I have been trying to write this post for weeks now. I love edmodo. In fact I would have to say using edmodo is becoming an absolutely essential tool in our year 5 classrooms. I want to try and explain some of the ways we are using edmodo in year 5 and to try and explain why I am so excited about how our students are using it. I have to admit though that edmodo being a secure online forum means I feel I cannot show you any examples. Thus making my task a hard one and one I have kept procrastinating about finishing!

Homework: In Year 5, our homework contains spelling words, maths problem solving and a thinking or research question. We give homework out on a Monday and ask for it to be back at school thirteen days later on a Thursday. This year we are posting our cover sheet into edmodo as a link, so that parents can access it. We are also posting links to Spelling city, mathletics and any other program or website we may require or recommend to our students.Using this edmodo group we pose our research questions, problems or puzzles. The intention being that students will respond to these using the forum. We also link through to primary pad or a google docs for collaborative research tasks.

What we are seeing in our homework forum: We are seeing students asking questions and students sharing ideas. Students collaborating in new ways, giving each other clues to math problems. Students assisting their friends and their peers. Students reminding each other when assignments are due and above all students reading and writing for their teachers and fellow classmates.

Reading groups: We read different novels in different terms. Our edmodo forums are sometimes optional and sometimes a homework requirement. Students can also take it in turns to ‘play’ a character from the novel or be themselves. They love this and fight for the chance to role play. This term we have three graded reading groups and our thinking questions are posted in three different edmodo forums.

What we are seeing in our reading forums: We are truly amazed at the quality of the discussions, the questioning and the length of the student’s written responses. The great thing about having three forums is that our extension students can write in depth in their own space and our students with learning needs can feel safe within their space. They are writing insightful and detailed comments.

We also have a Science and Technology group filled with links, ideas, questions and more. An Antarctic discussion group, with an ‘extra for the experts’ link to an Antarctic web-quest. Some of our students have voluntarily  joined an ‘e-book’ chat group with classes from Victoria. We have a Scratch group exploring the program scratch. A French group solving a treasure hunt, all in French.

The more I reflect on my classes learning in edmodo, the more I realise we are blurring the lines between home and school. Dissolving the idea of what can be achieved in the few hours a student is in school. We are providing ways our students can authentically connect, assist, share and guide each other. Edmodo lets our students make mistakes in private. Ask questions they may feel silly about voicing in the classroom. Send me messages about homework they might forget to ask during the day. I am constantly amazed at how much time some students are spending voluntarily reading and writing in edmodo.

As I said before I love edmodo.

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  1. I couldn’t agree more Henrietta. Our use is similar to yours, but not as extensive. We haven’t branched into maths and science on there yet. Some of our literature circle groups ahve been very active, whilst others have been almost dormant. But that’s the nature of the beast really, and I’m finding that many of my most prolific users are the students I had last year who are very comfortable with working online. I’m sure this will come with the others before long too.
    I’ve been amazed with the amount of voluntary chat between students about school stuff, and with the way they help each other. It has become the norm for students to ask questions if they’re stuck, or forgotten something, and, if I’m not on, another student will answer it for them.

    I had been intending to write a blog post on edmodo myself as it has been a real eye-opener for me. I feel as if I’ve half written it here!

  2. I LOVE this post!!

    I am so envious of what you are doing with your Year 5 students. My son is in Year 4 and does not get this positive, teacher and parent supervised online experience. It is such a shame because he is already interested in social networking, joining sites like ABC 3 and My Lego Network.

    I don’t think that teacher who nay say edmodo (or similar platforms) realise the opportunity that are missing out on to mould the way young people behave online. The government spends thousands, millions of dollars on ‘cyber safety’ programs that last 40 minutes or a day. Edmodo is free, assists learning as well as developing necessary online behaviours.

    I’m sending this to my son’s teacher – I really think he’ll give it a go with his class.

    I love the fact that you’re using it to differentiate tasks – I am planning on doing this next term with my Year 10 class using the small group feature.

    Congrats on an awesome post – it doesn’t need examples because it is SO clearly set out!

  3. Thank you Bianca and Pam for your insightful comments. You are so right about the merits of exploring social media within a controlled context. We find our year 5 students are into it precisely because it looks to them like facebook, which they are hanging out to get into. it is becoming second nature to them to think about everything they write and to consider their digital footprint every step of the way. This term some of them have also started their own blogs and we have had very little issue with incorrect spelling or grammar let alone anything inappropriate and I am sure using edmodo is helping develop these skills.

  4. Wow – great story! Mind if I link to it from the Edmodo Teacher Hub wiki at edmodoteacherhub.wikispaces.com? Looks just like the sort of story for the Primary school page.