Edmodo - Great tool for collaborative online learning
Updated February 13, 2014

Edmodo - Great tool for collaborative online learning

Amanda Sharpe | TrustRadius Reviewer
Score 9 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User

Software Version

District Subdomain limited

Overall Satisfaction

The use of Edmodo at my two junior high schools is variable, and has changed over time. Over the last two years, Edmodo use had spread across all departments and discplines, and roughly 40% of teachers were using Edmodo to one degree or another with their classes. Many teachers used Edmodo simply as a way to communicate with students and parents regarding upcoming assignments, due dates, and class activities using the calendar feature. Students were using the backpack feature to store documents, because our district shared drives were not accessible off campus, and Edmodo allowed them to store files at school and access them at home. Edmodo use was encouraged by the administration, but not required, and many teachers simply did not use it at all. On the other extreme, some teachers used Edmodo extensively, to conduct class discussions, share content with students, assign and track student work, and even to grade and share grades. Those teachers who were using Edmodo more as a way to facilitate online discussion and interaction, or to allow groups to work together online in a safe forum, are still using Edmodo for those purposes.

This year, however, much of that has changed because the district implemented a new learning management system that is actually integrated with our grading platform. Use of Edmodo has gone down dramatically as a result, as the new system has become the default for teachers to post assignments and calendar dates to classes and parents.
  • Edmodo does a great job of providing an online forum for engaging students in collaboration, sharing, and discussion, especially for project based learning. The moderated discussion options allow teachers to give students leeway to interact with each other, while also providing them with the tools needed to keep discussions relevant and appropriate, and to teach students digital literacy and netiquette.
  • Edmodo is an excellent tool for connecting teachers to other teachers around the world using the tool. It is the only truly international learning management environment that allows teachers to create and join groups based on common interests, answer each others' questions, and share resources.
  • If you are not currently using another learning management system, Edmodo is a good solution for managing on online class environment. It is free to use, and if you register a district subdomain, you can very closely control teacher and student accounts and maintain a safe, respectful environment for online work and collaboration.
  • One limitation we found with Edmodo, especially for those of us who were truly using it to manage our class environments, was that it did not integrate with our student information system (SIS). This meant that all student registration and class creation had to be done by teachers, instead of pulling automatically from the SIS. The labor-intensive nature of this prevented many busy teachers from even giving Edmodo a chance. Being able to pull information from the SIS into Edmodo would have been invaluable.
  • Another limitation was the gradebook, which also was not compatible our existing gradebook. Although Edmodo allows you to export your gradebook as an excel file, it does not provide a mechanism for importing your grades directly into your other grading software.
  • Over the first two years of use, Edmodo significantly increased the number of teachers who had an online presence for their class, thus increasing communication with both students and parents, and giving students more tools with which to take responsibility and ownership of their own learning.
  • Use of Edmodo gives students valuable experience and education in using a social media-type platform, but in a supervised way, which better prepares them to be informed and educated digital citizens when they use other, unsupervised social media such as facebook.
  • Use of Edmodo increased teacher collaboration across different classrooms and disciplines, including resource sharing, online discussion, and training.
  • schoolloop
Unlike School Loop, Edmodo is completely free to use, which is why we initially went with Edmodo. School Loop, however, ended up winning out once the district adopted it formally, because of its superior integrating of gradebook, class creation, and student/teacher registration with our existing SIS (Q), and its parent communication and updating tools, which are entirely missing from Edmodo. Edmodo is still a better platform for the online facilitation of project based learning, however, which is why some of our teachers continue to use it alongside School Loop.
I have an established club at one of my sites that has been using Edmodo for years as their primary method of communication and decision making between meetings, and I do not want to disrupt that pattern and lose my access to former students still enrolled in the group.
Edmodo is best implemented after teachers have been trained in the proper use of the product. We had a couple of teachers register their entire classes before learning enough about how to manage their classes and class discussions safely, and because of that they did not put the proper safeguards in place to moderate and control discussion, nor did they invest time in training their students in proper use or online etiquette. This resulted in some very inappropriate discussions being posted by students the very first evening, which scared the teacher off from ever using Edmodo again.

When student registration is done in a supervised manner, such as in the computer lab or library, so that teachers can make sure that students are registering with their real names, and on the district subdomain (to guarantee that the district admin will have control over their accounts), and they are immediately trained in online communication etiquette in a moderated online class environment, Edmodo can be a very valuable learning tool.