How Edmodo helped me return to school when I hadn’t returned to school.

This year didn’t start out the best for me, or my staff and students. IIMG_7524 sustained a back injury during the school break which didn’t allow me to return to work on day one, or day 2-16!

My staff had to hold fort and began the year well, which is always one of the most hectic and stressful times of year. Then, and reports time.

For my students though, especially my senior furniture students, not having me return day one left them a little lost in their process. They ended the last school year researching and designing their Major Project for their final year of school. They were turning in their research and planning to me last year via Edmodo, so I knew where they were headed, but new discussions were needed at the start of this year to ensure they were on track.

So my advice to my staff, and the teacher who would be looking after my seniors especially, was to make sure that the students got onto Edmodo and ask me questions if they had any and I would check in when I could. I would check their work, download attached SketchUp, Excel or Word files, look over them and reply with my advice. I had a few students who relished this connection and made the most of it. This felt good that I was able to help keep them on track.

On a few occasions I managed to log on while my classes were happening and my students got to ask me questions like I was right there with them. One occasion was on my iPhone while waiting to see the Dr. Thankyou Edmodo.

When I eventually returned to school, I was able to continue conversations with my students that were recent, rather than months old.

I know that some teachers don’t want to be available to their students 24/7.

Connecting with your students via Edmodo doesn’t mean that you are available 24/7. But it does provide the opportunity for students to ask questions when they think of them, especially if they have the app. It also gives you the opportunity to pose questions to your students when you think of them, rather than waiting till the next class. In my school, we don’t see the same students every day, so it may be days between lessons. That’s plenty of time for that bright-spark question to disappear.

Do you use Edmodo with your students to maintain a connection or just “in class”?

MrB

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Whether to use online learning or not!

  Working & teaching in today’s tech-centred world can be both daunting & rewarding. The challenge facing us as educators is “how can we harness our students ‘natural’ affinity with technology, especially mobile tech?”

It’s a generalisation, but our students do love to use information technologies. They’ve grown up with the immediacy of access to information & the feedback that comes with it. So if you do choose to introduce online learning into your classrooms you need to ensure that you keep in touch with it yourself. If your students are submitting work to you via an online LMS (Learning Management System), do your absolute best to provide them with feedback in as timely a manner as possible. This isn’t always easy, but make the effort. 

In addition to this immediacy issue, consider these points. 

  • Are you going to be delivering content to your students online?
  • Is it supplemental content or core content?
  • Is it info to get them thinking?
  • Will you include links to other sources?
  • Is the content designed to be self-paced or are you still guiding your students through it?
  • Are students going to be submitting work to you online?
  • Are you giving students some freedom of choice in how they create & submit their work? 
  • Are you only using it in the class ‘pc lab’ or do you expect the students to access it ‘at home’?
  • Do students need a pc or are you catering to mobile use as well?

These points do seem to jump around, but there is a lot to consider. You don’t have to have all of these answered before you begin, but having some idea of what you hope to achieve with online learning is beneficial for you & your students. You may have a clear plan or you may choose to go into it as an adventure with your students. It’s your choice. 

Do some research. Read what others who have already ventured into online learning have to say. There are many different points of view & different people find different levels of success. I found this article on the Advantages And Possible Limitations Of Online Learning helpful in making me think more about how I plan to use online learning. 

Happy ‘onlining’

MrB