My aim today was to try out some new online spaces. When looking at the "32 Top Online Spaces" a couple of new online spaces came up. For example www.edmodo.com.
So lets give it a try! I logged on as a teacher, swapped American grades to NZ equivalents, and was set up in what looks like a facebook account. Straight away I could see why students would be attracted to such a sight. It was interactive with avatars, commenting and games available. From a teachers perspective, it was easy(ish) to use, once getting the different groups and pages set up... and there were some resources available to add as gadgets - although most weren't free.
From here I decided to create a small group and test out the ease of use. I chose 5, level 3, year 7&8 boys to test this on. The first thing they said? "Yay! It looks like facebook!" Within 30 seconds they had all made comments on my first post and had clicked on the links, and began discussing the Bryde whale. Perfect!
After they had explained to me what their abbreviations meant (man do I feel old!!), we moved onto the first "assignment." Straight away there was silence as they clicked on the links, opened a doc and began typing. 20 minutes later, I had four assignments logged, and they all moved onto creating their avatars. In hindsight, more of an introduction was necessary for more depth of writing.
After all the work had been "tuned in", I was able to simply click on their links and comment! One learning point was that the boys had to download their work and then load it up - they weren't able to simply attach from their drive. However, I have noticed since that there is a link button - could be interesting to explore this...
All in all however, I think this site as potential, and I am excited to use it with this group of boys to see what writing comes out of it.
Here are some examples of the work completed today, and the comments and feedforward I gave.