Thursday, September 6, 2012
Edmodo's Healing Power
I enthusiastically rolled out Edmodo to my team of 80 6th graders on week 2 of school, just over a week ago. This is year 2 of Edmodo, by the way! The kids are embracing it and working toward beginning badges. Many have the Edmodo app on their phones and are getting started posting and replying. We're working on basic posting guidelines and will roll out our grammar pact next week.
One of our students posted on Edmodo this past weekend that he was depressed. When another student asked why, he responded that his father had just passed away. One of my colleagues who saw the post before the rest of us immediately emailed the counselor and then texted us. (We get Edmodo notifications to our phones so we see comments in real time and can monitor them.) All team teachers responded to this student with words of sympathy within a few minutes. But then the real power kicked in: comments from other students started flooding in. It was truly heartwarming to see the support for this student in what is one of the hardest things to experience in one's lifetime--losing a parent.
How does one successfully implement Edmodo in a class, team, or group? The main prerequisite is commitment by the teacher(s) to posting, monitoring and taking part in the discussions, learning, and fun of Edmodo. Edmodo can build community and create opportunities for kids to grow, share, and lead! Some of our students right now are working hard on badges and showing leadership in that department. They will be known for that skill. Others are leading in posting, replying to others, and supporting our growing Edmodo community. That is just the beginning!
I started a new group called Quotespiration this week that team students can join with a code. Those interested in sharing/disussing wisdom and humor through quotes now have a specific forum. We will start off with a couple of quotes about loss and friendship and see where we end up going from there.
Our student who lost his father has posted numerous times about his thoughts, his sadness, and his gratitude toward his fellow teammates and teachers. In fact he has made almost 60 posts and replies in only 1 week. He is reaching out and finding support. His mother has thanked us for the kindness extended to her son and the family. We are thankful for our supportive and thriving team of connected students and teachers made possible by Edmodo!