Tag Archives: Edmodo

Notes from the Classroom: Curating

11th October 2012

It’s not often that I write about what’s going on in my classroom, but this semester, I’ve spent quite a lot of time revamping certain courses and considering new methodologies. Teaching intensive English courses to foreign students and teaching American Literature at the same time is a challenge, particularly as it’s been nearly two years since I’ve taught American Lit. There’s so much background work; plus, I have to re-read everything I’ve assigned and of course add to my extensive notes with each re-read.

Do not mistake this as a complaint. I’m thoroughly enjoying it all, but education moves so rapidly, and I want to stay on top of the resources available to me. Over the summer, I researched online platforms and made the switch from Edmodo to Schoology (a change I’d like to talk more about in a future Notes from the Classroom post).

Today I discovered Storify. I should say, however, that from the different education chats I haunt (and sometimes participate in) on Twitter, I had heard of Storify but clearly had no idea how to use it in the classroom. Previously, I thought it was a way to curate Twitter conversations. So I googled “using storify in the classroom” and came up with some really interesting information. Essentially, Storify gives you the ability to collect information on a specific topic across a number of platforms (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and Google), pull that info to your “story” and publish. You can then share that “story” across platforms as well.

Because I feel like I have to cram in more and more information in less and less time, I thought this was kind of genius. One of my goals in my classes is relevancy – for the information I teach but also for the course itself. By pulling important and current information related to class discussions and lectures, I make it relevant in a way that tech-obsessed students “get” – and I also ensure they are using technology that makes them relevant.

This article from Hybrid Pedagogy even shows a really cool way of using Storify to assist with student research, as does ProfHacker in this cool story on Storify. There are so many arguments about student research and open source information, but I truly feel that not allowing students to use the, very often, useful and valid information available to them is a mistake. Using Storify would be a great lesson in the importance of citation from the perspective of a student who may or may not have thought of online content as authorial or worthy of source material.Here’s the story I put together on learning classroom techniques for Storify:

Using Storify in the Classroom

A college instructor takes to Storify to learn how to use Storify. Down the rabbit hole…

Storified by the picky girl · Wed, Oct 10 2012 22:17:18

Anyone out there using #storify in the classroom? Or in any interesting way? Lay it on me. #amteaching #amcuratingthe picky girl
Anyone use #scoopit over #storify? Any #teachers out there with resources? I’m not far enough in to see if either is better.the picky girl
My quest into the unknown. Thus far, no hits.
Web curation: Uses in educationtltelon
“How will students use this?” Critical thinking/analytical skills/context/writing for the web/persistence/time management “Students should be able to say why it matters.”
Using Storify: An Example, and An AssignmentThis is both a demonstration of Storify and an assignment in which students are going to be using Storify. (English 318: Writing in Digi…
A good intro and interesting way to use Storify in an actual classroom.
"A FLIPPED CLASSROOM: STUDENTS AS CURATORS WITH – Prezi2012 Presentation by Sherry Jones for CCCOnline 2012 "Recipes for Success" Conference held at Arapahoe Community College, and…
Really col Prezi explaining student curation, giving sample assignments, and providing helpful links.

So how am I planning on using it? Today I created a dummy story for an introductory discussion on Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, which we’ll begin reading next week. That way students can check out the story and the information I’ve curated before class. Students will be expected to respond to the information in whole or in part on a Schoology discussion board. I’m hoping the result will be students who have a basic understanding of the historical context of the novel as well as the enduring controversies regarding its content. You can check out what I’ve done so far on my story.  

Mark Twain and Huck Finn

Before we read Huck Finn, I want us to a. discuss the racial climate in which it was written and in which it will be read b. talk about the differences between it and Tom Sawyer, and c. prime your expectations for reading.

