What it is: If you’re like me, you can think of hundreds of ways that social networks could be used positively in the classroom. The problem: most of us can’t access said networks in our classrooms-blocked by over zealous filtering! Not to worry, there are some great classroom alternatives including Diipo and Edmodo.
Diipo is a social network created specially for education. I learned about this particular tool from @nottil, a high school student in Virginia (thanks @nottil!). Diipo makes it easy to communicate with your students, connect with other educators, and other classes. The interface is similar in feel to a Facebook or Twitter making it easy for students and teachers to pick up and start using right away. We are talking LOW learning curve here. Diipo has dashboards and apps that keep students up-to-date, help them get questions answered, and let them collaborate on blogs and group projects. Workpages keep students organized from project to project. Direct messaging features let students start a private conversation with classmates and teachers. Online project notebooks let students work together and share the information they collect in one, centralized location. An educator community lets teachers share best practices, educational content, brainstorm for collaborative projects, and pen pal programs between classes. A class roster makes it easy for teachers and students to communicate with each other. A built in microblogging platform lets students start a conversation, ask questions, and actively participate in class discussions. Students can build blogs directly in Diipo to share thoughts, reflect on learning, and write collaboratively. Teachers and students can upload and share documents, links, and resources with classmates or the entire class. Every conversation and post is archived and searchable making it easy to catch up or find something later. Students can also tag messages, content, and workpages to make it easier to organize and find content. The Diipo platform is wonderfully all-inclusive! Diipo is intended for students 13 years and older.
Edmodo is a social networking platform for classrooms that has been around longer. Edmodo is a free, secure social network for teachers, students, and schools. It provides classrooms with a safe way to connect and collaborate by offering them place to exchange ideas, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices. Edmodo is accessible in any browser and from any mobile device. Like Diipo, Edmodo allows teachers to post messages, discuss classroom topics, assign and grade classwork, share resources and materials, and network and exchange ideas with peers. Edmodo does not have an age limit, students under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian read the terms of service prior to use. To learn more about how Edmodo came to be, take a min to watch the video below:
While Diipo is in beta, Edmodo has stood the test of time and is used in classrooms around the world.
How to integrate Diipo and Edmodo into the classroom: Social networking is a wonderful way to support your students in their learning. It is also a way for students to take charge and support their own learning by collaborating with classmates. Use Diipo or Edmodo to organize your class, support students, connect students in a collaborative study group, and to share materials with your students. This is a great one-stop-shop for classroom communication and resources. Upload lessons and handouts, websites and links used in class, videos, and any other materials students may find useful to Diipo or Edmodo. Use the Diipo blogging platform to encourage your students to write for an audience, reflect on learning, continue class discussion, and write collaboratively.
Both Diipo and Edmodo promote anytime, anyplace learning-reinforcing once again that learning happens outside of the four walls of the classroom.
Using social networks in the classroom provides you with the opportunity to model proper use of social networking, digital citizenship, and teach Internet safety in an authentic environment.
Tips: Edmodo has excellent support and training, be sure to sign up for their free webinars!
Please leave a comment and share how you are using Diipo and Edmodo in your classroom!