Staying in touch with the learners through Edmodo
How do you encourage your learners to stay in touch with you between sessions, especially if you only meet for two and a half hours per week? How do you present them with a menu of homework, exam questions and self study materials without busting the photocopying budget? How do you share your lesson plans, materials and PowerPoint slides with absent learners? The answer for Southend Adult Community College is to use Edmodo, “the world’s largest social learning community”. This freely available software incorporates the best features of an online learning platform and a social media forum.
Fay Stone, senior maths tutor, is piloting its use this year with her GCSE groups. Week by week, session by session, she uploads the lesson details, weblinks to practice questions and other relevant online materials as well as photos of posters and card matching exercises produced during the sessions.
Learners then access these materials for revision, homework, additional practice or, of course, for catching up on a missed session. The platform can also be used as a blog – learners can contact each other and their tutor for support, or to let off steam, re-arrange meetings – the list is endless. Fay has also linked with other maths teachers in the country to share strategies and resources.
Fay’s learners range in age from late teens to late fifties and using Edmodo has had the added benefit of encouraging some older learners to engage with ICT in a meaningful way for the first time in their lives. For younger learners, for whom Facebook and Twitter are second nature, Edmodo suits their e-based, phone hugging lifestyles. The benefit to all is undoubtedly in the way in which a platform such as this supports the students to become independent, motivated learners through the sharing of the rich diversity of maths learning materials, all personally selected by the teacher.