image source: http://991.com/NewGallery/Billy-Crystal-You-Look-Marvelou-524011.jpg Photoshopped by Patrick Cauley
One reason I really like Edmodo is their willingness to change and tinker with something that is already works so well. The latest update is a real doozy though. The design has changed, the workflow is more streamlined and some new features have been added. To get all the Edmodo goodness you need to click on past the break. One feature that I’ll tell you about is the ability to schedule assignments and roll them out over time. YES! Now what are you waiting for? Click that link!
When you first log in you will see a little notification sticking out of your notifications. Click that and switch over, I don’t think you’ll regret it. Oh if you do just go to your Account and you can switch back.
After a short update, this is what you’ll see. A new and improved Edmodo.
Schedule and Assignment
Most things are in the same places, but there are a few new features we need to look at. The first one (and most exciting in my opinion) is the ability to schedule an assignment. To do this simply click on Assignment near the top and top and fill out the assignment like normal.
Now click on Schedule and a little pop up window will appear. From here you pick the date and the time the assignment will appear. Oh yeah, that is some good stuff people. This feature has been one long sought after and been a problem for a lot of teachers. Now, teachers can plan and prepare their units and have everything ready to go before day one. This is definitely a big improvement.
Then it disappears (which freaked me out a little). Where did it go? What if I have to edit or move the date? No worries, you can always find it in your notifications. Reminding you that an assignment is scheduled and if you need to edit it just click on it from the notifications and it will bring it back for you. Whew, I was worried for a moment.
Another nice change is how you can now manage each group. You can now easily manage your Post, Folders, Members and Small Groups all from one place. They act more like tabs that anything and make accessing these features easier than ever.
Even managing your group’s folders is easier. Simply drag them from the list on the right into the group’s list. No more clicking on the Library and trying to manage it there (though you can still do that). Check out those images.
A completely new feature is the Recent Activity area of the home screen. This tells you who has logged on, when and if another colleague has posted some interesting info in the groups. I like this feature because it is nice to know that my students are online and checking Edmodo. It just makes me feel all warm inside knowing they are checking over the weekend.
One great strength of Edmodo over its competition is their professional communities that allow teachers to connect with one another and share their resources. It has been a great resource for me and starting point when looking for new ideas, resources and advice. However, there are a lot of people in those communities and when someone posts something that may be relevant, it can easily be buried. Now that is less likely to happen. You can actually search for topics within a community (say looking for Photoshop resources within the Technology community) by using their Discover feature.
When you first open Discover it gives you some resources that are trending and it asks you What are you teaching right now? Type in your topic and it will search through the groups and find resources that might be relevant for you. This is obviously helpful. While Google will give you more results, Edmodo now gives you more focused results, which saves time and since it has been used by teachers in the past, you know that it has some merit as opposed to something untested on Google.
This is super handy. Check out the images below to get a better sense of what I’m talking about. It will only get better as more people use it.
This is another new feature. It is Edmodo’s take on the Facebook’s Like button . . . kind of. At the bottom of ever post you or your students can give feedback by clicking and picking a reaction to it.
To see some results about the feedback click on the Insights button on the left hand column to bring up a detailed review of not just what your students like or thinks is “Awesome!” but you also get a run down of results on quizzes/assignments, who is most active and what resources or being used. All in all it’s not a bad service, I just don’t know how many of my students are going to be “Liking” different posts, but the other stuff I like a lot.
The Planner (otherwise known as the Calendar)
This has changed. It still works in much the same way, but it looks differently and has one new feature. You can switch the view from weekly to monthly and you can also create Tasks for you, but the tasks are not that great. I was hoping there would be a list of all your tasks someplace. Nope. Also when I created the task and tried to complete it, it simply moved a day up on my calendar. I tried over and over again but it just kept moving. So this new Edmodo is not without some bugs and some work that needs to be done.
The Student Edmodo
Did you think the teachers would reap all the benefits from the good people at Edmodo? Heck no, the students also got a makeover and while it looks pretty much the same as before they have put the Backpack up front and personal. YES! Now having students backing up their files online is really only one click away and having the Backpack so visible it is a little harder to forget about that feature.
There are a few more changes here and there but overall I don’t want to read about everything. Go to Edmodo, sign in and try it out yourself. I think you’ll find it is another big step forward for Edmodo. I know I do.