Edmodo is a social network for students, teachers, parents, and schools. It can be used to share assignments and grades, host discussions and post videos, schedule appointments, and create and take polls. It was created by two school district IT professionals who knew that schools typically blocked social networking sites. The two founders, Nic Borg and Jeff O’Hara, created Edmodo in 2008 to adapt a connecting and sharing tool to the security and privacy needs of a school environment. (Here’s their story.) Since then, Edmodo has become widely used with more than 21 million registered users as of mid 2013. Edmodo is widely referred to as “Facebook for schools.”
Teachers use the platform to communicate with students, assign work, start group discussions, submit grades, administer polls, post resources, and create events. By creating specific classes, each with a unique code that lets students join a particular Edmodo group, teachers can filter what information they share with each class. (In addition, students need not enter an email address to create an Edmodo account.) Posting assignments, events, or sharing materials with a class is similar to updating one’s status on Facebook, with the additional step of selecting which class will get to see the post.
For students, Edmodo is a place to communicate with their whole class and teachers. Student can also use the platform to generate their own discussions, ask questions about assignments or topics, turn in work, and keep track of their schedule. Students can also set their profile to allow text messages and alerts when assignments are due or when teachers or classmates make posts.
Parents can track communications between their students and teachers through Edmodo. They can also monitor work submitted by their student or that has gone missing, as well as their student’s grades. Edmodo aims to protect students’ privacy by allow parents to see only their own child’s activities--not the activities of other students.
Edmodo accounts are free for all users. It makes its API available to developers and hosts featured developers on its site. The Edmodo store offers more than 100 apps that users can integrate with their account. The apps are mostly free but can be as expensive as $10 apiece.
Edmodo runs on any Internet browser and via the Edmodo mobile app.
The company runs a day-long free webinar for teachers every year during the summer called EdmodoCon. It began in 2011.
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