I was part of the initial Facebook craze. I joined waaay back when it was called “The Facebook” and loved being able to connect with friends all over the country, and now, I love that I can use it to connect with family too. I have, however, been extremely wary of becoming friends with students, and have since adopted the policy of, “If you remember me when you’re 21, sure, look me up and we can be Facebook friends.” But, it would be really nice to connect with kids at home, in a way that makes sense to them, and in a way that keeps us all in the same loop.
Insert Edmodo here. This website is marketed as as “secure social learning network for teachers and students,” and looks a lot like Facebook (if you ask me). It’s really easy to sign up, it’s free, and I’m enamored. E. NAM.ORED. As far as security goes, I love this site because everything that my kids do, I can see. Any time they post, I get a notification and have to approve or deny the posting. If a student changes his/her password, I can see that too. It’s a social networking site that I can actually control, and my parents can create their own accounts as well, so that both myself and my parents can monitor what’s happening each day. Awesome.
When you get to the homepage, if you want to create an account (and I’m thinking that you might want to), click on “I’m a Teacher”, and fill out the registration form — it should take you less than 2 minutes.
After that, you’re pretty much ready to go! There are SO many amazing things you can do! I like to set up polls for kids to answer, and just to help me find out a few more things about them.
You can also create assignments for kids to do completely online. I’ve set up two groups — one for my math class, and one for my sustained silent reading class — and my reading class completes their reading logs on Edmodo. I love this — my kids are into it, the assignments are easy to grade and I’m paper-free in one class!
Like I said, awesome. In case you were wondering, YES, you can post your assignments for kids to print out if they lose them, YES, you can organize those assignments into folders, and YES, you can join adult communities to collaborate with other teachers and make “friends” with other teachers in your school and all over. Cool, don’t you think?