Edmodo: An Effective LMS for Middle School

I helped J. set up my classroom computers last night so that I was able to use them this morning. I was there until 9 o’clock and he didn’t even get back until close to midnight! Considering I knew there’d be low turnouts* this Friday, I’d put off the lab safety tests and math tests until early next week. Instead, I took advantage of the low numbers and set up the ones that did show up on Edmodo, a “Learning Management System” where students can collect badges from completing assignments. It’s also a safe way for teachers to connect with students. Some of the other schools, such as Chisasibi and Mistissini, are already using it and I’m just jumping in now!

Altogether, I managed to get about a dozen students signed up. A few of the Sec 5s even completed two assignments through CK1-12, which is a free app embedded through the Edmodo website. I taught them how to submit assignments; most of them got over 80% and some even scored perfect!

There are so many advantages to using these apps for math and science because:

  1. Students get immediate and constructive feedback after answering a question
  2. They are given an engaging way to attain mastery in a concept, at their own pace
  3. Kids love technology and as teachers, we should be utilizing it to our advantage when we’ve got the tools and resources for it
  4. I can use some of the marks for assessment without even having to mark anything! That is the biggest bonus!!!

It’s been a long week. My brain pretty much shut down in the afternoon. Sadly, my Secondary 3 students didn’t even show up. Part of me was glad I had some free time, but it makes me feel so unproductive. Even if one showed up, I would have had a blast tutoring him/her. In the end, I learned how to download more badges and revamped some after school. Might as well use school time properly, right? I’ve got a nice collection now, including:

  • You’re a Great Teacher!: For teaching a classmate without the teacher’s guidance
  • Lab Safety Expert: You have passed your lab safety test and are now allowed to participate in class labs! Congratulations!
  • The Spidey Badge: You have a unique and special way of doing things that you’re just “off-the-wall”!
  • Gaining Fast!: You have improved a lot in the past few classes!

I can’t wait to award some of the students with these. I’ll be so exciting to get this going and see what potential comes out and how they’ll bring the curriculum alive! Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 7.12.58 PM

*Fridays can be a tough day for these tiny Northern communities. This week, there was a golf tournament happening in Val D’Or, so a lot of families have left town as the week passed. Yes, it’s only the second week of school. The school population almost halves during tournaments and special events, but you learn to live with it.

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