Fortunately, the situation has slowly shifted for the better. There are several great educational tools popping up here and there, and Edmodo is one of them. Let’s take a look to see how it can help.
The Teachers’s Perspective
If I have to explain Edmodo in one short phrase, it would be: “Facebook for Education” (and you’ll see why shortly). Edmodo describes itself as “Secure social learning network for teachers and students“. They prove it by providing two types of buttons that you can choose: “I’m a Student” and “I’m a Teacher“.
For experimental purpose, let’s look at the service from both perspectives. I started my experiment on the teacher side.
The sign up window looks ordinary with all the usual fields to fill. But later you will see that the student’s version has a distinctive difference.
After signing up, you’ll land in your Edmodo home page. It’s eerily similar to Facebook – with some modifications here and there to make it fit for educational purposes.
The update area is “adjusted” as a tool to send Notes, Alerts, Assignments, and Polls to fellow students or other teachers.
If you are a teacher, you’ll appreciate the ability to easily send assignments. Just write down the title, description, due date and you are ready to go. You can add files, links, or refer some materials from the library. Choose the recipients before clicking the “Send” button. They could be other teachers in your network, or students from your study group.
Teachers also have the privilege to create groups. Aside from “Grade” (e.g.: Kindergarten, 9th, 12th, Higher Education) and “Subject Area” (e.g.: Mathematics, Creative Arts, Computer Technology), the groups can also be based on the classes that you teach, the difference of interest among students, levels of comprehension of a topic, etc.
Then your status will be updated with the group that you’ve just created. One important thing that you should pay attention to is the access code of the group. You should inform your students about the code, because they won’t be able to join the group without it.
At the lower part of the home screen, you will find a few basic things that you should complete to make your account “fully functional”.
The Students’ Perspective
If you are a student, the registration process is a little bit different. Other than your basic personal information, you’ll also need the group code that you are about to join. This is the code that your teacher will get when they create the group.
After logging in, you’ll find a list of groups that you’ve joined right under your avatar. If you want to join other groups, have the access code ready and click the “Join” button.
There are links to “Calendar“, “Grades” and “Library” on the top of the page. While you could easily guess what you would find inside the first two, the third one is a bit unique. Library is the place where you can find all the files and links sent to you or any of your groups.
You could also add files to your library. This is a good place to store all of the materials related to your study.
Another place that you might want to visit is the “Settings“. Here’s the place to complete your personal information, and change your picture. You can choose one of the available images as your picture or you can upload your own.
You could also set what kind of notification that you want to receive and what kind of event that you should be notified about. The choices are email and text message. Unfortunately, not everybody can choose text messages as their option as it is only available for users of several major phone providers.
The Social Side
Above all of the features, the strongest point of Edmodo should be its social side. Just like Facebook, Edmodo makes it easy to search and add friends – whether they are teachers or students. If you are a teacher and you’ve defined your school, you might find other teachers from the same institution.
But Edmodo also finds a way to keep users’ privacy. The group concept will limit everything that happens in a group within the group members. And since it’s impossible to join any group without the access code, teachers can keep “unwanted parties” out of the group.
Even at first glance, I found Edmodo fits most of my requirements for a great teaching-learning tool. But you should not just take my word for it. Try the service yourself and share your opinions in the comments below.
Don’t forget to check out our other education-related articles like: 10+ Web Tools To Save Your Butt In School, 8 Awesome Websites to Take Free College Courses Online, and The Five Best Educational YouTube Channels.