Monday, October 18, 2010
Micro-blogging is yet another way to connect with your students outside of the walls of the classroom. Edmodo is an online network that allows you to connect with only your specific students and provide quick and easy bits of information to them. This "closed group collaboration" allows teachers to easily connect with students after school hours to remind them of upcoming assignments and tests, make them aware of any assignment changes, and create a stronger bond between students and teacher. It was suggested, however, in The Chronicle of Higher Education article that “My experience with using Twitter and anything similar — blogs, Facebook, etc. — for academic purposes is that students just think it is weird, creepy, and geeky in the negative sense." Some students reject the idea of having such communication with their educators after hours, despite how beneficial it may be to them. An opposing view from an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Dallas suggests, "Thus to extend the walls of the classroom, make education relevant to all aspects of students lives rather than just what they do four-five hours a day we need to think of ways to extend the ways we form and foster learning communities.” I understand both points of view, however, it is my hope as a secondary educator, that younger students would be excited to be given encouragement to use such modes of communication that are usually off limits. With my students I would love to keep them updated with reminders of due dates, homework assignments, study tips, and prompts to get started. There is such a daily disconnect as soon as the students leave the building that I almost wish I could call them personally. Time, unfortunately, does not permit such a luxury, whereas micro-blogging would allow those invaluable pieces of information to land right in front of them!