Storified by the picky girl · Wed, Oct 10 2012 11:21:02

Oh Huck Finn http://instagr.am/p/Qm3j8bChwF/Samantha Mascary
We are all alike, on the inside.- Mark TwainTosh Hyodo
Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.- Mark TwainKings Esekhile
LibriVox » Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark TwainAdventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) by Mark Twain is one of the truly great American novels, beloved by children, adults, and literar…
In case you’d rather listen than read.
Why Bother Reading Huckleberry Finn? – Room for Debate …Jan 6, 2011 … If some teachers have the audacity to believe that Twain's work is meaningful, even absent the word “nigger,” more …
Another discussion of the n-word in Huck Finn.
Huckleberry Finn – The New York TimesJan 6, 2011 … A new edition of “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” that replaces the word “nigger” with “slave” does the original Twain …
Discussion of the revised/censored edition of Huck Finn.
HUCKLEBERRY FINN Reeks Of The Past In A Most Glorious Way |May 28, 2012 … “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” reeks of the past. It reeked of the past when it was first published in America in 18…
A review.
Is Huckleberry Finn's ending really lacking? Not if you're talking …5 days ago … Blogs · About the SA Blog Network. Choose a … Many readers, reviewers, and critics over the year have found fault with…
For after you’ve read…in case you don’t understand Huck’s actions at the end.
Colbert Report: Huckleberry Finn CensorshipColbert Nation
From the ever-funny Stephen Colbert…
Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn — History.com …Even in 1885, two decades after the Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn landed w…
Some historical context.
"Huckleberry Finn" and the N-wordcbs
Look specifically at 6 minutes in. Interesting discussion.

Is anyone else out there using Storify? Or Scoop.it? I feel a bit like a fish out of water, but I’m definitely interested in learning. In the meantime, what other cool online tools am I missing out on?

How Siri Helps Me Blog…and Other Randomness

1st May 2012

  • So my iPhone bit the dust a few weeks ago. We had a great relationship, we really did, but after a few years of intimacy, he just started staring off into space when I talked and freezing up when I wanted to do anything together. In other words, I had to go spend wayyyy too much money trading up.

The salesman at AT&T took one look at my phone and started laughing. Apparently, all those audiobooks are kind of big files, so yeah, I had no memory left. But Siri!

Wow – she can supposedly do a lot of things, but I have used her mostly for things like this:

Siri! Remind me to write a blog post about your hook book!

Siri! Remind me to dig out my copy of Othello to compare notes to I, Iago!

I know. I’m ridiculous, but it’s really like having a personal assistant. I even asked Siri to remind me to write a blog post about how I use Siri to write blog posts. 😉

  • Teachers! So I know it’s the end of the semester and all, but Edmodo sent me an email last week, and apparently now they have apps. So I had to share with you Pixton.

Pixton is an available app on Edmodo, but it’s also an independent website where you can create comics – so I guess not just for teachers! You can choose how many panels as well as the style. From there, you choose your background, characters, props, speech clouds, etc. You can manipulate the images as well, and there’s even a way for you to record voices and play them, too. I had a lot of fun playing around with this and actually assigned my students to work on a comic this week. Here’s how I presented the assignment:

  • Yvette posted her 101 favorite mysteries and/or thrillers, and it’s a fabulous list she spent quite a bit of time formulating, complete with synopses. Check it out!
  • After last week’s World Book Night success, I wanted everyone to know how to stay in the know for next year. World Book Night actually has a mailing list signup, so if you’re at all interested, I’d get on board now.
  • Andi fell in love with Outlander, and her gushing really makes me want to revisit the Fraser family.
  • If you haven’t seen The North Avenue Irregulars, do yourself a favor and watch it. Loved it as a kid, still cracked up laughing as an adult. (And yes I know this has nothing to do with books. But couldn’t you use a good old-fashioned laugh?)
  • If you haven’t read 50 Shades of Grey but wonder what all the fuss is about (I feel like I have read it from all the buzz), take a look at Buzzfeed’s “The 15 Best/Worst Lines from Erotic Bestseller ‘Fifty Shades of Grey'” [NSFW].
  • Then watch Ellen Degeneres try to narrate. It’s pretty fantastic.

