This program reminds me of blackboard. It’s a great way to communicate with students about class assignments and to keep things organized. The complete versions are also inexpensive which is a plus. The site itself is also organized very well. I found it very easy to navigate through the different tools it offers and to understand how to setup my own course. The grading feature is really good as well. I think it is really great for organization and for students to see how they are doing in their courses. The coolest feature I found was the text or email reminder feature. Students can setup their accounts to receive texts or email reminders about upcoming assignments or exams. I think that could be really helpful for students to stay on top of things and since adolescents don’t go anywhere without their phone (usually with internet access) and spend a great deal of time on a computer, it would be hard for them to miss the message. My only concern with this type of site is the issue of equal access. What happens to students who don’t have a computer or internet access as home? It seems like every home has a computer nowadays but schools that serve students of low-income families are likely to find that many students do not have internet or technology access at home.
Edmodo seems like a useful site as well. Like Schoolbinder, it has a calendar, groups, and grading. However, the services Edmodo provides are free which is a plus. I found this site to be a little more complicated to navigate and understand how to use compared to the simplicity of Schoolbinder. It looks a lot like Facebook which I don’t like. Maybe it was designed that way to motivate students to want to use it but I still like the design of Schoolbinder better. I really like that you can connect to teachers from all around on Schoolbinder. Can students also connect in that manner? That could be a little problematic since students may use it as a socializing site as well. Overall, Edmodo offers great resources. I think this site is also connected to an extensive network which is really useful for teachers.