Sunday, August 14, 2011

My Talented Son

My thoughts are turning to the new school year. As a result of a Skype call with Shannon Miller and attending the 2011 EdmodoCon I am filled with new ideas for the 2011-2012 school year. My son has become really talented in using The Gimp. I asked him for a tutorial on creating badges for Edmodo. It turns out Edmodo made it much easier than I realized.

Edmodo Badges
Electronic badges can be awarded to students for various teacher selected reasons. I have not yet decided on what I will award, but 100% completion of big projects, supporting another student, contributions to discussions are all possibilities. 

In order to introduce the concept, and award students who helped me test out Edmodo last year, I wanted to create a badge. I knew my son had taken The Gimp to greater heights than I have, so I asked him to teach me how to use the path tool to create a badge and add a glossy look to the top. I thought that the badge needed to be fully designed.  This is the badge Stephen designed for me. It is gorgeous! I actually like it better than what Edmodo did for me - although they make it less work in the long run.

When we uploaded it, we found out that the little edge and drop shadow beneath the image is created on the Edmodo side. So Stephen redid the badge as a simple square as you can see on the right.

Edmodo turns it into this finished image:

The image is a 55x55 pixel square. 

I don't know how to find the teacher shared badges, but if you like this badge I did make it a shared image.

Ideas From Shannon
One idea that Shannon shared with me would make a collaborative project much easier. Rather than having two teachers on the project, Shannon and her teacher-collaborator from outside the school created one teacher account. In this way, both teachers were able to communicate with all students. It became one classroom and one teacher voice. I thought that was an interesting way to approach the collaboration.

I'm not planning on a collaborative project through Edmodo at this point, but I am up for it. I can extend this idea to collaborating through a wiki.


  1. Some questions for you. LOL!

    What grades are you using Edmodo with? What are you planning to award badges for? I'm definitely using it with 5th grade b/c they're joining the Week in a Life project. I'm trying to decide if I'm using it with other grades.

  2. I used it with 4-8 last year - just in May as a test. I can imagine badges for fully completing projects, being a great assistant to another student in class, contributing to a discussion, successfully uploading 5 then 10 projects to Edmodo in the school year, and others as I use it through the year.

    Even though I have Google Apps for Education, we still do many projects in Scratch, Open Office, Kid Pix, etc. It will allow me to easily collect the work from many different hard drives and the server. It made it so easy to open work at home. I can assign a grade through Edmodo, the students can leave me comments such as reminders that they missed a few classes due to illness, and I can leave them comments on their work.

    I tested it with the 8th graders in April and rolled it out to 7th, then 6th, then 4th through May. Each class liked it and had a really easy time uploading their work.

    Let me know if you'd like to chat about it.