A few weeks back I was in England for an teaching post interview which I got. During the interview and my time there I had a long chat with the teacher leading ICT and found out about VLEs (Virtual Learning Environments). I only had a vague idea what these were so on my return I delved into finding out as much as I could about them.
Edmodo was one webtool I came across and I’m so happy I did. It’s described as a free private microblogging platform used in Education by teachers and students similar to Twitter.
I have a class of 24 children, most are 10 years old and all are very inquisitive about technology especially this year since our school installed IWB’s in every classroom. I created an account on Edmodo and then set up my class as a group, giving them a very simple password to begin with so they they could change it later. I showed the class around the tool and described what they would be using it for and the reactions were fantastic. Everyone wanted to get home to do their homework! That was a first.
Edmodo gives you the ability to set up assignments and have your students complete them and turn them in for grading. My first assignment is due on Monday 4th May so I’ll let you know the response to that. So far one student has sent me her work and I have corrected it for her to edit and improve, which she has done.
The children use the site as a place to find out links to their assignments from me and each other and they have told me they find it very useful being able to chat to each other for help. Here are a few of their comments about Edmodo.
‘I like the way I can talk with someone and ask them for help if I need it’, ‘I like putting links and files to help my friends do their work’, ‘My parents love the calendar so they can find out when I have do my homework’,
and perhaps my favourite ‘My homework is better now and I like doing it more’.
Edmodo has been described by it’s creator Jeff O’Hara as not exactly being a VLE as such but it’s a brilliant tool which I and my class will continue using for the rest of this term. You can listen to a discussion about VLE’s and Edmodo here.