Tentative steps towards a digital classroom update Week 4.2

This blog post is just a quick update on my experiences with Edmodo, Quizlet, Popplet and Wikis in my classroom.

So, how did Edmodo go?

For some unknown reason my initial Edmodo class just disappeared! This was possibly due to it being registered with my school’s email address or perhaps even my own digital stupidity. Despite this minor setback, I was still able to access my students’ posts through my work email. I had asked my students to find a video on TED.com that interested them, then write and post a summary of the main points on Edmodo for the rest of the class. I am very interested to see how Edmodo can encourage learner autonomy and collaboration. My plan was to ask them to use their phones to access Edmodo in class and then summarise the longest summary but instead, I had to print of the summaries. I have since set up new Edmodo groups with all my adult classes with my personal email address and everything seems to be working now.

Next thing to try

We have been using Moodle as a VLE on my distance learning course and I would like to make use of Edmodo in a similar way for a blended learning experience. One affordance of some VLEs is synchronous CMC, which could be used in class to encourage shyer learners to participate. I would like to try starting a discussion in pairs, face to face, then invite the students to post their ideas to Edmodo. I can then display the posts on the IWB to give feedback, or the discussion could continue beyond the lesson.

Quizlet

I have also started using Quizlet with most of my classes to act as a student storage space for lexis. This has received mixed reactions, Adult classes took to it immediately, but surprisingly my teenage learners have not. I think I need to find a way to integrate it into lessons more to highlight its usefulness and give it more relevance. Quizlet generates games based on the lexis you input but it lacks a real social element, which might also explain why my younger learners are disinterested.

My learning with Quizlet, Popplet and the Wiki

Seeing as I was trying out these web 2.0 tools with my learners, I thought I might as well use them too. I have therefore set up a Quizlet set for lexis related to digital technologies and a Popplet mind map for web 2.0 tools to encourage collaboration. Our tutor has also provided a Wiki page for us to use as we please. I am unfamiliar with Wiki pages so I am trying to experiment with it as much as possible to get some experience. So far I have created a page for digital lesson ideas, a page for video and text-based content related to the course, and added links to the Popplet and Quizlet set mentioned above. From what I can tell Wikis provide a storage space for all our ideas, notes and discussions, but so far most of the interaction has taken place on Moodle. When I become more confident with Wikis and fully understand their affordances I will experiment with my learners.

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