Monday, February 27, 2012

I Speak Your Language

As an educator,don’t you ever wonder if your students are actually listening to you or if they understand the message that you are trying to convey? Do you speak their language? Do they speak yours? Well thanks to Edmodo, a free and safe social network for K12 education, you can all speak the same language! is a free (yes, I am repeating that again!), secure, social learning platform for teachers, students, schools and districts.

Using Edmodo teachers can create a microblogging network for their classes. Edmodo allows teachers to create a group specifically for their students and exclude those not invited to the group. It provides teachers with a place to post assignment reminders, build an event calendar, and post messages to the group. But most importantly, it reaches students the way they reach out to their peers. We all know that a majority of our students use social networking platforms like Facebook or Myspace to connect with friends and also make new friends. Today, 8-18 year-olds devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes using entertainment media across a typical day. It’s amazing that parents and teachers can get a word in! As the digitl world expands and envelopes more of our time and more of our students world, educators must connect to their students in that world, on their wavelength.

In Edmodo, teachers have the opportunity to send messages to their students — individually, in groups or as a class — as well as post assignments and additional materials. Students can have discussions about anything they're working on and not only get feedback from peers, but from teachers who are constantly tuned in and reading what their students are chatting about. Because of their feedback, the Edmodo service has evolved so that teachers can connect with each other, notify students of overdue homework, award badges for merits like good attendance, and provide constant assessments even after class is over. In return, students respond to their teachers more positively, and become more engaged in the class itself. The bottom line is completing the work, understanding the content and being successful during testing. Edmodo, and social networking in general, is a way to take the class and teacher/student relationship to the level of understanding of today’s kids.

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