6 April 2011

Connecting with the Classroom

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Connecting and collaborating with a classroom - even outside class time - has never been as simple as today. Among the different tools available, I'd like to point out four  platforms which are like micro-social networks and are simple to use: Edmodo, Wiggio (more here), diipo and schoology.

You can create groups, share files, keep track of assignments and grades, send messages and even create polls for group participants.

Edmodo, in particular, gives you the facility of creating a library for yourself and individual libraries for groups. This is helpful as you can easily drop documents, files and multi-media into the libraries. Another characteristic of Edmodo is that it is simple to keep in touch with both students and colleagues, either with direct messages or creating groups. For teachers, by creating a group, you can carry out informal PD (professional development) by sharing sites and ideas.

One aspect that I particularly like is how students sign up individually to Edmodo - all you need to do is set up a group and give your learners the code for them to join. This saves teachers time while giving learners a certain degree of autonomy and a sense of possession/authorship of their Edmodo account.

Many institutions still ban Facebook; personally I prefer connecting with my classrooms through a Learning Management System as it creates a personal space of communication and more privacy for students than Facebook. This privacy from a broader social network also keeps them more focused on tasks which are set in the LMS.




















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