A colleague (Chris Fry, Barcelona) posted this on a British Council teachers’ forum yesterday about the pros and cons of Edmodo and Ning, which I thought might be of interest. After exploring Edmodo myself and then reading this endorsement I will certainly be trying it out when I next teach a class.
“I have tried both. Three years ago I used three Nings for my three levels and was very happy with the way it worked, but towards the end of the year I heard about Edmodo, which was then very new. I experimented with it over the summer and was sure I wanted to switch horses and try Edmodo.
Last year I used it and I was won over 100% and am using it again this year. I would be very pleased to accept requests for a connection from any teachers who are using Edmodo. This is a great way of sharing materials and expertise.
Why is Edmodo better than a Ning, in my opinion?
- Edmodo is an educational tool modelled on social networking sites – it looks like Facebook, but was designed for K12 (schools)
- It is a unified interface for all your groups – with the three Nings I had to log in three times on different tabs.
- It has gradebooks and assignments
- It is a protected environment. No communication with the outside world, although selected posts can be made public, but no response is possible.
- There are no advertisements and it is completely free.
- There is the possibility of using it for a whole school and even school district (for us the world!)
- The support is exemplary – within hours
- The fact that there is no customisation of the look – always time-consuming and of doubtful value
- The whole possibility of working with other people – teachers can have connections with other teachers wherever they are
- Teachers can join Edmodo groups for teachers to backchannel in conferences and share ideas.
I’m sure there are more, but of course some aspects of Nings are better. Here are some:
- Nings can be made more or less private discouraging or encouraging others to join each group although pairing classes in Edmodo IS also possible
- Some people will like all the customisation. The Ning can be customised and each students can customise their own page, but ….
- It is possible to design a page layout with fixed items that are always visible. Whereas, in Edmodo, this is not possible. Edmodo makes it possible to find things posted a while back by using filters and search.
- RSS feeds into Nings are more reliable and more visible, but as far as I recall there was no RSS feed out. Edmodo has RSS feeds in and out and the out one is selectable by the teacher for each post
- It is easy to brand it (I don’t know about Edmodo)”