Social Networking

Edmodo v Facebook

Social networking has become second nature to our students. Most own smart phones, use Facebook, Twitter, access blogs and keep up to date with friends via Skype. This online community can be an asset in any classroom if teachers tap into the technology available.

Edmodo

"Edmodo provides teachers and students a secure place to connect and collaborate, share content and educational applications, and access homework, grades, class discussions and notifications. Our goal is to help educators harness the power of social media to customize the classroom for each and every learner." (Edmodo, 2012)

http://www.edmodo.com/

PROS:

- safe and secure

- designed for educational purposes

- teachers can check students pages and monitor online interactions

- phone app available

CONS:

- it is another 'tool'; students are not already using it so may not access it as readily

Edmodo at a glance

Facebook

"Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life." (Facebook, 2012)

http://www.facebook.com/

PROS:

- students already use this tool and are more likely to check it for this reason

- you can adjust privacy settings for the group

- interaction within the group can be teacher monitored

- phone app available

CONS:

- teachers can not monitor students pages, only group content

- limited functionality as you are confined to only using 'group' features

- teachers need to be extremely vigilant about their privacy settings

The Verdict

Considering that Edmodo has been created for educational purposes, its features are more functional for classroom use. Parents will be more likely to support the use of this technology for this reason. Although it may seem like 'new' technology to teachers, it is easy to use and the help center provides video tutorials on all relevant content(http://help.edmodo.com/edmodo-in-action/).

Whilst students are generally already using Facebook, the limitations of only using the group features means that what can be achieved is relatively simplistic. The potential for students to access inappropriate content, age restrictions and the inability for teachers to monitor interaction outside of the group means that this option would only be suitable for older students. Teachers who choose to use this form of communication should also consider creating an account separate from their personal sites, for 'school use' only.

CONCLUSION:

Edmodo: suited to students Yr 7-10

Facebook: suited to VCE students

References

Edmodo 2012, http://www.edmodo.com/, accessed 21/8/2012

Facebook 2012, http://www.facebook.com/, accessed 21/8/2012