IT team has blocked so much and our administration has not bought into the idea of allowing students to blog yet. I will check out edmodo and see if I can use it.

  18. Brian Woodruff

    This seems to be a solid option for communication within a class. I like that it has the micro-blogging capabilities of Twitter, but also allows you to determine who will receive your messages. The ability to post assignments and links as well as allow students to save messages and manage assignments makes it seem very useful.

  19. Lauren Coakley

    I am a student learning how to use Twitter and not sure how to incorporate it into a classroom. IT would prefer to block Twitter totally. Edmodo has the micro-blogging plus more – it seems to be more classroom friendly with privacy settings, ability to send to groups and allows assignment posting with attached files.

  20. Barb Mewaldt

    I’m looking at Edmodo as a vehicle for a student(5th grade)/adult e-mentorship program. I like the idea that it has strong privacy settings. Parental permission for participation in the program requires that I monitor all correspondance. It looks like I can do this with Edmodo.

  21. Bruce Horsley

    Are you currently using edmodo in an implemented mentoring program. I was thinking about that with some at risk students at my middle school, and utilizing college students to take on a student as a mentor.

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