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  • kvnmcl 8:21 pm on January 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: design, , Fronter, home page, , VLE   

    The front door to our virtual home 

    Home page #3

    Over the past few weeks I have been busy setting up my school’s Virtual Learning Environment. It’s been a stressful journey but I now feel quite confident in deploying it throughout the school. Above is an example of the current Home page that my class are greeted with when then sign in. This is my third version and it still requires tweaking but I and the children like this. We think it’s simple, uncluttered and provides a platform to get to other learning pages. I’m looking to incorporate an RSS feed as a scrolling banner just under the page title in due course and I use the Voki as an easy way to include new information about the page.

    What do you think?

    Have you got a home page design you would like to share?

    Can we make any improvements?

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  • kvnmcl 1:04 pm on May 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , virtual learning environment, VLE   

    Edmodo 

    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.

    Edmodo - Home

    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.


     
    • Doug Belshaw 1:45 pm on May 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations on the new job, and I’m glad the EdTechRoundUp discussion was helpful. Edmodo rocks. 🙂

      • kvnmclaughlin 4:08 pm on May 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the congratulations Doug. I’m looking forward to returning to teach in England after 8 years away.
        I’ve only started getting my head round these VLE’s but from this week alone Edmodo is a great resource and one which I want more people in my school to trial.

    • Mark Warner 5:30 pm on May 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’m trialling Edmodo with my Year 5s until the end of the year… it’s been really successful so far, and being able to make individual posts ‘public’ is a great way of allowing parents to see what their children need to do for homework etc.

      I’m wondering how far down the school this could be used… could Year 3/4 children use it effectively? KS1?

    • kvnmclaughlin 9:12 pm on May 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I was just thinking the same as I’m sure it would work with Y3/4. I’m going to introduce Edmodo to the Y3/4 teachers next week so I’ll let you know how that develops. I spoke to my girlfriend about its use in KS1 and she said she would like to trial it but perhaps through me first and after a meeting with the parents so that they too can be involved.
      I’m picturing a full school roll out of Edmodo but as I’m leaving this year I’m not sure if such an idea would be continued. I can only try.

    • Andrew 12:48 pm on August 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Hi Kevin, Thinking about using Edmodo with my grade 4 students. They are already keen blogers and have been enquiring about twitter. Thank you for your insights in using this tool. Are you going to continue using it next academic year?

      • kvnmclaughlin 2:00 pm on August 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply

        Hi Andrew.
        Thanks for your comment about Edmodo. I am planning to use it again this year but as I’m in a new school I’ll have to clear it with the HT. It’s an extremely useful tool and throughout last term I and my class thoroughly enjoyed using it.

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