A Replacement for Peel’s MyClass
For years’ the PDSB MyClass sites have been the innovate means to digitally share with students, an agenda, calendar, class notes, assignment outlines and any digital resource that one had available to them. Our MyClass sites only supported unidirectional communication, that is from teacher to students. This has worked for the last few years, as traffic on my MyClass has indicated. However, the evolving needs of students and thoughts of “flipping” my class forced my hand. I needed to search out a means for a more collaborative environment for student learning beyond the classroom. The search began and a google search provided quite literally thousands of results, however, one stood out, “Edmodo“.
Edmodo, visually it looks much like the Facebook of years past. It is clean, with a multi-pane layout. Groups that are created are displayed in a list on the left below the Teacher/Student profile picture, the centre pane was a “feed” of everything shared and on the right hand side are notifications and some what seems to be lesser important details.
Beyond, it visual appeal, setup couldn’t be more simplified. Create your account, add some details to your profile and then begin creating your classes. Class creation itself was a snap, a name for the class “8A”, a click and a class code was generated.
From there it was all in the hands, well fingertips of the students. After a 40-minute discussion with my class about my thoughts of switching from the Peel MyClass and showcase of “Edmodo” the students were super-excited, well as much as they could in the first week back to school after their 2-month summer holiday. What seemed to have them most excited was the fact that they were being given the opportunity to use something that seemed to be Facebook, a social media tool that their parents were not all that fond of.
The showcase of Edmodo and its features was actually only a small fraction of that 40-minute introduction, the main focus was the discussion around appropriate behaviour and responsible use of the site. The were quite receptive of my expectations, especially the one which stated that they would need to show positive involvement in our online classroom
I guess we will see how this change works out.