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I just started using Edmodo, but love it.  It has become an extremely useful communication tool with my students.  Edmodo is a web 2.0 social networking tool for educators to use to communicate with students and parents.  Here are 10 reasons why I love it and recommend educators use it:

1.  It is free.  There is no cost for you to use it with your students or parents. There is no cost for parents or students.

2.  The interface is easy to use and works like Facebook but is easier to use.  If you, your students, and parents are used to operating Facebook, then you all can use Edmodo.  It is so easy that lower elementary students can be taught to use it.

3. There is no download required like Moodle requires.  It is accessible online anywhere you have internet access.  It is also accessible on the iPhone and Android phones.  There are free iPhone and Android Apps that you, parents and students can download.  This gives portability with Edmodo where it can be checked on the go. This portability has worked great for my students and I.  It is higher education and we don’t have access to use Moodle or Blackboard.

4.  It is private and secure.  You don’t have to worry about student content being viewable to the public, as you would with using Facebook, Twitter or other popular social networking sites.  Parents don’t have to worry about their child’s information being seen by others.  Edmodo provides account avatars that can be used instead of uploading a student’s picture.  This provides more privacy and security.  Parents can create a parent account to check their child’s activity providing another avenue for monitoring, privacy and security.  Teachers also have the option to give students access to read only assignments and posts on the message boards and disable students ability to post on the board for other students to read.  This just adds another privacy feature.  Teachers can create private secure groups that only members of that group, parents of those group members and the teacher can get access to.

5.  Edmodo has created teacher roll-out resources that the teacher can use, or edit for their use to distribute to students and parents. These include documents the teacher can download and distribute to parents or tweak according to their school, teaching discipline and Edmodo usage and then distribute to parents. I created a folder in my groups, with these resources so that they can be accessible to students and parents at any time. Edmodo created teacher roll-out resources include, “code of conduct”, “edmodo guidelines”, “sample letters to parents”, “parents and student guides” and more. I found these resources very useful and easy to tweak for my usage.

6. Edmodo gives you the option to create quizzes, polls and to upload documents such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel for students or parents. These can be completed in class or anywhere there is access to Edmodo. Quizzes can be graded quizzes or practice quizzes, true and false or give A-B-C options. I have found the polls useful for asking students and parents how useful Edmodo has been for them, and for asking them questions about other tasks I would like to offer but want to give them a choice to vote for.  Uploading documents has been extremely useful for distributing assignments, study guides, course requirements, ect.

7. Edmodo provides Webinars and resources on ideas on how to use it with your classroom. These are useful.

8. Edmodo gives you the option to create sub-groups or smaller groups within a group. These can be used very powerfully and in many ways. If you have a large class with group assignments, you can take your class group and create small groups of students into sub-groups. This is just example of how sub-groups can be used.

9. Edmodo makes posting assignments, homework assignments, due dates and web links extremely easy. I use this feature quite often. It also gives you the option to subscribe an entire group to an RSS feed from other sites. I love this feature!

10. Edmodo gives you the option to connect with other teachers and join communities with other teachers for networking and collaboration.

There are many other features that make Edmodo awesome.  These are the top 10 reasons why I love it and recommend it. I’ve worked with BlackBoard and SchoolFusion before. Edmodo is free and is much easier to use than these two other platforms. If you are required to use BlackBoard or SchoolFusion, Edmodo would be a great supplement to use in addition to those programs. Check Edmodo out, sign up and give it a try. You’ll love it!

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Beth Crumpler is the founder of adaptivelearnin. Beth is an educator who is passionate about platforms for adaptive learning and curriculum design. She earned her B.A. in music education from Southeastern University, M.S. in TESOL from Shenandoah University, and 42 graduate-level credits from several universities in California. Beth is an experienced teacher, curriculum writer, blogger, and elearning course developer in the fields of ESL and music education. She has written learning content for several major educational companies/institutions. Her strongest asset is in using needs analysis and thinking creatively to develop adaptive educational materials both through kinesthetic hands-on and technological platforms to meet the diverse learning needs of students regardless of age, learning need and content area. Beth has taught students of many linguistic, cultural, and socio-economic backgrounds. She loves her work, loves to bring positive humor to it whenever possible, and is seriously dedicated to the profession. Beth's experiences teaching for numerous content areas, diverse populations, and a wide range of age groups is what propelled her with the vision to create adaptivelearnin. Her vision has been to support educators in finding resources which support learning through modified and targeted experiences so that all students receive individualized learning to facilitate their educational growth needs. Adaptivelearnin is a place where educators can find digital and hands-on adaptive learning resources for planning and instructional purposes. Beth does freelance curriculum writing, article writing/blogging, and online course development. For inquires about hiring Beth for work, please email her at Beth@adaptivelearnin.com. Go to http://adaptivelearnin.com/beth-crumpler-publications to check out published articles Beth has written. Opinions are her own and are not those of her employer, or previous employers.

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