Working in a 1:1 iPad classroom, I needed something that would solve my workflow problems once and for all. I spent a very long time looking at various apps that all claimed to solve my workflow issues, and finally decided I wanted to use an LMS, as they had the added bonus of facilitating more collaboration between my students.
Initially, I used Edmodo, as it is one of the most popular and certainly the one I had heard most about. I soon realised, though, that while teachers in netbook/laptop schools loved it, there were many difficulties to using Edmodo in an iPad setting. I then moved to Schoology, which I love and, more importantly, my students love.
Many people in my school, though, still stand by Edmodo, even with the iPads. Below, you can make up your own mind with the advantages and disadvantages of both in an iPad classroom.
- It is possible for teachers to connect with other educators around the world, opening the potential for global connections.
- The interface is very appealing for pre and young teens, making them more likely to use it.
- It is quick to learn for teachers and students who are not confident with technology.
- You can easily create small groups within your class, making it easy to share items with a particular group.
- It is difficult for students to upload their work on the iPads – the app quite often force quits by itself or says that students are not logged in correctly, even when they are.
- Some students find the interface too complicated to navigate. It is not as intuitive as Schoology.
- Other students find the interface too child-like, and prefer to use something that looks more sophisticated.
- Important news is lost in the constant stream of updates. I had many students who could not find a particular piece of information within the news feed because there were so many posts.
- Has a more ‘Facebook’ feel (you can ‘like’ people’s posts and comments) which makes it instantly more popular with teens. It has been popular even with my very selective students.
- It is very easy for students to upload their work from their iPad. None of my students’ have ever had a problem uploading their work, and it is a breeze to return the work with comments.
- You can individually assign work/assignments to help differentiate your class. This is easier than giving every group an individual code to access it, as you have to in Edmodo.
- You can create ‘discussions’ that are separate to the ‘updates’ section. While updates are good, they get lost in the stream of information. The discussion boards provide a place where your class can collaborate on a topic/task and can easily refer back to it.
- It is still difficult to upload any student work that is video or image based.
- It connects your class as a ‘course’ not a ‘class’. This makes it easier for high school teachers, but for my single class, students became confused as to where they needed to go for their assignments, discussion boards etc.
- It takes longer to learn that Edmodo, as it has more features (although these features are easier to use than Edmodo).
The key consideration in choosing an LMS must always be the needs and wants of your students that year.
The deciding factor for my switch to Schoology was simply that my students were incredibly frustrated with using Edmodo on their iPads and simply stopped using it. Now we are using Schoology they are on it constantly, asking questions, sharing work and collaborating and that is why we chose to use an LMS at all.
How have you used Edmodo or Schoology in your classroom? What advantages or disadvantages have you found?