Hoover City Schools

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Edmodo Igniting HCS Classrooms

Jason Gaston
Office of Media/PR

9 Dec (HCS) – At first glance, the Edmodo experience appears to mirror that of Facebook. The logins appear similar – as does the navigation and schematics. But for users of the new educational-networking site, the Edmodo journey proves much different and much more focused than its general-purpose social networking counterpart.

“It’s great – because you can easily find your homework. It’s always there when you log on,” Tabby, a Simmons Middle School 8th grader said.

“It’s pretty cool that [we now have it]. If you’re absent and miss school, you really don’t miss out,” Victor, another Simmons Middle School 8th grader said.

Tabby and Victor, like thousands of other HCS students, have quickly learned the power of Edmodo. Developed by two educational techies in 2008, Edmodo provides a safe and easy way for classes to connect and collaborate, share content and access homework, grades and school notices. The company now boasts nearly 5 million users globally – and has a stated goal of “helping educators harness the power of social media to customize the classroom for each and every learner.”

Simmons Middle School librarian Sheila Glasscock has seen Edmodo proliferate across all levels of the school. She believes its ease of use and operational similarity to social media sites have helped it quickly gain traction among students. Specific to the library, she has created “Book Talk Cafes” within Edmodo. The cafés serve as an online discussion for books – and has really helped ignite reading interest, especially among male students.

“Edmodo opens doors for students who are more digitally literate. Sometimes those students perform much better in a digital environment than they do with print,” Glasscock said. “They may be great at navigating around the page, attaching videos, creating avatars, etc. They get to share this knowledge with others and feel empowered.”

Empowerment proves key for Edmodo implementation. If students don’t find value, teachers say, then Edmodo is just another website. But Edmodo seems to have already cemented its place in the HCS classroom experience – and students are finding extreme value in the exchange of ideas and content. So just how big of an advancement is this new site? Just ask HCS technology coach Jeff Richardson. He and other tech coaches worked closely with Chief Technology Officer Bryan Phillips, Superintendent Andy Craig and other district leaders to make sure Edmodo was the right fit for Hoover City Schools.

“It’s easily the biggest thing (technology-wise) to come to Hoover City Schools since email – or the Internet,” Richardson said.


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