Today the class will view a video during warm up time. After viewing the video, students will do a quick write reponse to my question, "Do you agree with the video, do words have power?" Then, I have students share their thoughts at their tables. Students are left stunned after the video and have lots to say. A good conversation about the power of words and using them for good ensues. After a few minutes, I turn this conversation to the importance of words in assignments and discussion in our classroom. I want to set the tone for using our words appropriately in both our physical and digital classroom.
Next, I introduce the classroom laptop cart and laptops to students. I remind them of the appropriate use policy they and their parents signed at the beginning of the year. Then, I tell each student what number they will be assigned for the year, and allow them to come back and collect their laptop from the cart. (The laptops are numbered.) After all laptops are at tables with students, I ask students to login using their preassigned district login and password.
After all students have successfully logged in I point out the Edmodo link on the desktop and ask that they click it. I explain that in this class they will have not only a physical, but also a digital classroom. Today is all about getting them into that classroom. At this point, I walk students through joining the classes that I setup for them ahead of time.
I use a fictional character (Katniss Everdeen for this year) to demonstrate each step of joining the class for students. Please see the attached video for a demonstration.
For independent work time I want students to "practice" using Edmodo to have a conversation. I will demonstrate the correct way to send a message - called a "note" on Edmodo - on the SMART board and explain that there will be no spoken conversation during this time.
Then, I pose a random question about a "hot" topic. I ask one student to start the conversation with a comment and everyone else is to reply.
As students are having their discussion, I walk around and ask a few random students to start a new conversation thread by sending out a new comment about a new topic.
I will let students know that I am checking to see if students use new "notes" and "reply" correctly while also commenting on good conversation. I'll ask them to remember that words have power and to remember that their words online need to be words they can be proud of -they last forever.
To wrap up, I will explain the parent account feature of Edmodo and have students get a parent letter from the caddy at their table. These are available on the Edmodo site. The parent note simply tells parents about Edmodo and how we use it in class. It invites parents to setup their own account to receive notifications and have access to the class calendar. I do require that students bring this back with a signature to ensure that parents were notified.