The social network that will change the face of school education Part 2

Inside of Edmodo resembles Facebook: colors, interface design, layout. However, unlike the popular social network functionality Edmodo is significantly truncated and is focused exclusively on the process of schooling. There is also completely no external advertising.

Each registered teacher network has the ability to create different groups: by subject, by class, by interests. Or it just may so unite members to implement various educational projects. It is possible to place and store files, pictures, photos, videos. Also, teachers can give students homework and examine them, to create quizzes and polls. The Toolkit has a calendar to fix the classes, tests and other events.

Students can get work from teachers and upload the finished homework to the site to communicate with their classmates in groups or one-on-one with the teacher. The function of message exchange between two students is not provided.

Parents registered in the system, access the school calendar, messages from the school administration and from specific teachers the tools to monitor the academic progress of the student.

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Development and prospects

When the project began to gain momentum, his team was joined by crystal Hutter, former Oracle engineer and investment Manager of the company Omidyar Network, owned by the founder of eBay Pierre Omidyar. Initially in the position of chief operating officer and then General, Chatter Edmodo was able to adapt to the school realities. With her arrival in Edmodo tools appeared, allowing school administrators to implement simple management of user accounts and to monitor the proper use of the system.

At the same time the company was actively working to help teachers to build communication with each other. In the system for teachers there are closed communities of practice, as well as the possibility of private communication. The last three years through a system of video streaming Edmodo is conducting an online conference for teachers from around the world. “Suppose I teach in the third grade, says Hatter. And I wish all the teachers of the third class of my school or other could meet online to share their ideas and best practices that I could immediately apply in my class”.

The result of such pedagogical groups became a viral surge of educational materials in Edmodo. For example, Robert Miller, teacher of the fifth class of one of schools of the district of Volusia, Florida, has created a series of video lessons, in which he gradually conducted chemical experiments. Before publishing the final video of each experiment, the students had to answer the question – what is the result? According to Hatter, teachers liked these materials, since their publication began a tumultuous online discussion among students. “It was evident that the students have a genuine enthusiasm,” says Hatter.

Edmodo has become not only a repository of methodological and entertainment content, but also turned into a Bank of educational and training applications. The company reported that about 600 such programs are integrated into the network.

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Now Edmodo is preparing to launch its first instrument, which will bring a profit. An application Snapshot is a set of questions and quizzes for students, the results of which teachers can assess their achievement under the new common core learning standards for English language arts and math, effective in the 2014-2015 academic year. Also, this service will recommend users to resources, useful for the study of a particular subject. Teachers will be able to use Snapshot for free, and schools, Edmodo is ready to offer a paid premium functionality.

Most creators of Edmodo is our hope that the entire project will provide a clear understanding of which tools work and which do not. Borg says:

Every few years we buy textbooks, and we don’t even know whether these lessons. We don’t know how effective they are. Now we are on the threshold of a new world where we will be able to perform specific experiences and specific students. We will be able to understand what is more suitable for a particular type of student.

“We will also be able to prove that empowering teachers is the only sure way to getting better results,” adds Borg.

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