The tool that I decided to take a look at was Edmodo. I choose to do my learning tool exploration on Edmodo because the site is free and has many similarities to Facebook. Students are able to plug into their school’s network that will allow them access to the teacher’s messages and assignments. Teachers and students alike are able to customize their profile including common information, profile picture, and groups or communities they are a part of. Teachers can create a group for one specific class. For this reason I felt that it could be an easy tool where students could easily grasp and learn how to use it. One of the main things I valued about this tool is that the teachers are at the center of this network that can connect them to students, administrators, and parents. Most importantly on Edmodo, teachers and students can collaborate, share content, and use educational applications to enhance classroom learning. Students can share their thoughts and opinions but it is monitored by the teachers to ensure a safe learning environment. Since social media is all around us, because of this I feel that there are not many challenges with using Edmodo. Most of us have a Facebook account, and Edmodo is just as simple and easy to use as Facebook. I feel that students and teachers could easily adapt and incorporate Edmodo in current curriculum practices.
A couple of useful features that stuck out were the ability to create quizzes, polls, and a class calendar. Quizzes can be customized by having a set time limit and questions can be randomized for teach student taking the quiz. Edmodo even has its own grade book where test or assignment scores can be added. These grades can be accessed by parents as there is a parent code on each students account. This code allows for parents to observe and monitor what or how their child is performing. Polls are another valuable aspect to Edmodo. Teachers and students can create any sort of polls from favorite foods to what book they should read as a class next. These polls are done unanimously to ensure utmost privacy for a student’s selection. Having an online calendar is another method to reach out towards parents and students to ensure that important dates or information is available. I feel that in an elementary classroom setting using Edmodo could be very beneficial. Not only can parents monitor and see their students’ progress but can see upcoming events on the calendar. Likewise, there are many things appealing aspects to elementary aged students such as the ability to earn badges. There are so many aspects to Edmodo that it can become a useful tool for teachers, parents, and students. The possibilities seem endless for this social network specific for classroom use. In the couple of hours I have spent navigating the site, I feel that I have only touched upon a small portion of the capabilities this site allows.