Blogging is another way to make your classroom paperless. This tool allows the teacher and students to showcase their work, post their thoughts, and do many other things that will eliminate paper, save time, and provide support. Currently, we support two blog sites in our district, Edmodo and Edublogs; both sharing similarities and noteworthy differences. Which one you should use depends on what you plan to achieve with your students through the use of this tool.
Let’s begin with the similarities. Sharing information with students, parents, and colleagues with ease is what we all desire to do. There is always a document or link that we feel will be helpful to students, inform parents, or add to the toolbox of another teacher. Both of these sites allow you to share links to websites, documents, photos, as well as videos. In addition to having the ability to share information with others, assessing student work and providing immediate feedback is other feature that the two platforms share. This feature also allows the students and teachers to have dialogue about lessons and assignments. Students are able to ask questions and respond back to the teacher’s comments. Because of that instant access to each other, students will begin to experience success and there will be an increase in student achievement. It is common for teachers to have reservations about using blogs with students for fear of others having access to student information or work. No need to worry, both of these sites has privacy features that will protect you students from outsiders, one more than the other.
While both sites share similarities, they differ in many ways. When using Edmodo, students’ work and posts can only be seen by group members, unless public access is granted to that post. Even once public access is granted, the person who receives the link must have an Edmodo account in order to view the post. If students wanted to share their published work with parents or family members that are not in the home, they would not be able to do so with Edmodo. However, this is possible with Edublogs. Edublogs gives each student their own page to showcase their work and share what they have learned. The work can then be shared with others openly or be accessed with a password. Unfortunately, with Edmodo parents do not have access to the work, even once they have created a parent account. The last notable difference I want to point out is the quiz and assignment feature that is available with Edmodo. Teachers can create quizzes/tests and assignments for students and provide grades for those assessments. Once the item is graded, it goes to the Edmodo grade book and students and parents are notified that a grade has been posted. After logging into their Edmodo account, they will be able to see the grade and whatever comments were made about the quiz or an assignment. What an awesome feature!!!!
So how about it, are you ready to step in the 21st century and go paperless? Edmodo and Edublogs are the two tools to make that happen in your classroom. It will help you to save trees, toner, time, and keep everything organized. Just start small with simple posts, and I’m sure that after a couple of months you will be checking out new features.