What is Edmodo?
Edmodo is an educational network that aims at providing teachers with tools to help them connect and communicate with their students and parents. Via the Edmodo app or website, teachers can share content, texts, videos, homework and assignments with their students online. Online tools to help teachers administrate their classes have recently grown in popularity – they are known as Learning Management Systems (LMSs).
How to get started
You and your students can use Edmodo both in its desktop version and the App, available for Android and iOs.
Before creating classes on Edmodo, teachers need to create an account, which can be connected to their existing accounts from other service providers (outlook, Google, Facebook). The information from these other accounts is not shared with students or parents.
One of the greatest advantages of Edmodo is that students and parents do not need to share their personal information or email addresses to create an account. All they need to do is to enter their name, surname, create a password and enter the class code, which should be provided by the teacher. This code is automatically generated by Edmodo when you create a new group.
With your account, you can create groups and invite students and parents to join. In the groups, you can share resources, photos and articles, which will be seen by your students in a newsfeed format. You can also send and receive private messages and create folders, where students can upload assignments. All media shared with the group is automatically stored in a section called My Library.
Benefits of using an online educational environment
Establishing the use of an LMS with learners can bring lots of benefits to the classroom and positively impact on students’ learning. Some of the benefits are:
Keeping learners motivated: establishing an online community and providing students with chances to use their English outside the classroom may be a contributing factor when it comes to engagement and motivation. It fosters sense of belonging and helps learners keep track of what is happening in the lessons, even if they miss a lesson.
Providing individual feedback: using an online environment may provide the teacher with more opportunities to give personalized feedback on students’ production. It might also help the teacher to provide individual support and make extra resources and activities available to learners. It is important, however, to negotiate with students when you will be available to provide feedback or answer questions online.
Encouraging collaboration amongst learners: an online environment can foster group cohesiveness by enabling learners to interact outside the classroom in a safe educational environment which is mediated by the teacher.
Bringing students’ contributions to the classroom: instead of devising tasks and activities by themselves, teachers can count on students’ contributions and ask them to post ideas, videos, images, opinions and questions before the lesson starts. These contributions can be used by the teacher in the lesson planning process, thus contributing to a more learner-focussed lesson.
Keeping things green: using an online environment can help you keep your classroom paper-free, or at least reduce the amount of photocopies / handouts used in the lesson. Depending on your school policy, you can make texts, handouts and activities available through Edmodo and ask learners to access them through their mobile devices.
Other Learning Management Systems
There are several other LMSs available and free of charge. Find some suggestions below:
Andreia Zakime is an Academic Coordinator at Cultura Inglesa São Paulo and one of the co-founders of What is ELT?