Over the last few years there has been a proliferation of learning management systems. Edmodo, Schoology, Moodle, Canvas, Blackboard, Docebo…and that is just a handful! Some are free, some paid, each seems to offer very similar features so when you begin to use them it can be incredibly difficult to choose between them.
I have used several of these over the years now, and have found myself coming back again and again to Edmodo – the benefits to the teaching and learning in my classroom are just to significant to ignore. Here is why I will continue recommending Edmodo to teachers and schools:
1. Works with children of all ages
Part of the reason for this, I believe, is that I am predominantly a primary school teacher. Edmodo can be used with 5 year olds as easily as with 12 year olds, and it’s features are advanced enough to cope with demands of high school students as well. I have used it with students up to 14 years olds, but other teachers, such as Bianca Hewes, have used it with senior high school students with great success. This allows Edmodo to be a whole school solution, no matter whether it is a primary, secondary, or P-12 setting.
2. Easy for ‘non-tech’ staff and parents
In every school I have worked in there are a large number of staff and parents who ‘don’t do’ technology. Edmodo is the only LMS I have found that has been taken on by these teachers and parents enthusiastically. Because Edmodo is clear and relatively intuitive to use, most people can use it’s basic features with little training. After a couple of short ‘techie brekkie’ sessions, I found that even the most hesitant staff began to use some of the more advanced features of Edmodo, buoyed by the fact that it was easy to follow, and any mistakes could easily be reversed. This ease of use meant that it is easily adopted as a school-level.
3. All of the tools I need, none of the tools I don’t
As a classroom teacher, there are certain tools I need and requirements I have – collaborative spaces, privacy for student safety, ability to easy receive and provide feedback on student work. Other features are added bonuses, such as badges, storing resources and good tech support. There are lots of features, however, that I don’t need. Plugins, developer tools and the ability to personalise the code are great for universities, but not for a school wanting an easy-to-implement system. Edmodo gives me and the teachers I work with access to all of the tools I need, without giving me a headache trying to work around unnecessary, university based tools.
4. Works across platforms
Uploading student work from the iPad to Edmodo was a nightmare a couple of years ago, but with the updates over the last two years it is now a breeze. Students can upload their work on any device, and I can view it and provide feedback whether I am at school on my Mac, at home on my PC or on the road on my iPad. It doesn’t matter if my school is BYOD, or if we choose to change hardware in the next year or two, all of our information we remain on Edmodo, despite our individual or school-based technology choices.
5. Parents love it
I have had more parents connect to their child’s Edmodo account than with any other platform. Edmodo makes it ridiculously easy for parents to only access the information that they want to see: feedback on their child’s work, whether their child is submitting work and any communications from the teacher. There is no superfluous information and nothing that will waste parents time. In thirty seconds they can check how their child is going and any relevant classroom information, rather than having to go searching for it throughout pages of irrelevant information.