Remember the days when we had to code in HTML in order to create a classroom website? Remember those animated GIFs and all those crazy backgrounds? We’ve come a long way since then. Web applications have provided us with a point and click, drag and drop interface for creating websites without ever having to look at code. I personally moved to Google Sites, then Wix, and then Weebly, among others. These are all great for creating a place to share information with students and parents, however…
Today’s world demands more than a static web page of information. The web is now so much more interactive and social. We post comments on blogs we read. We share a variety of content on the web to our circles and followers. We have online, asynchronous discussions. We create social networks where we share information and multimedia, then have conversations around it.
Over the last few years, several web applications have emerged to help teachers adapt to this interactive/social web. These sites include Collaborize Classroom, Schoology, and Yacapaca. But the one that rises above the rest for me is edmodo.
Here are my justifications for choosing edmodo:
- Looks, feels, and functions just like Facebook, which we all know like the back of our hand.
- In addition to the social network tools, edmodo includes a gradebook, calendar, assessment, and assignment tool.
- The assignment tool includes an online drop box for students to submit completed work.
- Provides a closed social network that the teacher can easily manage.
- Integrates external content from sites such as Khan Academy and Glogster.
- Uber simple to use. If you know how to use Facebook, you can use edmodo.
- Absolutely free
I know there are some skeptics out there who will argue that using a free tool is a huge risk, so why bother. Well, here is the deal, edmodo is backed by millions of dollars from a variety of investors. In addition they actually have a business plan to monetize the site, but this plan will not effect users unless they need to pull in specific external content. Furthermore, in the past year they have doubled their user base from 3 million to 8 million and expanded to 85 of the country’s top 100 school districts. I truly believe that edmodo will become the dominant classroom website tool in the coming years. Check out the site now at edmodo.com and start your modern website today.
Tip: Contact edmodo to get a branded site for your school district.