Edmodo is a free LMS with a very user friendly interface which allows both students and teachers to upload a myriad of resources including links, pictures, files and comments. Links can be opened up via hyperlinks. Edmodo uploads material directly from Google Drive, a collaborative co-authoring platform. Each message can be responded to directly in a variety of ways including smiley icons, and written messages. Permission to add a feature does not have to be given by the teacher. Ownership of the LMS is more egalitarian.
Lesson Objective: To get students to explore the way they support their own learning and that of others by encouraging them to experiment with the ‘learning objects’ they upload onto Edmodo.
Steps to be taken:
- Students use Popplet or Note to brainstorm the things that help them learn. Examples might include You Tube videos of mini lessons, Keynote or Prezi presentations of mini lessons, online exercises, photographs of board work, good student models of an activity they have done, and videos of Total Physical Response activities done by classmates.
- Teachers add a meta cognitive slot after key periods of learning and ask students what would help them remember these ideas or these learner outcomes. Learners record/save any learning aides still available and share them via Edmodo.
- Once students get into the habit of articulating what can make them recall and understand material, teachers move these discussions to a prediction/ pre-activity stage i.e. before the learning takes place. This primes students to be ready to use digital resources to save moments of learning and learning objects that stimulate learning. For example, one student may decide to record a discussion of why answers are correct using Audioboo. The recording could then be added to Edmodo as a link. It would not matter if this discussion was in L2 or L1, as it is not the target language, but meta cognitive work which can rarely be done in L2 at an early stage of development. Another student may get positive feedback on a draft writing assignment, improve it according to feedback and add it to Edmodo as a good example of x genre. This would be available to all students when studying for writing exams. Another student may simply photograph the board work and upload it. Yet another may ask a teacher to be recorded explaining a language point on a screencasting App such as Explain Everything, ShowMe or Screen Chomp and share the link on Edmodo. The main thing is that students decide what adds value to their store of reference materials, they capture them and they add them to a shared learning management system.
- Students look back at a period of learning and identify what their peers have added to Edmodo. A teacher created poll will list the types of student curated material added and students will vote for the one they find most useful. This does not mean to say that any material is not useful. The voting will only be a way of showing student perceptions. The same poll could be taken on Socrative to show what has been used, as in the Socrative App multiple answers can be given.
- Motivational badges can be awarded to students who have contributed a lot to the whole group learning.
Lesson Objective: Students will explore different Apps to develop their English language skills from a list of suggested Apps/links on Edmodo and share their favourite Apps/links on Edmodo discussion board with an explanation.
Steps to be taken:
- Each week, a bank of links and Apps that can help improve English language skills is shared with students on the class Edmodo. The skills to be looked at are reading, writing, speaking and listening, as well as grammar and vocabulary.
- Throughout the week, students are responsible for visiting these links/downloading these Apps and deciding which one/s is/are their favourite.
- At the end of the week, students write their choices on the discussion board and justify their decisions. Each student who makes a suggestion ‘in time’ on the Edmodo discussion board, with a good explanation of ‘why’ they chose the App/link and how the class can use them, gets a digital badge.
- The class also votes for a class favourite, using the polling function on Edmodo. If a student’s suggestion is chosen as the class favourite, that student gets a special digital badge.
Here is an integrated skills, step by step lesson plan/workflow created using Comic Life about ‘my best friend’:
1. Practice vocabulary on describing people (appearance and personality adjectives) on Spelling City
2. Read about my friend Antonia (Headway Beginner, Unit 4) and answer the questions on Edmodo (teacher created quiz on Edmodo)
3. Follow the link on Edmodo and listen to the teacher-created podcast on ‘my good friend Claire’ on Audioboo.
4. Log on to Socrative teacher App and answer the questions about podcast on ‘my good friend Claire’.
5. Plan to write about your best friend. Brainstorm on Popplet.
6. Embed your Popplet mindmap in Pages and write about your best friend. Save your paragraph in eBackpack.
7. Read your paragraph out loud and record your voice in iFiles. Copy the recording to eBackpack for your teacher and classmates to listen.
Workflow Plan: An Integrated Skills Lesson Level: Elementary and above
Students read a short text in order to acquire information to be shared with classmates during an oral recount activity. Using information gained from each other, they answer comprehension questions and co-author a written summary.
Socrative Teacher & Socrative Student
Platform for sharing materials: IFiles/Dropbox/Email/E-Backpack/Evernote etc.
Reading text divided into four equal parts
Pre-lesson prepared Socrative Quiz
|Jigsaw Reading Step One: Information Gathering
Divide class into four groups. Each group retrieves their allotted reading text e.g. Group A gets Text A, Group B gets Text B etc. from the teacher’s platform of choice.
All members of a group read the same text and help each other identify key information and comprehend the vocabulary.
Students make notes, writing down key vocabulary and information. Full sentences are not allowed. These notes will provide scaffolding during the retelling stage.
Students can rehearse retelling their information, recording themselves for self-evaluation and feedback. They amend their oral recount after listening to the recording of themselves and other group members.
|Platform for sharing materials:
Sound note or Note
Sound note/ iPad built in video
|Students acquire the language and lexis to be able to share the information specific to their group.
|Jigsaw Reading Step Two: Sharing Information
Students are re-grouped so that each member of the new jigsawed group has read a different text ( St. A, St. B, St. C, St. D)
Students take turns at recounting the information from their texts from memory, using their scaffolding notes.
Students teach each other vocabulary from their text and note down new words below their scaffolding work. They can take a picture of other students’ notes.
Sound note or Note
|Students acquire language, lexis and new information in this information gap activity.
|Jigsaw Reading Step Three: Consolidating and checking information
Students return to their original groups and share the information they have gained.
The Teacher projects this lessons Socrative Teacher Quiz’s home page onto the board. Students sign into Socrative Students and enters the Room Number, signs their name and submits.
The Teacher decides whether the quiz should progress in lockstep or at a groups own pace.
Students answer questions about the four texts. Questions can focus on content information, language structures and vocabulary.
Group answers are shared with the class. Remedial teaching can be carried out.
Learners see how much information students from other provided them with. The test increases the need for students to listen to each other well at the information stage.
In threes, students co- author a summary of all the information from the four texts. Students can take turns to write. The other two students help decide what to say, re-read notes, check for spelling etc.
Students first go to Settings, General, Accessibility, Large Text, 40, so that the emerging text is easily read by all three members of the group.
The teacher and fast finishers circulate and offer editing advice.
Each group adds two pieces of misinformation to their summary, giving other groups a reason to read their work.
Finished texts were then emailed directly from Pages or Note to all members of the authoring group and to the teacher.
Pages or Notes
Students write about content they are now familiar with. Thus, they are able to concentrate on organizing the information in a coherent, grammatically accurate manner.
|Reading Student Texts Stage:
Students form new groups and read each other’s summaries to find the misinformation.
Pages or Notes
|Students have a purpose to read the work of other groups in that they need to identify the misinformation.
They see how other students express the same ideas in different ways.