This week, we are focusing on ISTE Coaching Standard 3 Indicator G: Using digital communication tools to communicate locally and globally with parents, peers, and the larger community. Instead of finding a brand new shiny tech tool, I thought that I might dust off one of the ones I use already and see if it can apply to this standard. So let me begin by telling you how I have used it in the past and then follow up with how I can use it in the future.

Learned Helplessness

In my classroom, I got a lot of excuses like: I didn’t write down the homework, so I didn’t know what to do. I forgot my book at school. I didn’t have so and so’s number to work on our project. I wasn’t home to work on my project with so and so. And every time, I replied, “Did you try to solve the problem?” Usually they gave me a blank stare. Then I found Edmodo. Edmodo was a huge solution chamber created for the students to solve their problems. It was really helpful for me as well, because I wasn’t in charge of all of the information- they were.

How I Used Edmodo in My Class

Everyday, I had a student take a picture of the homework and upload it to the site. I posted digital copies of all our work books and links to audio readings of our chapter books. If students were stuck on a topic, I usually posted videos to help them and trained students to post videos that they found helpful. Students used the interface to schedule meet ups or share tips with each other. As far as creativity, the students got to create their own avatar and post about their vacations and share photos with the class. These resources seemed to help the students overcome most of their issues, when they used it. So this is how I have used Edmodo for the last few years. It has been a great tool at getting my students to be self-directed learners.

This is an example of my class folders in Edmodo for the students to click on to find information.

I have done pretty well at using this collaboration tool locally (in my classroom), but can I go globally? Let’s find out.

Global Classrooms

As an extension of the more commonly used term of digital citizenship, global citizenship is about conversations and connections that will help students and teachers collaborate on shared outcomes. (Lindsay, 2019) Teachers can connect with each other through PLN’s (Professional Learning Networks) and create a special class in Edmodo that can connect your students with another classroom. I look at this like instant pen pals. Students could be researching a topic and working with a counterpart to solve a problem. Students become aware of what life is like in other countries and cultures and find out what they have in common. This is a safe way to communicate because everything is visible by the educators. In the video below, a school in Florida was able to connect with a school from Argentina, both through Edmodo and in person.

Globally connected classroom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=190&v=17mKHFki6MY

International Book Club

Teachers and Librarians can connect with other educators and read a book together. While browsing the Edmodo blog, I found out how a librarian from Alabama was connecting her students to students in France over the love of reading. Through Edmodo, the students were able to learn about each other, practice the language, and see what real-life is like in Alabama and France, bringing them closer together.

Connect with Educators through a PLN

A lot of educators connect with each other on Edmodo. It is a great way to share content and files with like-minded individuals and meet new people. Edmodo has a “search teachers” bar where you can connect with colleagues that you have met at conferences and professional development classes. My teaching team also connects our classes together so that if a student has a question or needs to be moderated, any of us can handle that.

PLC’s

I think using Edmodo as a way for you to connect with your PLC is a great idea. You can add your administrators and support staff so that communication is seamless. Files could be stored and shared in this area for grade level teams. What is extra special about Edmodo, is that you can directly connect your Microsoft Office 365 and/or Google Classroom to the platform. What if your grade level across the school district started sharing what they are doing in the classroom? Teachers could collect and curate lesson plans. How powerful could the learning be then?

Additional Highlights

Edmodo is web-based as well as an IOS/Android mobile platform.

All users have FREE access to Microsoft office. This is great for students, many of whom do not have traditional access from home. In the past year, Edmodo has undergone a redesign and they are tackling SEL (Social Emotional Learning) using an app called Discover. The goal of discover is to empower students to be mindful as they navigate socially-connected educational games, newsfeeds, and meditation activities. Another benefit of this redesign is that parents can sign up for Edmodo easily when the students sign up and teachers are now made aware of that fact. Parents can see the folders that the teacher has created for students as well as what their child is posting.

Some examples of activities you will find on Discover. https://medium.com/edmodoblog/announcing-discover-on-edmodo-e96387a6c4fc

These are just a few ways that Edmodo could be used to collaborate globally with parents, peers and the larger community. For more ideas and resources on how you can use Edmodo in your classroom, check out the Edmodo Blog.

Sources:

  • Blogger, G. (2016, August 03). How to Encourage and Model Global Citizenship in the Classroom. Retrieved from http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/global_learning/2016/07/how_to_encourage_and_model_global_citizenship_in_the_classroom.html
  • Miller, A. (2015, May 11). Avoiding Learned Helplessness. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/avoiding-learned-helplessness-andrew-miller
  • Teachers. (2019, August 13). Retrieved from https://go.edmodo.com/teachers/
  • Edmodo. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://medium.com/edmodoblog
  • /@edmodo_staff. (2019, May 22). Announcing Discover on Edmodo. Retrieved from https://medium.com/edmodoblog/announcing-discover-on-edmodo-e96387a6c4fc
  • Schools, O. C. (2013, October 25). OCPS | Glenridge Goes Global. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=190&v=17mKHFki6MY
  • ISTE Standards for Coaches. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.iste.org/standards/for-coaches