Making the Change to a Learning Managment System Using Edmodo in the classroom

The Challenge

In speaking with teachers in the district, I discovered that they are looking for an easy way to communicate with parents and students, upload and disseminate learning materials and be able to organize their materials in one place. They also want to be able to assist students with collaborative activities using our Chromebook books, ultimately becoming a more paperless classroom. This means using technology.

Professional Development Needed

By providing teachers with training and support on how to incorporate a Learning Management System, such as Edmodo into their classroom culture, teachers will be able to meet all of these needs easily and simply. This is not a change that will occur overnight. We will need to start with just a few teachers who embrace the use of technology in their classroom. I hope to encourage more teachers to use Edmodo by showcasing the journey of our initial teacher cohort. To help plan and implement this change, I will utilize the nine guidelines created by Linda McRae Campbell.

Not all guidelines are discussed separately in this presentation.
GARNERING SUPPORT FOR OUR CHANGE

To make sure this change to Edmodo has the best possible chance of success, support from as many stakeholders as possible is needed before asking teachers to participate in the initial roll-out.

Building Administration

In order to start the much needed change to a more online system in the classroom through the use of Edmodo, we must share the idea with building principals, letting them know why the change will be beneficial to their staff, students and parents. They need to see the value in adopting Edmodo and how this will make lives easier for those in their charge. Making sure we have their support will carry over to those staff eager to participate. The principals must understand that this is not a mandatory change at this time but one that will start with those who are most interested. They also need to allow teachers time off for trainings and support their need to meet for collaboration later on in the school year. This means as positive news of the system spreads, others will be encouraged to participate. The goal is for all teachers to utilize Edmodo successfully in the next few years.

IT Department

The technology department must take the lead role in offering professional development for those teachers who volunteer for the initial roll out of Edmodo. A needs assessment, given to teacher volunteers will guide the preliminary trainings such as setting up classes, communicating with students, adding parents and uploading material. Basing their early trainings on what teachers feel are the most important aspects of using a Learning Management System will give them the ability to decide how to preceded. Subsequent trainings over the course of the year can include using the library for work storage, Edmodo quiz and assignment maker and calendar depending on teacher needs. To assist teachers between trainings and meetings, a few technology experts will be on call if teachers have questions or concerns. Email or phone calls is the easiest way to keep in touch with the teacher volunteers.

The Community

The need for support from the community, parents in particular, is important if we want a successful change to a learning management system. Parents will be an integral part of using Edmodo at home, since students will be using their home electronic devices more often to access material and communicate with their teachers. Making sure parents understand that students are not just playing on the computer but actively working and communicating with fellow students and their teacher. The hope is parents will come to see the importance of a learning management system in supporting their student in school. Garnering support from parents on the ease of use and the ability to ask important questions will carry weight later with teachers who are uncertain if learning the program is worth their time.

COMMUNICATING THE CHANGE

All stakeholders involved with implementing the change need information on the purpose behind the introduction of Edmodo. In order to keep the change transparent, making sure all stakeholders receive periodic updates about how the change is progressing is also paramount.

District

To ensure that all staff understands why the district is moving towards a learning management system, communication is important on implementation of this change and what the district expects of all teachers in the future. In the beginning, the district will ask only volunteers to work with the program, offering training and support as teachers use the program with students. Updates on what different teachers are able to do in their classroom will lead to others asking for information on the program. It is important that all aspects of the change be transparent to everyone. If you want buy-in by as many of the district staff as possible, they cannot just read that everything is perfect. To communicate with staff, the use of email, podcast interviews and face-to-face discussion are just a few of the ways to inform all of how the change is progressing within the district.

Community

Keeping the community, especially parents, apprised of a new change even one rolled out slowly is important. Teacher interviews on local public stations, podcast interviews with students and staff and monthly newsletters are just a few of the ways to keep the community informed. Their support and positive reflections often carry weight over others who are less happy with change. Many times, those on the fence about a change will change their mind from a few good words from those they respect and who have influence. The community has influence over education.

Securing Resources

Making sure that time, monies and space are available for teachers are important when implementing a change. To implement a change, such as the use of Edmodo, before making sure there are support and resources available sets up your change for failure. There needs to be in place a detailed plan and schedule of what is offered at trainings, where the trainings will take place and if compensation for time through money or credit is offered. Leaving these important details until later only confirms to those involve with a change that there is not real support. No one likes to work in isolation. Your participants need to feel supported in all aspects from the very beginning.

IMPLEMENTATION

Preparing for Reactions to Change and Anticipating and Identifying Problems

In using Edmodo, we are asking teachers to change the culture of their classroom. To ensure a successful start, we need teachers who openly embrace the use of technology in the classroom. Remaking assignments that are easily uploaded to Edmodo, being “on call” to students and parents and creating chances for collaboration among students takes time and hard work. Volunteer teachers need to remember that there will be setbacks and not every task will go smoothly. Frustrations will be common as teachers learn to implement and work with a brand new system in the their classroom. We must make sure that they see that their attempts, even when not working perfectly, still have merit.

Even with the best-laid plans, issues are going to arise. We need to be aware and plan for possible problems that may occur during our initial roll out of Edmodo. Trouble uploading material, turning Word documents into PDF’s and what happens when the Wi-Fi is down are just a few of the issues that we need to plan for. Many of these issues are addressable if we provide our volunteers with a firm foundation on the skills needed to run Edmodo We also need to keep in mind what happens if a student, who is now part of an Edmodo classroom, does not have access to a computer at home. How will we as a district assist this student in being part of our online community? We need to look into grants and other funding to provide these students with the necessary tools for using Edmodo.

Creating Teacher Leaders

Once the initial role-out is over, we will have new leaders in using Edmodo. Those teachers who participated can help to instruct others on the use of Edmodo and encourage those within their building to try this new system. The most meaningful testimonials on a change are those who have first hand knowledge of what the change looks like. They can easily address the concerns of others, allaying worries that fearful colleagues may have. By allowing the first users to lead trainings and be the technical advisor in each building, means that they can provide the best answers to the questions asked by those who are not to sure about making the change.

Renewal of Change becomes Organizational Practice

Once the change to Edmodo is completed district wide, making sure all who are new to the district realize that using the learning management system Edmodo is part of our district culture. All new teachers will need training as well as continuing training for those who request it. From here, we can add other types of technology that is compatible with the use of Edmodo to enhance student learning in the district. By moving forward, we can truly say we are a technology district.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.