Sunday, March 27, 2011

Social Networks in the Elementary Classroom

Students have finished working in most of their assignments since labs will mainly be used for MAP testing in the next two weeks.  Fifth grade classes continued with Internet safety lessons and watched a thought-provoking video that focused on protecting reputations online. 

After watching the video, students participated in an interesting online conversation using Edmodo. Edmodo is an educational social network where students may post comments and reply to their classmates within class groups in a user-friendly online environment. The website functions solely for education, so fortunately, there are no publicity-images nor any other distractors displayed on the site. Throughout the task, students were quite engaged in their chat. Even though they were using a social network where the wall worked somewhat like Facebook, students were expected to use appropriate language, capital letters, periods, etc., and were reminded that they were participating in a class assignment within a school setting. It was exciting to observe the great conversations that were taking place.

Here’s are some samples of their conversations:

Coincidentally, as I was writing this blog, I received one of my favorite blogs, Kelly Tenkely’s iLearn blog, and noticed it talked about Edmodo as well. Edmodo has provided a safe, teacher-controlled, social network and has made amazing discussions possible in my class. In addition to the great conversations, I was happy to read and agree with the author's statement in that:  “Using social networks in the classroom provides you with the opportunity to model proper use of social networking, digital citizenship, and teach Internet safety in an authentic environment”. I expect to keep using this helpful social network in my lessons.

If you have used social networks in your lessons, you are welcome to enter suggestions and comments!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I am researching Edmodo right now, and looking into what would be an appropriate grade/age to start. What do you recommend?