Program Allows Safer Social Networking For Teachers, Students
by Aundrea Cline-Thomas
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - At Thurgood Marshall Middle School some teachers are looking at new ways to reach their students online by using social networking site Edmodo.com.
Similar to Facebook, it's becoming all the rage with teachers.
"There's no ‘lol'. There's no ‘j/k.' There's no kthanksbye," teacher Ryan Longnecker explained about how students are discouraged from using common text shortcuts.
"I've had kids post, what's our homework for tonight," science teacher Liz Friedland explained about how she uses the program. "I can post, oh we don't have any. Or remember to bring in your composition notebooks."
Students have to receive a code from teachers to enter the program. Once in, they can turn in homework, ask questions, get their grades and feedback from the teacher.
"Teachers are discouraged often from using Facebook with their students because there's a very fine line between personal life and the teacher student relationship," Friedland said. "Unfortunately that's been crossed in some situations."
This site, unlike others, is geared towards education.
"It is a similar online space where you can communicate but you don't have that personal aspect. There's no photos. There aren't other people posting on the walls…"
On Edmodo.com, teachers monitor the posts to make sure they're school related and can deny access for inappropriate behavior.
As the saying goes, if you can't beat them, join them. If students are already going to be online, at least some of the time can be productive.
Teachers can also give parents a code to monitor their student's posts and progress in the class.
Students who do not have access to the Internet at home are given time during the school day to use the website
There is also a free app for the Edmodo program. Parents can download it on their cell phone or other mobile device.