Sunday, June 14, 2015


I have used Edmodo now for 2 years developing different practices. Edmodo provides a Learning Management System with an easy to use interface which is designed for student centered collaboration.  In contrast,  many LMS tools are just a teacher file repository with some “add ons”  like forums or blogs. Edmodo is very “sticky” and easy for students to use for learners as it highlights the social constructivist nature of building and sharing knowledge together.  Edmodo engages learners and is a great tool for blended learning, it connecting students to students and to the teacher. A few of the many ways we use Edmodo:

     Motivational Quotes for Discussion

Using the concept of the social media tool Pinterest, this year I modified Edmodo to post a daily quote for learners to reflect, discuss with their partner and comment on in the morning. Most of the quotes were philosophy to guide life decisions and to assist in changing attitudes towards learning.

          Work Plans and Shared Lesson Records

Each morning I would post our work plan and post lesson the tasks we achieved as a record for any learners that were absent and also to really focus learners at the beginning of class. We generally used our phones to access Edmodo as an additional screen to our ipads.

            Posting Resources During Learning

As a teacher I reflect in action and can readily add what individual learners need at that time as they are undertaking a learning task and can post a link or image on Edmodo quickly from my Smart Phone. In this lesson students forget their range of cohesive ties when process writing, so they could quickly refer to these as they were editing to replace repetitive expressions.Recommended Independent learning sites / links and tasks were also added post lesson for learners.Studnts added great links they found too.

           Reflective Practice

Students found this very beneficial as a tool to assess their learning and to gauge their performance on learner outcomes and what they could do differently next time. Visible learning is a powerful technique and it really allowed learners to deeply think to about tehir learner processes and products towards mastery. The reflections were useful to determine students areas of challenge to design further learner experiences to scaffold needed support.  Examples below on presenting for the first time to the class using their multi-media Glogster poster.

   Exit Tickets

 A fun tool to ensure a lesson was task based not time based was to create a small exit task posted by the student on Edmodo. A summary of what they learnt, a reflection, some vocabulary definitions, response to an opinion question from an essay or Speaking exam. This reply became a ticket to show online from your phone screen to leave the class.

            Flipped Independent Learning

A great easy way to provide a link to students as they are learning in class or outside class based on what they need. For example you may notice as they are writing they have a need to refresh cohesive ties – you can quickly add a link so they can open their phone screen and edit their work easily. I also created groups based on the 4 skills of language learning and added links so students could work further on what they needed either at the end of class or in the evenings. Often the students were doing work at 10 pm ! Students can alo post their work at any toime for the class to read, comment and reply.

             Direct Message

This allowed students to let me know if they were absent or to privately discuss or clarify a point from our lesson or obtain further advice or assistance for homework or independent learning. Or to share some good news J

What is Glogster?

Glogster is a powerful tool where students can create multi-media digital information to share with their learning community and the world. The Glogster is now Ipad and I phone compatibles this year with an App. The paid version allows you to manage projects and classes and assess the products.

Usually used for content classes it can be used as an integrated skills approach to ESL to practice writing , reading listening and speaking. Students can research a topic using authentic listening and reading text , take notes and then construct their own text and embed both written and spoken language plus images and video. The Glogster creates a link that can be shared in any LMS such as Edmodo or Blackboard and also automatically generates a QR Code for scanning by phone.

How can Glogster Assist with Improving Language Proficiency?

Designing a Glogster allows students to create a form of an infographic, which facilities their digital literacy skills for comprehending visual information by constructing an infographic. This is an important skill for Task 1 in IELTS which requires the processing of visual information and writing a description of a visual such as a pie, bar or line graph; map; or pie chart.

Glogster personalizes learning as it allows students to explore creative expression. A formerly dull writing task can come alive in Glogster.

If you are following a topic based syllabus in ESL students can use Glogster to practice the target language in context.  If students are all given sub-topics they can work collaboratively and build their knowledge by embedding their Glogs in a Master Blog on that topic. 

How to Make a Glogster 

Watch the training video one of my my students and I created:

Using Glogster to Build Knowledge and Practice IELTS Test Skills

This semester we used Glogster to integrate vocabulary and structure in the form of a lexico-grammatical approach. Students used read to write and ;listen to write strategies to build their knowledge to answer IELTS questions and this knowledge was jigsawed and shared as students acted as experts teaching each other using listening and speaking skills and gaining confidence giving presentations to the class face to face using their Glogsters.

1.       Test Practice Skills : Reading, Speaking Part 2 and 3 and Writing Task 2

People is a common theme in ESL and in the IELTS exam. This project based task focused on questions about people from past papers. Students then chose a famous person alive or from the past and examined their biography. They explored descriptive questions which required a descriptive genre and also a past narrative in many cases for their past life. It included a focus on sequencing and the organization and sequencing of information over time. Students used a variety of resources to take notes on a time line graphic organizer.  They also looked at what their achievements were and why they were famous. Accordingly students read and wrote using a range of present simple and past simple verb phrases and chose their topics and added questions.