The education system is changing along with the development of new technologies. More and more both teachers and students want to embrace internet tools in their learning process, rather than rely on old fashioned textbooks and hand written papers. Edmodo is one of the resources they can use.
One of the most important things in the process of school learning is the good relationship between the teacher and the students, and new inventions can make that easier. Edmodo is a well made and useful platform for those teachers and student groups who want to get in touch using the internet, but not through any of the popular social networking sites.
A new user can first check whether there are any other members from the same school, but most probably, a teacher who would want to use this site together with a group of students, would have to invite them to the site. Then, a group can be created, which will be accessible only to the students who receive the code. This way, the content would not leak out of the group, and the students work, personal information and their grades will stay private. Once the group is present, the teacher can organize the groups activities by adding notifications, deadlines, and events calendar. The following step would be to add content - learning materials, videos, audio files, whatever the teacher finds appropriate to the course.
From time to time, students need to complete assignments and be assessed. Edmodo allows the teacher to send either a general assignment topic to everyone, or give different work to particular students, and then keep the record of their grades.
Much like in a traditional classroom, here the teacher has more power than the students. He or she can message each of the students, but they are unable to exchange messages between each other. The teacher can post assignments, polls and alerts, while the student's can't. Of course, the teacher is also the one who gives grades.
There is also the possibility of co-teaching, where more than one teacher prepares the course for the same group of students.
The site might seem a bit modest at first, but this is probably because it lacks all the attention drawing and time consuming gadgets we find on strictly social sites. Here, the students are supposed to focus on the materials provided by the teachers, and should be able to pay attention to the test alerts, instead of receiving dozens of irrelevant notification. The profiles are not customizable, and the main focus goes to whatever materials the users decide to add.
The base of the site is inspired by Facebook format - we have the user's or the group's portrait in the left upper corner, tool boxes and message feeds in the side columns and main content in the largest, central part. Even the color palette is very similar, so the site would not get many point for originality.
Edmodo looks like a decent site, with many useful features. Of course, the site itself will not provide the students with a wonderful course, it all depends on the teacher, and his or her choice of materials, organization, frequency of assignments and motivating the students to visit the site on a regular basis.