Three teachers we adore have recently mentioned Edmodo, so naturally we went prowling around. For those of you with ready access to computers and Internet in your schools, Edmodo is a real gem.

Edmodo is like a classroom version of Facebook, focused on student and school communication.

Huge thanks to Michelle K. and Judi H.—both middle school teachers—for sharing their usage ideas with us!

Here are six things you can easily do with Edmodo:

1. Send direct messages between teachers and students. Check out how Michelle (Ms. Koo) advertises a seventh grade algebra option!

2. Differentiate classwork assignments.

3. Tackle the make-up work challenge. Here’s a student reaching out to get an assignment from when he was sick, with another student responding.

4. Give individual students praise for progress and effort.

5. Post assignments. Look how Judi clearly mapped out her students’ assignments for the week.

6. And my favorite. . . encourage students to advocate for themselves. Check out this kiddo asking in advance for the Saturday School assignment so he could celebrate his birthday!

I took a personal spin through Edmodo. Here’s the official Together Teacher take:

Benefits

  • Teachers can easily post updates, reminders and links to class documents
  • Students can easily ask questions
  • The calendar for tracking events and due dates is visible to all
  • Students can see multiple upcoming events from different classes on the same calendar
  • Students can submit assignments online
  • Students can choose cool profile options
  • Built-in apps help track progress

Considerations

  • There’s a definite learning curve for teachers
  • It may be less relevant if you’re the only teacher in your school using it
  • It probably works best for students of a certain age (middle school +)
  • It’s unclear how you monitor peer-to-peer communication
  • Students need regular internet access through phone or computer

And, one final tip from Michelle:

“I recommend teaching about appropriate usages of Edmodo before turning students loose. Edmodo looks dangerously like Facebook!”

Discuss: Has anyone else tried Edmodo? What do you like and dislike?