My Edmodo / Ultranet dilemma!

The 2011 school year is now in full swing.  It feels good to be back. I’m really enjoying getting to know the bunch of students I have in the 3/4 unit this year. I feel refreshed and positive after a satisfying break.

My main goal for the first and second week of term one is to get the entire unit of 3/4 students (approx. 170 students) signed up to Edmodo. We already have a head start because most of the grade four students are still signed up from last year. So some of my spare time has been dedicated to omitting the students that have moved on and ‘tidying’ up the groups.

This year I have a larger group of Edmodo ‘experts’ across the grades that are promoting the positive aspects of Edmodo to the new students and my intention is to get these students to be the ‘teachers.’ In fact, it is already happening.

The next step is the parents! We have an information night next Tuesday 15th February and from my experience last year we should expect a rather healthy turn out. One of my favourite tweets from the @edmodo people over the summer break was that they had parent accounts active and ready to go on the site. My intention next week is to allow some keen parents (I think I have at least two or three) that are willing to sign up to Edmodo on the night with a parent account using the Smartboard so all can see the benefits. We will be promoting Edmodo as ‘the norm’, not an extra bonus for the ICT savvy.

If you are unaware of this new parent account feature, I’ve posted a link below to the Edmodo blog.

http://blog.edmodo.com/?s=parents+account+available

Now here is my little dilemma! I completely acknowledge that the Ultranet will provide all these things that I am talking about eventually. We are yet to sign parents up and our students have only recently been signed up. We have some dedicated Lead Users on our staff and I am looking forward to the next few steps of our Ultranet experience.

My question is: will the Ultranet and Edmodo be able to live in harmony at BPS?

I’d like to think they can. There are two main facts that I keep coming back to with Edmodo:

1. Edmodo adds new features regularly and they work instantly…in my experience anyway!

2. The interface is so user friendly for students. It looks like something they may have seen before (Facebook, Skype). The spaces are uncluttered and tailored to students across all year levels.

Outlook for me, my colleagues and students…

My thinking is that Edmodo could continue as a tool for instant communication between students and teachers, a place to hand in homework projects, to have ‘live’ discussion about topics, books, units of work etc. and much, much more.

The Ultranet will be the place for all other work, assessment and learning portfolios for my students.

This is me thinking out loud and I welcome comments, questions and musings.

Thanks for reading.

ULearn10…Where do I start?

So I’m sitting here at home reflecting on the past four days. I was lucky enough to attend and present at the ULearn 10 conference in Christchurch, New Zealand. This is easily the best conference I have ever attended. It is full of inspiring educators and ideas. The networking opportunities are boundless and it was also a chance to meet up with some of the tweeters I’ve been conversing with online for the past 12 months or so. I’m still thinking about the main ideas that I bring back with me after the conference. I am also interested in hearing what others are taking from the conference. It’s been great to read and hear some thoughts already from the ULearn VoiceThread I created.

Please add your own comment if you have a spare minute.

A slideshow of Edmodo musings and events by our Grade 3/4 students in 2010

Hi there,

I presented at the IWB Digital Schools Conference today at the Crown Promenade Hotel.  After the presentation I put together this PhotoPeach slideshow that details some of the examples of how students in our grade 3/4 unit have embraced Edmodo this year.  If you were at our session, these are the same examples I showed on the overhead.

Thanks for visiting!

Rick

The many uses of Edmodo in and out of a Grade 3/4 classroom. on PhotoPeach

Using Edmodo with Grade 3/4

This year I have really been pushing the use of Edmodo both in and out of the classroom as a social networking tool.  I began using it last year with a grade 5/6 class based on the advice of @mrpbps.  This year it is being utilised across an entire Grade 3/4 unit of 180 students.  In my professional development over the past 12 months or more, I have not met anybody using Edmodo with students at this young age.  I would love to hear from any that are. 

Many students are using it from home as a space to communicate with each other and their teachers.  I will attempt to post an array of interesting things that have occurred on our Edmodo space thus far in 2010.  Here is one nice little moment below.  Early this term I was struck down with a nasty virus (as most teachers can relate to) and had numerous days stuck on the couch at home.  I came back to school for a time, then was back home again.  I just couldn’t shake it.  This was a note posted as a ‘direct’ message to me from one of my grade 3 students while I was away.

keely_edmodo_3

Welcome to my blog!

Hi there,

So it’s been something on my mind for awhile.  I wanted to start writing down my thoughts and sharing some of the ideas I am trying in my classroom.  I am really inspired by lots of the professionals I have met, either within the workplace or on the WWW.  I still think I am way behind anything that my ‘friends’ are doing in their classrooms, but hopefully some of the things I’m trying are of interest to some.

Please check out my blogroll to see some of the projects I have undertaken with my students over the past few years.  I intend to take a trip down memory lane (play catch up) on this blog to describe the ideas I have implemented since 2008.

Thanks for visiting,

Rick