Edmodo is a wonderful tool that helps us do a number of things such as create a paperless classroom, extend learning beyond the allotted class time, and allow us to add another element of communication with our students. To make sure that the tool is safe and secure for our students, we must be vigilant on the platform and perform some key safety measures. Please adhere to the following 8 safety and security tips.
1. Do not post Group codes publicly: It’s a good idea to distribute the Group code to your students in class. Do not provide it to them on your teacher website, a class syllabus, or any publicly accessible forum. Edmodo provides you a “Join URL” but be careful how you distribute the link. You don’t want anyone outside of your class to join.
Note: As the teacher, you have the ability to remove any members who join your Group.
2. Lock Group codes after all students have joined: Once you have accounted for all of your students in your Edmodo Group, be sure to lock the Group. This prevents other users from joining your Group without your approval (until you unlock the Group). You can lock the Group Code by selecting the “Lock Icon” to the left of the Group code. Luckily, Edmodo has initiated a new policy and will automatically lock your Groups after they have been unlocked for 14 days. If someone decides to access a group with a locked code, it will require the teacher to approve the join-group request.
Note: You can easily unlock your Group Code to generate a new Group Code and allow new members to join.
3. Monitor student posts: As a Group owner, you have complete control over your Groups. Here are a few ways to help you manage student posts:
- Set up notifications – Notifications alert you of new activity in your Groups and connections. We recommend setting up text or email Notifications to help you monitor students’ posts within your Groups. To turn your Notifications on, visit your “Account Settings” page. Some teachers find the emails or texts annoying, but it keeps teachers in the loop without having to log in constantly to the site.
- Delete / edit posts – As the Group owner, you can delete or edit any student post in the Group’s Post Stream by clicking on the small blue arrow in the top right-hand corner of the post. Note: If you want to initiate any disciplinary procedures, don’t forget to make a screenshot of the post before you delete it. Use the Snipping Tool available in Windows 7.
- Post moderation – Post moderation requires the Group owner to approve all posts and replies before they appear in the Group’s Post Stream. Post moderation can be turned on/off by clicking the gear located to the right of the Group’s name on the left side panel and selecting “Group Settings”. In the pop-up box that appears, check the box “Moderate all Posts and Replies”.
4. Use “read-only” status when needed: “Read-only” status provides a valuable bridge for students who are in the process of building appropriate digital citizenship skills. Read-only status can be managed by the teacher and allows a student to view classroom messages, submit assignments and communicate directly to his/her teacher, but does not allow the student to post to the Group or reply to Notes sent to that Group.
5. Select unique student passwords: Students should create unique student passwords. Using generic passwords (such as “password”, “Name”123 or birthdates) makes it easy for students to guess each others’ passwords. Tell students that the most secure passwords have a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. If you create accounts for your students, NEVER use the same password for every student.
Note: Passwords are case sensitive.
6. Set clear expectations: It’s important to set expectations with students about the content that is appropriate for your Edmodo class Group. At all times, you need to emphasize guidelines for posting behavior and digital etiquette. You can find sample guidelines and a sample code of conduct on Edmodo’s Teacher Rollout Resources page.
7. Teach digital citizenship: Teach your students the importance of logging off public or shared computers. When students log on, they are responsible for the posts that appear under their usernames.
8. Ask your Digital Learning Specialist for help: Clayton County Public Schools has Digital Learning Specialists that can provide shoulder-to-shoulder assistance with implementing Edmodo in your classroom.