Sunday, March 4, 2012

Edmodo in Elementary Library programs

Our school recently started using Edmodo in third through fifth grades. The kids love it, and the teachers are slowly buying into this program.  It takes some extra time to moderate, but there are so many good reasons to use it.  There are opportunities to post quizzes and assignments, as well as a way to share files with each other.   The kids can collaborate online, ask each other questions about homework, share Powerpoint files with each other, and so much more.  There is an online backpack where the students can store great websites and their own MS Word and Powerpoint files. 

Why am I so excited about it?  As an elementary school library media specialist, it is a little frustrating at times that I get so little time with the students.  There is so much to teach them, and Edmodo is the perfect avenue for this.  Because I want to introduce them to new cool websites and Web 2.0 apps, I setup a group for all the students to join called Media Mania.  I post assignments and videos with me teaching them how to use all of these tools, and they watch the how-to videos on their own time and work on learning these new tools outside of the media center.  Many are coming in during recess or before school to watch the videos and work on the assignments.  Since I do not give grades, they can earn badges on their Edmodo profile for completing the assignments correctly. 

In addition to creating Media Mania, we also created a group called AES Chatterbox to give the students a chance to interact online with constant guidance by our guidance counselor, myself and our principal.  After reading the article, "Social Media: It Does have a place in the Classroom," we decided to give this a test-drive for the rest of the school year to see how it goes.  Every student post is public, and there is no opportunity for instant messaging so the students are simply chatting, sharing websites, jokes, and more.  Teaching our students social networking ettiquette is the least we can do to help them prepare for a digital world of social networking around every corner.  In addition to providing this venue for chatting, we can also post websites about internet safety, cyberbullying, and more.  There are so many possibilities and we are hearing nothing but positive feedback and even more school spirit than before!!