(Note: Another blogger and a classmate of mine, Fadzaiam, responded to this with Edmodo (argument: for))
This post is going to be quite imaginative.
I will pretend to be a principal of a school that is situated in a low-income small town. My School District will not hand me funds to do half of the things I wish to accomplish in my school, so my budget is tight.
I knew my teachers needed some classroom technology to help their students with Continuum Curriculum, so I searched for freeware on the internet that my teachers could use. Amongst some of these tools, I found Edmodo. What I have to keep in mind, though, is that most of my teachers are older and not fluent in technology.
Here we go:
After signing up for a free Edmodo account (bonus), I made my way through the nooks and crannies of this software. It operates like a social network and looks almost exactly like Facebook. It also has a well-organized and simple interface. It is a hard technology to say no to, and has several good reviews. I found a website that lists 10 different reasons why it is a great product. Another site shared about how it offers peer-to-peer sharing and collaborative communities for teachers. The site is supposed to “deliver material to students, where they can’t lose it in their backpack.”
But for all of its simplicity and possibilities, I conclude that my school will not be using Edmodo. This is for a number of reasons:
1. Teaching my teachers how to use Edmodo will take time.
Most of my teachers are over the age of fifty and still use landlines. I just graduated with my Masters a couple of years ago and I’ve been using email and cell phones ever since I started my undergraduate degree. If I brought Edmodo to my teachers, I would have to instruct them how to use it. This requires an in-depth instructional seminar either in August before we start getting ready for the start of school, or a seminar in December to be ready for the second semester. But this wouldn’t be very helpful, since we run several classes that span across the whole year and starting Edmodo halfway through a class would be a disruptive transition for our students.
2. Managing this start-up will take time, as most of our teachers are old and don’t use technology.
Even if I did hold a seminar for all of our teachers and most of them became fluent in the technology, I would be swamped helping them troubleshoot problems along the way. A colleague of mine told me that some of his peers forget passwords, assignment management, and have troubles creating digital fluency amongst students.
3. Lack of computers at school and in the students’ homes.
Our school library currently has ten computers, eight of them being outdated Macs from the early 2000’s. Having classes fit into the library to do work on Edmodo online would be a headache and seriously decimate class time. As for the student at home, our community is in the low-income demographic and lots of parents don’t know how to access technology other than their smartphones. A computer is not necessary but greatly needed in order to type up and print assignments. Parent help and home access to technology are integral aspects to successful implementation of Edmodo that are missing.
To finalize, Edmodo is an interesting and facile educational tool that could easily enhance digital citizenship amongst students but in our situation it is not a possibility.
Featured Image: Samy Charnine