For the teacher who wants to go solo or is an early adopter in a school of district, Edmodo is FREE and easy to use. The Edmodo Teacher manual, available under the Help section, provides step by step instructions for the most basic tasks. Help is also available for students. In addition to the Help section, there are Professional Development and special interest groups available for teachers to join so asking questions and staying current is almost automatic.
Another great feature of Edmodo is that parents can be provided an account that enables them to keep up with what their child is doing and how he or she is progressing in class. Although other systems may also provide this functionality, keep in mind that Edmodo is using a Social Networking style interface rather than that of a typical Learning Management System.
One of my favorite settings is Notifications! Properly setting up Notifications allows you to receive a text or email message for alerts, new posts, assignments, and polls when they are created. This prevents the need to constantly login and check for new information.
The addition of integrated apps (both FREE and for nominal fees) make Edmodo a complete package that is definitely worth exploring. As with any new adoption, do not feel like you have to do it all at once. Start simply and slowing and get comfortable with each feature before moving on to the next. While on the subject of apps, yes, there is an app for that and it is great! Just search for it in the iPad App Store or follow the link directly from the login screen for Edmodo.
If you are new to Edmodo, check out the tutorial below to get started with your first class experience and then let me know what you think.
The next blog post will be on using the Gradebook with Edmodo.