Taking a Deeper Look at Edmodo, Voicethread and EduClipper

Edmodo is a great social network tool for schools.  Teachers can set up their students with accounts to safely interact with the teacher and classmates.  The first thing students notice is how closely the website resembles Facebook, another social networking website.  Edmodo can be used by teachers for free with their classes.  Students can interact with the teacher and other students in a variety of ways including asking questions, posting comments, taking quizzes and receiving badges for positive behavior.  This website is a great way to teach students, especially young students, about digital citizenship and the safe way to use social media. Parents can get their own log in information from the teacher to monitor their child’s Edmodo use.  Posts can only be seen by those parents, students and teachers that are a part of the class.  It is important for teachers to talk with students about the importance of not sharing the class code.   Teachers sign up for a class code then share the code with students.  They use the code to create usernames and passwords, no email is required.  Edmodo meets all five considerations from Dembo (@teach42) and Bellows  (@adambellow) in the Untangling the Web preface.  It can also be used in any curriculum area and/or grade level.

Voicethread is an online presentation tool in which a user can add a  images, audio and video to share online.  Other users can view and comment on the presentations.  It is easy to use and a presentation can be created by adding media and commentary then sharing.  In the beginning, Voicethread seems like a way to share powerpoints but it is more powerful than that.  The commentary that goes with the presentation add depth that a simple powerpoint does not have.  I have used Voicethread on a limited basis in the past but did not like that  a free account limited the user to five projects.  After reading about Voicethread in Untangling the Web, I have requested an upgrade to the free K-12 Educator account.  The ability to create student accounts requires a paid membership of $15/month or $79/year.  Students need to be 13 to sign up or have a parent create an account for them.  If you have a educator account with student log ins or teach students over the age of 13 then this would be a great tool for the classroom.  If you do not have a paid educator account and teach students under the age of 13 your options for use in the classroom are more limited but would still be useful.

EduClipper was completely new to me before this assignment.  EduClipper is a free curation tool that allows teachers and students to share web content.  Students can create their own accounts but educators also have the ability to create student accounts.  This site is a great way for students and teachers to save and organize content.  It is also easily accessible from any internet capable device.  Students don’t have to worry about finding their work completed at home during class.  They can use a device or computer to log in to the website.  Content can also be shared with others.  This site also is a great way to teach students about tags and how to describe content for later use.  This would be a great tool for students to collect research and share with other classmates.

All three tools are great resources for the classroom and each has a different focus with free accounts available.  Edmodo and EduClipper are free for the teacher and provides student accounts for free while Voicethread offers that option with a paid account.  All three sites offer grade publishing options and could be used a variety of ways in the classroom.

References:  Dembo, S., & Bellow, A. (2013). Untangling the web. Thousand Oaks, Ca: Corwin.

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