What to look for this week? Two new books with reviews. I promise there will be a Fridays at Home post, and if you guys ever want to see the bookish advice column again, I NEED QUESTIONS. Tell your ma, pa, sis, bro, bff and send them my way via thepickygirlblog@gmail.com. Now I’m off to read Wife 22 by Melanie Gideon because I am totally engrossed. Can’t wait to talk about this book!
Peace up, B-town.

Say Hello to My Little Friend

8th February 2011

Edmodo. It’s a funny word. Let’s just get it out of our systems. Edmodo. Edmodo. Edmodo. If you’re a teacher, it could become *your* little friend, too.

What is it?

I describe it (and so does the company) as a free, secure, educational Facebook. A lot of colleges and universities use an online platform called Blackboard. Some use Blackboard for entire online classes; some use it as an extension of the classroom to host hybrid classes. Either way, Blackboard is at the mercy of the tech department of each campus.

Unfortunately, ours seems to go through many updates, losing material and changing functionality. I teach face-to-face classes, so I utilize online platforms simply as a way to continue course discussions and communicate with students outside the classroom. Therefore, the hassles of Blackboard just don’t seem worth it.

I first learned of Edmodo on Twitter, and it just seemed like a great fit. I used it after mid-term in the fall semester, and it worked so well I decided to go live from day one of this semester.

How does it work?

The instructor creates a secure group and receives a code. The students go to www.edmodo.com, click “Sign in as a student” and use the code to access the group. If you teach elementary or secondary school, you can also give parents a separate code to access their students’ progress.

Before classes begin, I go through and add assignment due dates as well as my syllabi. Students are then informed they must view the syllabi and leave a comment indicating they have read and understood the course materials.

What are the benefits?

I can only speak as to the use of Edmodo as a supplement to the class, not a replacement. First of all, (college) students already know how to use Facebook. I have not had a single student who is NOT a member of Facebook. They are familiar with the format, then, and don’t have to learn a whole new system. Second, there is a calendar and gradebook built in to the program. Students also have the option to send messages just to me or the the entire group. It is simple to set up assignments with due dates and to go in and grade. Students enjoy the flexibility of asking other students what they missed in class if they are absent.

Another benefit is taking the discourse out of the classroom. Some students simply do not feel comfortable talking in class. The online writing space provides them a free space to air thoughts, criticisms, or questions. Specifically, for literature courses, Edmodo offers students an opportunity to clarify plots, characters, themes, and other elements. That way, if a students happened to “miss” an important part of the plot, another student can easily point it out. Then the class discussion can focus on more in-depth aspects of the text.

Have I mentioned there is a smart phone app? There is. In fact, the day I introduced it last semester, one of my students had downloaded the free application then and there. So cool. Students and teachers can go into Settings and change notifications to text message, email, etcetera.

What if I want to use it for elementary/secondary school?

I say go for it. As a teacher, you can create small groups within the class and assign work just to those groups. There is also quite a bit of control over what students post.

You can also connect to other schools and classes using Edmodo. You, as the teacher, can connect to other teachers if you want to collaborate or share lesson plans.

If you have a co-teacher, you can assign rights to that person as well.

Students can also choose a photo for their profile. Specifically for lower levels, students learn Internet protocol and appropriateness for an online social environment.

[Image is to give you an idea of what you and students see when you go to post something.]

For anecdotal evidence, last Friday was a snow day. Of course, a snow day in southeast Texas consists of no snow, a little ice on the ground, and over a hundred wrecks. Instead of wasting a class day, I had my students log on to Edmodo during class time and post working outlines to discuss the writing process. Worked perfectly.

If you have any questions, please let me know. I’d love to chat with you about Edmodo or other educational technologies.

jenn aka picky girl