Wednesday, March 26, 2014

EDMODO and the Irregular Schedule

What a year. As I reflect about the things we have done this year I must say that Edmodo has been a saving grace by which this school year would not have been possible to survive without. Edmodo is an old buddy of mine which I have been utilizing for going on my fifth year now.
The first year I used it as pretty much a tool to quiz and poll the students whenever we had the opportunity to get into one of the computer labs at the "OLD" Middle School, a few of us "techy" (I am pretty sure that is a word even though it is being underlined in red) teachers even moderated a "chat page" for the students but had to shut it down after a few unwise choices of what to post showed up. The second year I utilized it in each of my classes (as I do now) and I found that it was wonderful to connect with not just students but also parents and I have used it since then much like the web-page where assignments and other pertinent information is posted. Also, I could EASILY link websites we used in class and other files so everyone has the capability to access them even if they have become misplaced in the endless pit of the backpack. Last year was much the same except I had the wonderful experience of having the iPads in my classroom so we were able to utilize the site daily.
Now that brings us to the current school year. A school year in which man y of our students have their own devices and I am now sharing the iPad cart with another class. It is also a year in which we have gone to an "A" day, "B" day schedule for Social Studies and Science so I see my students every other day. (unless of course we have an interruption in the schedule because of weather, assemblies, testing, etc...) A tool like Edmodo is wonderful for this situation. Not only can I post the assignments and/or quizzes I can also communicate even if I don't see them through messaging to either a particular student or a whole class.
In my Social Studies classes right now we are reading a couple of novels (half of my class is reading one and the other is reading another) they both deal with the Holocaust. What even my students do not know yet is I am creating special Edmodo pages for each novel where they can answer and discuss questions and what they have read.
This leads me to probably my most selfish reason for using Edmodo, drum roll please, I don't have to hang on to 170 quizzes, homework assignments, etc... Edmodo makes it possible to collect everything electronically (I know there is Dropbox and other ways to accomplish the same thing) but hey, I am almost fifty and it is hard to teach an "old" dog new tricks so when I find something I stick to it. Well I am finished rambling and for those of you who need to know there are ONLY 274 days until Christmas as of the day I wrote this.

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