Thursday, March 31, 2011


I was immediately intrigued by this new Web 2.0 tools due to the introduction video I watched (posted above). The mention of "Social Osmosis" particularly peaked my interests. It is true that we have information coming at us from all angles in this modern age in all shapes and forms. From micro-blogging such as Twitter, to long form blogging such as this. From sound bites on the nightly news to full length documentaries and everything in between. We have no lack of information but connecting simple information to true knowledge is the perennial task of all educators. Edmodo is a tool that imitates the Facebook platform but gears it's content towards use in and outside of the classroom. It was very simple to sign up for an account and once in the platform I was triggered to complete a few simple tasks in creating my virtual space within Edmodo.

This program seems geared towards K-12 education and it may be a great entry into the social space for younger students who looks up to their big brothers and sisters that are constantly using Facebook. It is a safe space and there was not any evidence of advertising innappropriate or otherwise. Once I created my classroom I was given a code to share with my students, when the student enters the code he or she is "enrolled" in my class. From there I can easily post an update like "Don't forget lecture is at 3:00PM tomorrow" or "Does anyone have any questions about today's assignment?" By using a platform that many students are already comfortable with we can engage them on their level. The comfortability factor may motivate some students who are normally shy to speak up and have their (virtual) voice heard. As an instructor in higher education I believe my students have the maturity to engage on adult geared platforms like Twitter and Facebook but this would be excellent for the younger student. While it may be some time before these elements are successfully integrated with online platforms in the meantime services like this can serve as powerful supplements. Any opportunity to share relative information with the speed, efficiency and richness that our students are used to in their personal lives will provide a deeper connection to the material we are offering. Presenting those traits through a platform that they are already familiar with is an easy choice.

Recommended for: Instructors looking for an education-based alternative to facebook, introducing younger students to social platforms, sharing assignments/media/deadlines with students
Bonus: I really enjoyed this video featuring student responses to a year using Edmodo.

BP1_Welcome to my blog

Above you will find a video from author Daniel Pink. With his New York Times Best Selling "A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future" he detailed with humor, science, and real world application how innovation and creative thinking will play larger roles in the future of our economy. As an educator I have long seen the value of these skills but there has been a significant gap in connecting our passions with our professions, our visions with our vocations. It is my goal to bridge that gap and to examine the different ways to motivate my students in an increasingly changing world. All too often we brush off a new technology as simply a "new toy". The reality is that the majority of our advances involve communications in one form or another. The ability to contribute and connect has defined the paradigm of the early 21st century.

This blog will serve as not only my way of sharing some specific techniques I have found effective with my students but also a platform for other educators to share their experience and expertise. We are no longer encumbered by the restraints and hierarchies of traditional media. Through the use of Web 2.0 tools we have the ability to connect, to share ideas and in a way the playing field has been level by the value of what we say and not the person saying it. These are exciting times and I look forward to walking this cutting edge with you all. Please take a moment to leave a comment below. I would love to launch this blog with a lively discussion.

How have you motivated your students through the use of technology?

Daniel Pink - "A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future" link