I actually wasn’t that impressed with Edmodo and Schoolbinder. I do think they bring some good organizational tools to the table, however, I find that most school already have these systems of posting assignments online, having teacher portals for grades, and allowing teachers to have class sites in place already. As some people have said, schoolbinder doesn’t seem to be incredibly useful without paying. And Edmodo, while more interactive, is just a school version of facebook. I think a kid would say, “Why do I need this when I already have facebook? Just make a fan page if you want to post stuff.” While I agree it is good to use media to tap into what the kids are already doing, and I especially like the technology of videos and certain math programs (ie geometer sketchpad), I know from talking to kids, facebook is already a big distraction to them when they are trying to sit down and study. The advice I have heard given to them has been, “When you are trying to study, turn off your phone and turn off your computer. You need no distractions.” I can’t say that I disagree with this.
Archive for the ‘Edmodo/Schoolbinder’ Category
I think both of these tools basically do the same thing. Edmodo’s inspiration is clearly Facebook and I echo those posts that say that their interface is slightly more elegant, although day-to-day usefulness of these kind of sites is hard to judge before you put some mileage on them. I think both could be extremely useful in the class, particular in terms of students being responsible for knowing when things are due, how to get resources if they were absent, and just having a one-stop-shop for all things logistic. Schoolbinder seems to have some connection with the NYC DOE and I’m uncertain as to how school-wide involvement is essential to the success of these types of sites. They seem to be mainly a way of communicating between student and teacher rather than filter through other institutional intermediaries.
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.