Book Review Time: Instant Edmodo How-to

I was recently given a copy of a great new e-book by Dayna Laur called Instant Edmodo How-to and is available through Packt Publishing Ltd.  In this book, the author introduces us to the ins and outs of setting up an Edmodo account for a classroom use and best practices for using Edmodo for teaching and learning. For those of you new to Edmodo, it is a Web 2.0 based learning management system designed for educators working within an educational organization.

My previous work with learning management systems has been with Blackboard and Moodle, so Edmodo was new to me.  What I really liked about this book was how easy it was to follow the recommended steps and beyond these steps, the author really tried to explain the importance of setting up and using Edmodo.  Let me give you 5 highlights I particularly liked.

  1. Dayna Laur has broken everything down into three categories- Simple, Intermediate and Advanced.  These make it easy to work through setting up your Edmodo account and bringing your class online.
  2. More than just the how-to, she also gives you the Why- why doing a certain step is important.  For example in setting up your account Ms. Laur explains why badges are important and how to get them.  There is always a sense of the bigger picture at work in the book, not just the mechanics of using another Web 2.0 tool.
  3. Every section is broken down into three sub-sections- Getting Ready, How to do it, and How it Works.  This level of organization allows the reader to know what decisions they need to make like how many groups they want to set up after they create their profile, followed by how to set up the groups.  The How it Works section then gives the details about to make the most out of this section of Edmodo.
  4. Ms. Laur takes seriously the group management features which help teachers manage student learning and provide a safe environment for student engagement.  She rightly points out that each group a teacher sets up has its own group code.  Teachers can also monitor students and control student interaction to make sure student safety is not compromised.  Finally, she emphasizes the role of school district administrators in working with teachers to use Edmodo.
  5. Finally, there is a section of the book that deals with what to do when the class is over.  I think a real benefit of learning management systems is their archiving feature.  What I mean by that is teachers can reuse and repurpose class materials with different groups allowing them to leverage their prep time.

Why should you be interested in Edmodo?  I think beyond the ease and simplicity of using Edmodo, Ms. Laur makes the case for teachers using Edmodo because she uses it herself.  As a user of the platform, her steps and suggestions come from personal experience with this Web 2.0 tool.  Educators and their school districts could be well served to launch Edmodo across a school district. Teachers will be able to connect with other teachers across Edmodo using communities and teacher badges that are part of their personal profiles to create a wider learning community and to share ideas and resources.

Although I am not likely to use Edmodo, I found Dayna Laur’s e-book to be both a valuable introduction and resource on how to make the Web 2.0 tool Edmodo an essential part of the teaching and learning environment.  If you are interested in the book here is a link to it.

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