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In this new series, author and educator Aaron Quigley shows you how to stay up to date with the latest educational technology and classroom management techniques. Each week, he'll introduce you to a new tip you can use to be more efficient, and increase student achievement. Aaron covers concepts like the flipped classroom, Common Core Standards, and the role of social media in education. The series also covers a variety of productivity apps, learning management systems, and other technologies, using a project-based approach that simulates the real K–12 or university classroom environment. Check back often for new tutorials, every Monday with Teacher Tips.
Hello, and welcome to another addition of teacher tips. I'm Aaron Quigley. This week we'll be taking a look at Edmodo, which is quickly becoming a must have tool for educators across the nation. Before we dive into the intricacies of Edmodo, I want to take a second and clarify exactly what Edmodo is. Edmodo is a learning management system. This is a digital environment where teachers and students can collaborate. For teachers, you can create an online class. You're going to add assignments to that class and also add resources that your students can access.
You can grade assignments online. You can also communicate with your students through Edmodo. When it comes to the students, they're going to use Edmodo to access the online portion of their class. Here they can find the syllabus and any assignments you've posted. They can also find and use classroom resources. Students will turn in assignments and view grades as well as communicate with the instructor all through Edmodo. Let's go ahead and dive into understanding the intricacies of Edmodo. If you already have an Edmodo account, you can simply put in your user name and password to log in.
If you've not done so, please click on I'm a Teacher and follow the Edmodo prompts to set up your account. I already have an account created, so I'm going to go ahead and log in. Now that I've logged in, I've come to my Edmodo home page. Lets take a second to get familiar with the layout of Edmodo. In the middle of the page, we have our latest post section. When you signed up for an account, you have the opportunity to follow various communities. All of the communities that I'm following which are listed in the left hand side. Anything posted to those communities will show up in the middle of the page. For example, here I can see that someone has made a post to the math community.
This is a great place to check for additional resources and to keep to up to date on what's happening in the various communities around the nation. Furthermore, the latest posts will also show me any communication directly to me by students. Or anything that needs my attention inside of the Edmodo account. In the upper left hand corner we have the main Edmodo navigation. We have our Home button. Here we have a Progress section where we can award badges to students and track how well they're doing our class. We also have the Discover section where you can search the online communities for resources. And you also have a library.
The library is a place where you can upload documents or resources to make available for your assignments of for students to find on their own. In the middle of the page, we have a search bar to quickly find other users as well as information on Edmodo. We have a Notifications tab. Edmodo functions very much like a social network. So when people send you messages or alerts, or students turn in assignments or join your group. You'll actually have a small red bubble up here with a number in it, telling you that you've had changes to your account that need your attention. And then last we have our Account menu. Here you can go in to set up your profile, change the basic settings.
You can also report problems to Edmodo, invite other teachers as well as log out. Under the Profile tab, I went ahead and added a photo and changed a few things about my account. One thing you'll notice is it still says Mr. Quigley. If for some reason I wanted to change this to Mr. Q, I could go into that settings tab and change that. Please be aware that however your name appears in your home page box. And however your photo appears in your home page box, is exactly how your students will view you online. So if you have first and last name here you may want to go into Account Settings and change that to be more appropriate for your classroom.
Directly below your homepage teacher summary, you also have your groups. Now the best way to think about groups is these are your individual classes. For example if I taught one 7th grade class and on 8th grade group, I would have two groups. A 7th grade group an and 8th grade group, Directly below that, we have communities. Now by default, everyone has access to the support community. This is a great place if you're having a hard time figuring something out in Edmodo, you can go and ask someone in the support community for help. Or you can search prior post, to see if someone else had the same question.
And then directly below that, we have all of the communities that you selected during the setup process. If at anytime you'd like to add more communities or remove communities. You can do that by clicking on Show All and then selecting the communities that you would like. The top part of the page directly below the navigation bar is where we can interact with Edmodo. Here I can type notes and chose to send them to certain students or entire classes. I can do the same thing with alerts. I can create assignments for my classes. I can create quizzes that will be automatically graded, and put into the Edmodo gradebook. And I can also choose to poll my students if I have questions that I would like clarification on.
On the right-hand side, you have access to the Edmodo planner. And directly above the planner, these three icons all related to a variety of applications you can use to extend Edmodo. For example, you can install an application that will allow you to embed Kahn Academy videos directly into your Edmodo account. Now that we have the general idea of the layout, let's go ahead an create a group, an start adding some students. To do this, I'm going to go ahead an click on the plus sign to create a new group. We'll select Create from the drop down menu, an we'll start creating our group. We'll title this group 7th Grade Life Science and we'll select its grade as 7th and we'll also select the subject area as being a Science.
Now Science is not very specific so it gives us a new drop down menu where we can select a more specific area. We'll chose Biology And then we'll click Create. The second thing we need to do is do an expected group size. I'm not sure how many students we'll add so lets go and select the I'm not sure yet. And if you wanted to you could type up a group description. I'll go and click the Finish button. So now what we've done is we've created the 7th grade life science group, and Edmodo has automatically taken us into the group. And you can tell that I'm in the group and no longer in my individual teacher account, because now in the upper left hand corner where my name and photo was, it says 7th grade life science.
The small gear icon to the right of the group name will allow me to have access to group settings as well as I can subscribe to an RSS feed to this group. And I can also get the group's public url. Before we move forward with adding students in configuring this group. I'd like to go ahead and go into group settings, and talk about one very important setting. So here in the group setting page, anything that we've already typed in you could go through and change, even including the group name. The other thing that I'd like to point out is that you can choose to moderate all posts and replies. As students join this group, because Edmodo functions very much like social media, they have the opportunity to send posts to the entire group.
While this is wonderful feature for high school and college age students so they can interact with their peers, It may not be the most appropriate thing for elementary and middle school students. You want to make sure that all content on your class is appropriate. And so, I might actually choose to moderate all posts and replies for a 7th grade class. That way, students can still post to the group as well as each other, but all of their posts are going to be routed through you, the educator. You're going to have the opportunity to pre-read their post. And you can decide whether or not you want to release that to the entire class or delete it. So now that I have Moderate all Posts and Replies checked I'm going to go ahead and save those settings.
In our group navigation on the left hand side, this code that's been created is a very important code. This code is what students are going to enter in order to join this class. When you would like to ask students to join the class, you can simply tell them to edmodo.com. Click on I'm a Student and go ahead and put this code in. I often will copy and paste this code and put it into my class syllabus, or project it to the class so they can do it the first day of school. Furthermore, the padlock to the left of that shows that this is an unlocked class. When a class is unlocked, students are able to join it.
Once you have all of the students in the class that you would like to be there, you can go ahead an choose to lock the class so that no additional students can join. Even if you lock a class you can always go in an unlock it to allow new students to join if you have a new student join your class partway through the year. Directly below that is our Posts button. Now, currently we have no posts in this class, and so it's just telling me hey, my classroom's ready for students. Below that I have class folders. I can create class folders to organize documents as well as assignments, to make them available to students. And then I can also view the members of this group.
As of right now, we have only one member, which is ourself as the teacher. The next step is going to be to add some students to this class and explore how we can use Edmoto to interact with our students.
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