Another dot in the blogosphere?

My Edmodo peeves

Posted on: July 31, 2013

I prefer using Edmodo and Google Sites to current learning management systems because the former are free, open, and flexible.

I like how Edmodo was (and still is) built on the premise that people learn by being able to socialize. When there is not enough time in class, you can continue online outside class. Better still, blend the experiences to take advantage of both worlds.

I use Edmodo every semester for at least one course, MLS125, an inservice teacher elective on managing ICT-mediated change.

The problem I face in Edmodo is that my “students” are teachers.

I choose not to require my participants to set up separate student accounts because I want them to hit the ground running as teachers. But I still cannot award these teachers badges like teachers can for their Edmodo students.

Teachers can get up to ten badges from Edmodo, but that is not within my control. I cannot model the gamified experience without compromising by requiring student accounts.

Why not require teachers to use student accounts then? First, having more than one account is confusing or inconvenient. Second, LMS typically give learners a student-only perspective and they adopt a more passive stance as a result. I want my participants to be clear on what they need to do and to take ownership of teaching and learning.

edmodo-peeve

Second peeve: My profile says that I have less than ten students in my courses over the last few years. That is true based on Edmodo’s definition of students. But I have introduced hundreds of pre and inservice teachers to Edmodo by getting them to sign up for it and use it in my courses and workshops.

The third peeve is that I cannot schedule posts more precisely. I am thankful that I can even schedule posts as this feature was not available before. But I would like the fine-grained scheduling (to the minute) of TweetDeck for Twitter instead of the coarse scheduling (by the hour) in Edmodo.

Fourth peeve: I would also like some richer editing. I am not asking for much. Paragraphing would help!

When I type a reply like this:

Two thoughts to tickle the neurons and create cognitive dissonance.

By the end of MLS125, I hope that most of you realize why you should not perpetuate “digital natives” and “technology is just a tool”.

For some clues, you might search my blog on how my own understanding of digital natives has changed. We can also discuss them in this space or in person. The benefit of this space is more permanency and space for reflection.

As for the other concept, I share a quote (attributed to Marshall McLuhan): “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us”.

It appears like this:

Two thoughts to tickle the neurons and create cognitive dissonance.By the end of MLS125, I hope that most of you realize why you should not perpetuate “digital natives” and “technology is just a tool”.For some clues, you might search my blog on how my own understanding of digital natives has changed. We can also discuss them in this space or in person. The benefit of this space is more permanency and space for reflection.As for the other concept, I share a quote (attributed to Marshall McLuhan): “We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us”.

See the difference?

The former is my attempt to model good online discourse with white space. Edmodo prevents this. In the previous version of Edmodo, I could insert two or three returns for really spaced out paragraphs, but now I cannot seem to do that. I can create distinct paragraphs in initial postings, but not in replies.

My complaints may seem small, but I think that individually and collectively they are important. If we shape a tool that does not reward, acknowledge, or organize as it could, then it shapes behaviour.

Could I compromise? I could, but I will not because that would mean a lowering of expectations and standards. That is not what an educator does.

5 Responses to "My Edmodo peeves"

Have you tried Schoology before?

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Nope. Only seen it when it first appeared on my radar. What put me off was the LMS moniker.

When people move from one tool or platform to another, they tend to transfer information, skills, and expectations. Folks who are used to an LMS tend to use a social tool in an LMS way. I know I did!

I make a conscious effort to put social learning over LMS doing. I do not wish to send the wrong message or model something contrary.

That said, never say never. If Schoology can convince me and I can move several semesters worth of user-generated content over, I might consider a move.

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[…] My Edmodo peeves (ashleytan.wordpress.com) […]

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Dear Dr. Tan,
I too am having the exact same PEEVES as you! I was just wondering if a year later you were able to resolve some of the issues? In particular the badges issue as I am trying to get my teachers to also learn gamification and I want to give an accurate experience in the Edmodo LMS.

Thank you!
Jessica 🙂

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Hi Jessica,

Not much has changed a year on. I’ve communicated with the nice Edmodo folks, but badges are still not available to teachers as students.

My “student” count is still low because they are all teachers. The scheduling of postings is still not precise at 30-minute intervals.

However, the text formatting seems to be better.

Other buggy issues have emerged since then. For example, I informed Edmodo that if there was more than one non-photo attachment in a post, only two would be visible in the mobile app. There is a workaround but it is not a solution.

I think neither of us is whining. We know what a good tool Edmodo is and we want it to be even better! 🙂

Ashley

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