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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.
So here I'm logged into my Edmodo account and I'm at my Edmodo homepage. I can access the class we created by clicking on 7th Grade Life Science in the left-hand Groups column. Here I can see that my class is now open. If I go down to Members, you can see that I've added four students to the class as well as myself as the teacher. The fastest way to get students to join is to click the Join URL to copy and paste this and have students click on it and get started. Or you can always take the group code, give it to your students and have them just go to the edmodo.com home page, click on I'm a Student, enter the code and get started that way.
One great feature about Edmodo is that students do not have to have an email address in order to join. As they sign up, they have the opportunity to put an email address in, but it's not required. Most learning management systems require students to have the email address so that they can do things such as password resets. However Edmodo gives you, the teacher, complete administrative control over your students. So those functions that would require an email address. You the teacher now have the access to do. For example, when it comes to managing students, let's say Greg Cruz here forgot his password. I can click on the members in the life science class, find the member that needs the password change, click on the More button, and I could actually go down to Change Password.
Here I can assign a temporary password for Greg that he could use to log into his account and then change his password. I can also access a parent code that will allow Greg's parents to see only his information when they log in. Parent codes are very similar to a read-only access, meaning that if Greg's parents log in to the system, they could view Greg's assignments, they could view Greg's grades, but they would not be able to let's say respond to a chat or respond to a post. From the drop-down menu, I could also choose to remove Greg from the class. I'm going to go ahead and click outside of this so that pop-up box goes away.
Now the Progress button next to Greg's name will allow me to bring up Greg in the system. If I had assignments built in, I could see how much of each assignment Greg has completed. I can also award Greg badges. Now, badges are way to recognize students for various actions. If I click on the Award Badge button, you'll notice that I have a variety things to choose from. Inside Edmodo, students can collect badges to show their performance within the class. The next step is to add some assignments and some information for students to use as they access the class. I'm going to go back to the general Edmodo home page by clicking the Home button in the upper-left-hand corner.
Now here I'm not in my 7th Grade Life Science class, but let's say I'd like to add an alert for this particular class, and maybe this alert is that we're going to meet in a different room on Friday. So here I've typed up My Alert. I can also now choose who to send it to. Lets say that I had one student that was meeting with me for a meeting. I could just go ahead and type in Greg's name and send this message only to Greg. Or, because I know that I've got a 7th Grade Life Science class. I can start typing it in and I can choose to send it either to the entire, class or I can send it to the parents of the class. And if I'd like, I could actually choose more than one group.
So, I'll go ahead and choose to send this to the 7th Grade Life Science class and if I've passed out parent codes, I would also choose to send to the parents so that they know to drop their students off at the new location. At this point, I can go ahead and send this message. Now you'll notice a few things happened. First off, under my Latest Post section because I'm in the 7th Grade Life Science group, I receive the alert. This is the same way the alert will appear to the students. Furthermore, you'll notice that the Alert menu bar reset. I can also go into Assignments and do the exact same thing. Now this bar is available both right here from the Edmodo homepage, also if I click into an individual group, I can access the bar from there as well.
So here I'm going to add a very basic assignment, which is going to be a, paper that students need to type up an submit online. The paper title is going to be, Website Review. So the assignment description's going to be, After reviewing the Annenberg Learner Website, write a review in one or two pages, and submit online. I can go ahead and put in a due date, which I'll just select next Friday. And by default, it's going to send it out to the 7th Grade Life Science class because I'm currently in the 7th Grade Life Science class. Even if I created this assignment here and wanted to add a different class, I could go ahead and type that new class in there, or type individual students.
Furthermore with this particular assignment, I can attach resources. I can either attach a file or document or a link, I can find something from my library, or I can also schedule messages so that this assignment goes out at a particular time. I'm going to go ahead and attach a link to this assignment which is going to be the web address that we're using. That web address will leamer.org. You'll notice that when I hit Tab from the Web Address area to the Title area, it automatically went out to the Web, found the title of learner.org, and brought that title in.
If that title's okay, I can just leave it the way that it is, and I'll click Attach. So I now have an assignment created with basic instructions, I also have a link that's available for students inside the assignment, I'm going to go ahead and click Send and send this assignment out to the entire class. Now once again, because the teacher's a member in the class, when I scroll down to my posts I can see that I have the assignment created. Now my view is a little bit different because instead of having a Submit the Assignment button, like students will have, I have a Turned In indicator.
Currently right now, zero students have turned in this assignment. Back up at the top you also have the ability to create quizzes and polls. Now polls are fairly limited in what they can do. They have to be multiple choice questions. So for example if I click on Poll and I start asking a question, I also need to add the possible answers for that particular question. Now, Polls will create a report for me and give me the data for what students answered, but a quiz will allow me to have a variety of question types and will also create an entry in the grade book. So here I've clicked into a quiz and I can go ahead and give it a title such as, Biology Quiz.
If I'd like, I can set a time-limit for the quiz and then I have a variety of question types I can choose from. Multiple Choice, True False, Short Answer, Fill in the Blank and Matching. Now Multiple Choice, True False and Matching questions can be automatically graded by Edmodo and will automatically put the students grade into the grade book. However, if I have Short Answer questions and some types of Fill in the Blank questions, they will require the instructor to go in, manually review each quiz, give a score, and then Edmodo will add it to the grade book. In my own class I try to stay away from Short Answer questions inside of Edmodo because one of the powerful features is that this helps save time in grading.
If I'm going to have a Short Answer question, I'm going to turn it into an actual paper assignment and have students upload it. That way students can type the paper and their answers in a Word Processing software such as Microsoft Word, or even Google Docs. Once I've gone through and created my quiz, I can simply assign that quiz to a class and send it out. And before I do that, I can also choose to Randomize questions, and whether or not I'd like the results to be shown to the student. I'm going to go ahead and click back on the Home button to talk about a few of the non-class specific functions. When it comes to building a class library for students to have access to information, there're several things that you can do to quickly add content to your library.
One, is you can attach a Google Drive. By connecting a Google Drive account, you can quickly create Google Docs that students all have access to. Google Drive will allow you to create documents that you can then share with your students. I can also view links that are attached to posts, so right now I have the Annenberg Learner link and I can actually go in and view all of the links that I've used in my course. This will automatically create a link collection for you that students can quickly access inside the library. So for example, a student might learn something on the Anenberger site that they want to utilize when they write a paper later in the class.
The student can simply come to the Attached to Posts section of the library and find all of the links that you've used throughout your course. Folders are just a way to organize documents inside your library. For example, I'll go in and create a folder that is General Class Information. So here I'm going to create a folder that's called General Class Information. I can choose to share it with various groups. I'm going to go and select to share this with my 7th Grade Life Science class and then click Create. Inside the General Class Information folder, I'm probably going to upload the syllabus, as well as the class meeting times. As the teacher, you have the ability to create a large library of resources, and then choose which classes have access to those resources.
Furthermore, because Edmodo's an ongoing process, and you continue to add classes inside the single account. You don't have to worry about re-uploading all of your resources for each new class. You can simply just select the folders and files that you would like each class to have access to and share them. And then finally, I can have an overview of all library items. This is a quick way to filter through Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Google Docs and I can also choose to add to the library from this section. At this point we've explored how to create a group or a class, how we can add students to that class, an how we can add assignments and information for students to access in our online learning management system.
The next piece of the Edmodo puzzle is to talk about how we communicate with our students.
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