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Posts Tagged ‘Edmodo’

1st Quarter….Check

November 9, 2010 4 comments

1st quarter of the school year is on the books and three left to go!  It was a busy quarter in many ways.  I implemented some new policies, introduced students to Edmodo, gutted and redid my school homepage, became more active on Twitter, and managing the middle school yearbook club.

Somethings went smoothly and others were a tad bumpy.  Edmodo has been a interesting twist in my classroom.  Not only has it replaced email, but has actually made me get organized!  I post my lesson plans everyday for students to see, I use it for collecting homework, and sharing files/links.  It has really changed the way I do my class.  Recently I was honored to teach other teachers how to use Edmodo at our last district in-service.  You can see an example of what I taught teachers by following this link: http://bit.ly/bvRvxH.  It was a pretty successful in-service and many teachers are now interested in Edmodo.

On the bumpy side my homepage revisions have not been as smooth.  I am a little happy with some new additions and changes, but I do not stay on-top of it enough.  The time I should be spending on it has been used tweaking Edmodo.  I am sure there is a way I can integrate the two, but there is just not enough time in the day.  One other problem is I do not have a way to monitor page views/visits right now.  Since the page is hosted through the school, I do not have access to the information.  Also, to view my page a person has to go through a complicated process, which I feel hinders parents visiting it.  Sometime in December I will  do a survey and see how much of an impact the website and/or Edmodo has.

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Changing Gears

September 19, 2010 Leave a comment

This year I challenged myself to use more and new technology.  It was a slow start in the beginning, but I have made some big changes lately.  One large change was switching from email to Edmodo as the means of classroom communication.  This has been a beneficial change and one that the students have embraced.  When I originally stated last year to a tech committee that I decided to stop using email some people did not agree.  It seems now though they would have to reconsider their opposition when looking at comments recently made by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, that only 11% of teens email daily.  Edmodo has also allowed me to stream line my grading and classroom discussion.  Here is an example of a classroom discussion that was held via Edmodo, “Leave it on or Turn it off.”

While using Edmodo I found I needed a better way to get my instructions to students with little interruption from me.  I finally decided to start using my school issued website and got my butt in gear.  I found that I could use a built-in calendar function and PDFs to tell students what they need to do in a fast and productive manner.  So far this has been working pretty well and students seem to be catching on.  You can see what I have so far by clicking this link: Assignment Sheets.

The last thing I have only recently started doing is screen capture videos.  This past summer I found myself doing tech trainings for my school district on how to use Microsoft Office 2010 and our new Microsoft network.  It became apparent I needed to do something more then just printouts of instructions and looked into screen capture software.  I came across a program called Jing from a fellow educator and have found it to be excellent!  The free version (which I have been using) creates video screen captures with audio in 5 minute segments in ShockWave Flash format.  It has worked seamlessly so far and is easy to use.  I only recently created a video for more students on how to create Block Style Letters.  This seemed to make a big difference in class and students seemed to really like it!  I am polling them next week in Edmodo, so numbers to come soon.

Well, that is about all I have achieved so far in the first 3 weeks of school.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that everything keeps going smoothly.

The importance of email…

August 24, 2010 Leave a comment

I remember being a young lad in high school and creating my first Hotmail account.  Note, this is back before Hotmail was owned by Microsoft, and there was much “cooler” at the time.  I maintained that address well into my college years until I forgot the password and could not get the account reset.

Now I maintain three email accounts, a work account, a personal account, and a throw-away account.  Yet this summer as I delved more into different types of social networking (like GetGlue & Twitter), I found myself checking my email less and less.  As the new school year starts I find myself questioning the importance of email.  Couldn’t most important information be passed on via wiki’s? Couldn’t student & parent contact be done via Twitter or the school friendly Edmodo?

It is because of these thoughts I have decided to try and deviate my classroom this year away from email. I am pushing for my building to use Edmodo as the main form of communication with students.  Backchanneling will also become the norm within my classroom using websites like todaysmeet.com.

This will probably take me at least a semester to get the kinks worked out and I am sure weeks of frustration, but I believe this should build a more open and productive classroom.  Please share any experiences you have had with anything I rambled on about or please point at any flaws in my late night thought process!