I started this post 12 hours ago. Sigh. One of the downsides of social (online) learning is the plethora of interesting, entertaining distraction.
Anyway, this week’s topic was social learning and learning management systems. I started using Edmodo in 2010 with my 5th and 6th grades. The kids really liked it and spent a fair amount of their own time on it. There were a couple of incidents that provided real life examples of the way online communications can be misinterpreted, which meaningful provided side lessons.
I found the assignment and grade book feature extremely useful and, not surprisingly, the completion rate for assignments skyrocketed since they were online and feedback was much quicker. Once the kids were adept with Edmodo it was easy to create a lesson and assignment that the kids could complete with minimal support, which was especially helpful on days I had to be out.
Being in the snowbelt snow days are a reality and Edmodo provided a vehicle for kids to communicate on unexpected days off. More than once I logged in and fielded homework question.
Sounds wonderful doesn’t it? So why has my use of Edmodo fizzled to the point that, this year, I haven’t used it all?
Time is the biggest obstacle. As in lack of it. I only see my upper grades for 30 minutes every other week and I don’t know if I can really justify the time it takes. It would take one whole class just to get them on and set up. And, based on experience, it takes a couple of times before the whole thing goes smoothly enough to get any real work done. If I had some teachers on board and using it too, the time would be worthwhile, but right now, I don’t.
Writing this post has me thinking about giving it another shot after Christmas. I have a young new 6th grade teacher who might try it. He’s been using our new student gmail accounts to send assignments to students, so I think he’d like this. If I was a classroom teacher I know I’d use it for everything.