Friday, June 8, 2012

Tool #6

I had always dismissed edmodo as an intermediate grade program and never paid too much attention to it.  Then quite suddenly, I was an intermediate grade teacher!  Edmodo quickly gained importance!  This social network works extremely well for 4th grade departmentalization.  Here's what I liked:

1.  I was able to post to my homeroom, Christen M's homeroom, or both at the same time.

2.  Christen was able to post to my homeroom, her homeroom, or both at the same time.

3.  Student comments are instantly emailed to teachers and can easily be deleted by teachers.

4.  It is simple to post videos and assignments, like so:
     (Student names have been omitted to protect the innocent.)

The only aspect of edmodo that I don't like is the teacher linking feature.  If you link up with other teachers and enter their codes to access their edmodo pages, you get all of the same email notifications that they get.  For example, I linked up with Angela B. so I could watch all of the fun things that she was doing with her 3rd graders.  Her students were so involved, that I found myself receiving at least 5 or 6 emails every evening.  I finally had to unlink.  

Then, there was the unfortunate case of Christen and Lucy D.  Since they were linked to my Edmodo account, they received emails every time I edited my posts.  And I edit my posts A LOT. Even though Lucy said that it gave her something to read while she was in the dentist office waiting room, I knew it must be very irritating.  I learned to get around this (I think) by setting up content-related subgroups on my Edmodo page.  Students joined the subgroups, and I could post and edit all day without inundating my poor colleagues.

I'm not a fan of Voice Thread.  I tried it in the classroom a couple of years ago.  It was cute at first, but then it quickly became frustrating because the editing features are very limited.

I've used Today's Meet at a lot of teacher seminars.  It's fun and easy, but I have trouble concentrating on the comments and the speaker at the same time.  It is perfect for multitaskers.

This is the first time I've seen Poll Everywhere.  Here's my poll question.  I can see how the texting option has potential with older kids, but some second graders have trouble choosing A, B, C, or D. I'm thinking 271513, 271514, or 271515 might be a quantum leap.  Without the texting option, unless I'm missing something, it doesn't appear to be any more useful than Google forms. 

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