27 June 2017

Exploring Technology Tools in the Classroom - An Article Review 2nd Edition

In the article “The Wonders of Educational Blogging: Solving Classroom Issues with Edmodo” the author, Patricia Thibaut, explains the benefits to using the social networking sites in the classroom and more specifically Edmodo. Edmodo is a site that is basically an educational version of Facebook. It is formatted the same way and provides a platform for teachers and students to interact in a safer, more educational way. The author of the article did a study with a group of students and a teacher in a sixth grade classroom. The study ended up showing the benefits of students using social networking, especially on a school safe site like Edmodo. Thibaut mentioned that students often feel that interacting on social media sites is less stressful. The students can think about their answers or arguments and have more time to contribute. It also provides an opportunity for students who do not feel comfortable participating in class to give their opinions. The author continuously reiterated the idea that while students are communicating back and forth they are given more ownership of their knowledge. Most people learn better when they are forced to explain things to others and Edmodo does this exactly this. By students making posts, creating games, etc. they are having to explain or show their knowledge in a way that becomes more than just memorizing facts. The social interactions among peers is also a huge benefit and creates a collaborative environment where students are constructing their own knowledge. Another social benefit was that students were receiving feedback from other students, whereas in a normal setting students often only receive feedback from their teachers. This created a more motivating and positive environment in the classroom.

I personally have created an Edmodo account and I played around with it, but it never went further than that. I have also created a classroom blog to use for literature circles, but it was only for a short period of time and it was limited to only guided reading time. I absolutely love the idea of students commenting back and forth, similar to the twitter chat activity completed in class. Edmodo also provides a grading system along with games teachers can use as review. There are also opportunities for students to create games for their classmates. I think this is a fantastic way for students to show their knowledge, more than just answering questions on a test. I am also always looking for ways to let those quieter students shine, especially when they often have great ideas that go unheard. This is a great tool to support those students. After reading this article, I really was excited to go and start playing around with Edmodo to test it out in my classroom this upcoming year.

Thibaut, P. (2015). Social network sites with learning purposes: Exploring new spaces for literacy and learning in the primary classroom. Australian Journal of Language & Literacy, 38(2), 83-94. doi:103157128

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