I’m too old to be a geek. Seriously. I’ve been teaching longer than most of today’s geek have been alive. I could easily be the geek’s mom (actually, I am the mom to 2 geeks). I achieved my geek status because of two things: iPads and Edmodo.
I wasn’t asked if I wanted to be in my district’s iPad pilot program, I was just put in it. I wasn’t too happy about it, especially since I got in trouble for missing the first meeting, which was held while I was cruising in Alaska over summer vacation. But I was game. I knew that the students would love it, and I could only use my double dice and other games for so long to keep them engaged. To say that I was overwhelmed with the iPads was putting it mildly. I was in survival mode, and I planned to stay there until this pilot program was over.
Out of all the stuff we were supposed to do with the iPads, and there was a lot, I decided that I would pick one, and only one, and I would get good at it. In fact, I would be the best at it – the expert, the go-to person. I picked Edmodo. I picked Edmodo because I was tired of waiting in line to make copies and struggling to have enough copy paper. Using Edmodo meant that I didn’t need copies. That’s it. That’s the real reason I decided to go for it with Edmodo.
It didn’t take long for me to see that I made the right decision. Sure, I stopped making 150 copies of everything. But I also streamlined my assessment strategy but using Edmodo quizzes. I could easily assess students on a daily basis, and they would get IMMEDIATE feedback. I could, with laser-like accuracy, determine where a student’s understanding was strong and where it needed some attention. I spend more time working with students on the topics they need help in exactly when they need the help. I address misconceptions and misunderstandings as they occur and not a day or a week later, as I used to do in the past.
The time I spent grading decreased significantly (my family claims it’s decreased by at least 70%). Homework became less a chore for me and more an opportunity to take the pulse of each of my students’ comprehension and mastery of individual concepts.
Saving time was one thing – and it was a big one. What was incredibly important – maybe more important than saving time – was that I was able to take a peek into my students’ brains. In real time I could see what I needed to do to help a student learn. Before Edmodo I would have said this was impossible. Now I want to share it with everyone.
One a daily basis I find new and exciting tools that are in Edmodo. I like being able to interact with my students when I have the day off. They are convinced that I can see what they have on their screen at every moment since I frequently drop in on them via messaging when I am not at school. I like being able to schedule quizzes and announcements in advance. I like being able to put links to my video lectures and to the note taking guides I have developed. I like being able to see their interactions with one another on a thought-provoking question that I have posed or a challenging problem.
Mostly though, I like Edmodo. I am the go-to person in my district. And I love being that geek.