Pros and Cons Edmodo and Schoolbinder

Edmodo Pros:

1. Very Simple tool and clean interface for sharing Ideas between students, teachers, and schools in real time.

2. It is secure, each forum can be set with a specific password that the teacher can set up and only (hopefully) those invited will have access to the forum.

3. In a world where students are constantly near their phones, this can actually put them to good use on the education side and actual be used to help keep them accountable for work and assignments that they have to get done.

4. It works like many other popular social media sites, so students and teachers alike who are most likely familiar with these types of sites, won’t have difficulty navigating the edmodo interface.

Edmodo Cons:

1. Simply, if certain or multiple students are not fortunate enough to have access to a computer at home this can cause an issue in using the site altogether.

2. Some Students with learning disabilities may need help with working with a computer and web based software such as this. They may not be able to work at home alone on this site and may need additional help.

3. There is a very limited capability to customize your profile. This could make it more unique and engaging for the class. However this is more of an aesthetic critique.

Schoolbinder Pros:

1. Great way to keep class up to date with class information, assignments, notes etc…

2. This is something that can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection so no matter where students are, if they forgot something, say while on vacation, they could easily get on the internet and it will be right there for them to see.

3. Serves as a great measure of accountability. Assuming each student has a computer with internet access, the information would be posted for everyone to see, so no students could say “oh I forgot,” because they could have simply gone online and checked.

Schoolbinder Cons:

1. We are using this software assuming that every student s has a computer with Internet access. As we know, in many urban schools this is not always the case and can pose a bit of an issue if we require a whole class to use this system.

2. Murphy’s Law. If something can go wrong, it will. Technology fails, if this happens there would need to be a backup system in place.

3. They need to work on the user interface. It is not as friendly and clean as I would like. Sites like this need to keep it simple and realize that they are going to be catering a wide variety of individual with a multitude of intelligence levels. The site could get confusing and that is just the opposite of its intention.

I would say it is obvious that that both of these sites offer much of the same content and services however I am a bit more partial to edmodo. I really like its capabilities of grading assignments online and its connectivity to cell phone (even though I know schoolbinder does that as well). I could see myself using either of these tools in my classes as I know it would also help keep me organized and accountable. The only thing I would like is if the user interfaces were a bit more customizable.

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2 Responses to “Pros and Cons Edmodo and Schoolbinder”
  1. Hey Joe,

    Thanks for the mention. I just want to chime in on a couple of points that I hope will help.

    Yep, not every child has a computer. We always ask our principals to set aside some time for students during class. Our surveys do show us that over 95% of the students using a “school” account (every student and teacher gets an account associated to a school) get computer time one way or another. “Mom’s job,” “friends house,” “aunty’s house,” etc. Eventually we will get to the point where every child has a computer at home. To help out for now we have added email responses directly to the discussion boards and SMS text reminders.

    Murphy’s Law is always in full effect! Ha. In order to off set that we host all of your data separate from our servers. Your data sits on a 256-bit encrypted server hosted by Rackspace. They are the pros. They do all of the nightly backups. Also, we added the ability to export your FORMS data to Excel/CSV format. The FORMS feature will be release very soon. This is not the place to get into details for that. We are a small company. We are trying not to sell out to the big corporates. We work closely with schools to customize the app to fit their needs. If you every need you data you can always email us. We will give you everything we can.

    I admit the user interface could use some work. That has more to do with the fact that our team is working non-stop building requested features. We are about to release a bunch of new features. You will probably see an interface upgrade this summer.

    Anyway, we really do appreciate your input. If you and any of your friends decide you want to stay with Schoolbinder just let me know. I can set you all up under an Intern/Pilot account with all of the features. You can help us develop the new forms that we will be adding to help collect and analyze instruction data.

    Let me know.

    Thanks,

    Roderick

    roderick@myschoolbinder.com

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