It's EdmodoCon 2014 time! For the fourth year in a row, Edmodo is taking to cyberspace and convening tens of thousands of teachers to share thoughts, insights and tips on digital learning beginning at 7:00 am PT. The Edmodo community has grown by leaps and bounds since the company was founded in 2008. This year, Edmodo public relations representative Mariana Kosturos reports that over 42,000 attendees from 172 countries registered for the event.
You can check out the full schedule here and follow the tweets that will surely emerge (#edmodocon).
A couple of highlights include:
Storytelling: Stacy Lynn Fritz will share how teachers in Michigan and Taiwan brought their students together and developed English language skills on both side of the ocean (1:00 pm PT)
Data-Driven Differentiated Instruction: Beatrice Lopez will describe how to use data to bolster math instruction (2:45 pm PT)
TechCamp Meets Edmodo: Shellie Carson & Deanna Menchaca will describe how they built a stronger community of teachers, students and parents (4:30 pm PT)
Co founder and chief product officer, Nic Borg, will kick off the day at the bright hour of 7:00 am PT. CEO Crystal Hutter will present "Edmodie Awards" at 12:45 pm PT.
EdSurge will be popping in during the day for a few highlights and watching Twitter. Check in for more highlights!
8:10 AM (PST): 7th/8th grade English Language Arts teacher Nathan Garvin takes the crowd through the process of using Edmodo to improve student writing practices. In his list of recommendations: use Google calendars to make appointments for students to come to you to work on their writing, and award student badges randomly as needed or for completed assignments--in any subject.
8:59 AM (PST): Here's a great idea by 5th grade teacher and EdmodoCon presenter Robert Miller -- have historical figures "join" your student history groups on Edmodo. Throw in a few scientists and some literary figures, and you've hit the STEM and ELA categories, as well!
9:52 AM (PST): EdmodoCon travels down under to talk about social learning! Australian educators Monique Dalli and Jessica McCarthy recommend having kids respond to each other's posts as the rolling feed goes by. Later, you can collate these posts into a folder to be used as a comparison for what students knew at the beginning of a lesson vs. the end.
10:43 AM (PST): Miami Teacher Sheryl Place reassures educators that you don’t need tons of hardware in the classroom to use technology with students, and speaks about how important it is to “hook” students into learning. One of her strategies: start off the year by mapping out where students are from, and use it as an opportunity to get students to personally connect with technology.
11:39 AM (PST): How can educators start productive conversations with students about sensitive issues like gossip and bullying? Teacher Valerie Knauer talks about her experiences asking students to write about personal topics in “How to Foster Non-Cognitive Skills in Edmodo.”
12:51 PM (PST): Congratulations to Charleston County School District, winner of the Edmodie Awards! Chief Academic Officer Lisa Herring voices the district’s ongoing commitment to personalized learning and personalized mastery: “Here in Charleston County, we will continue to be committed not just to education, but to technology.”
1:36 PM (PST): The typical story of how teachers manage and interact with technology in the classroom is like the myth of Sisyphus. Or Tantalus. "I don't know whose fate is worse," says Steve Johnson, a Technology Specialist at Panama-Buena Vista Union School District in Bakersfield, CA, who also teaches mythology in his English Language Art classes. Teachers get tantalizing close to making tech work but something always derails the implementation--whether it's a broken lamp or poor integration with other tools.
To make technology work in the 21st century, infrastructure is key. "Edmodo is like the freeway," he says, and the drivers are students. The cars that students drive are the learning tools, and "it doesn't matter if the cars change; the infrastructure has to be there."
3:42 PM (PST): Twitter's a flurry with excitement over the Edmodo Teacher Hub. Check out the page for great ideas from fellow Edmodians. Resources include ideas for Primary School Edmodo usage and how to reach students with special needs.
6:10 PM (PST): What a day! Chicago educator Steve Dembo wrapped up the day with a message on showcasing student work and getting them invested in their own learning, whether by encouraging them to create a "twesume" (Dembo's idea for a student resume in 140 characters or less) or teaching them how to communicate properly with each other online.