How will I manage all these Edmodo groups!? After SCASL13, I find my sidebar of groups (ones I’ve joined) to be quite full. SCASL asked presenters to create an Edmodo group for conference sessions this year, and now that I’ve opted to join those conference session groups, I have to click “show all” to find ones I want to revisit. As I ponder this, I wonder how I will manage it? Let me tell you how. Now that I have a working understanding of the groups, once I decide there will be no more interactions to extend my learning, and I have taken the resources offered, I’ll leave that group.
Edmodo at first
My first experience with Edmodo came maybe 18 months ago. I read of the new “Facebook-like” app several years ago. It began in September 2008, and by the next summer was being raved by many in my PLN as the be all end all classroom app. I signed on for an account, but could not wrap my head around how I could use it in my teaching context. Afterall, I am a librarian, and every class in school is “my class.” Being in a school with 2600+ students, it seemed a bit overwhelming to begin promoting a code to join the library. I seriously believed my colibrarian and I would be overwhelmed with sheer numbers.
One more thing?
Don’t get me wrong, I manage other online spaces pretty well. In some I’m a lurker, others I’m an active participant, and even others I’ve created a spaced and actively recruited members. Edmodo to me seemed like one more place to navigate and manage, and just another option. It would add to my already too full plate. So while I could see the beauty of it, it was just one more thing to add to my teacher toolbox, one I didn’t have a lot of time for. Over the last few years I’ve promoted its use to my faculty, and I know of several who with my encouragement among other sources, actually jumped right into using Edmodo with their classes. Successfully. I even felt a little smug that I (essentially a non user) had convinced others to give it a try.
SC Edtech used it for virtual handouts and more
My first real experience with using Edmodo in a professional sense came from SCEdtech in the fall of 2012. The organizers asked us to create a group for our sessions, as that would be the conference endorsed way to digitally share online handouts. Dutifully as a presenter, I created my space, uploaded my links, presentation powerpoint, and digital handout. But I confess I never even looked back at it. The chatter about the conference was that even if you missed a session or had a session conflict, you could still get to the resources same day. I totally missed the part of interacting live with participants and having a back-channel happen in an “edmodo room,” but I did know some were exclaiming the virtues of it. I did keep getting notifications of new members. I never even looked back at it or even tried to interact with the group. Never took the opportunity to exchange ideas, interact, or crowdsource new and better to build on the foundation I lay in my session. I was too busy for Edmodo, and so just took a passing interest that eventually turned into indifference and disinterest. I even eventually deleted that group (horrors!) when the chatter died down, roughly four weeks or so after SC Edtech 2012. (Truthfully I wanted to forget it as I had issues with connectivity in the session, making me think it was sub par to my standard, and I had overwritten the absolute latest version of my presentation fifteen minutes before time. I couldn’t even use the pres in Edmodo, as it was a far cry from the one I had majorly tweaked and updated the night before. I really wanted to FORGET it forever, despite kind words from attendees and follow up emails. Maybe they didn’t understand the interaction feature of Edmodo either, so I wasn’t alone. But maybe-and probably more likely-they saw I wasn’t using the space that way either.)
Glad to be done and leaving!
I had to leave the conference early, right after my presentation that fateful day, as our family had lost a loved one, and so I drove away to be with them, which would really help me forget. I still cringe inwardly when I think of SC Edtech 2012. But I will probably be back in 2013.
Fast-forward to SCASL 2013
Jennifer Tazerouti, aka “AuntieLibrarian,” and current SCASL Information Technology Committee Chair convinced the SCASL Board to go the route of Edmodo for our conference handouts this year. Sigh. Here we go again! So I reacquainted myself with Edmodo, tweaking my space some. I decided I really needed to understand it better, so worked to develop my profile. I found and joined some communities, created a badge for my session attendees (#fail since teachers can’t award teachers badges), and waited for interaction to begin. I also selected a few sessions (groups) from SCASL13 to join. Hey, I’m not 100% sure it was her brainstorm, but I am 100% sure who made me feel comfortable using it.
And then the light came on!
Since I had signed up to attend Keith Curry Lance’s preconference session, I joined his group too. Later I found out this was his first experience with Edmodo. But I must say, he hit the ground running. He modeled for me a professional use of Edmodo as it should be–sharing his presentation materials, links, and most importantly discussion and pushback on my own thinking as we interacted with him and other session attendees in his group space. He posted all his session presentations (preconference, break-out session, and keynote) in this space. This confused some initially since the group was titled Preconference, but it didn’t take long for most to forgive that issue and plow right into asking questions and engaging in virtual conversations around his topics.
So now I have a whole new appreciation for this school-friendly tool, and even how i can use it professionally as well as with students. I’m going to create some more groups and get some students interacting in it too! It IS a great thing. Hey, why not connect with me there??
So now I want you to wow me with how you have used it. Do tell.
- Edmodo Sign-up Page image came from http://middleschool.wiki.lovett.org
- SC Edtech Logo - http://www.scaet.org/edtech/2012/
- Jennifer Tazerouti and Dr. Keith Curry Lance – SCASL13 Confernece Set http://www.flickr.com/photos/scasl/sets/72157632903007213/
- Facebook Like Button – via FlickrCC http://www.flickr.com/photos/18090920@N07/5684115572
- My Edmodo Profile Screenshot (right from my desktop)