Yesterday I was strolling around my room to check how students were doing on a project and I noticed one of my students doing something rather unique in Edmodo. I had asked my students to find a current event article for an assignment in class. They had to save the link in their favorites folder on their computer or simply copy and paste it into a Word document. This severely limited their ability to access material outside of their computer in the classroom or outside of the school network. UDL is all about providing flexible tools for students to use to benefit their learning experience.
One student was using Edmodo to do this assignment. I was curious, so I asked him about what he was doing. I've been using Edmodo for about 2 years now and I never knew about the Electronic Backpack feature available for students. My student explained to me that he's been using this tool for quite awhile. Boy did I feel dumb!
The Backpack feature is a way for students to save links in Edmodo's Library Tab, giving them the opportunity to organize their links by category, subject area, or interest. There is also a feature for sharing library contents with students. With social bookmarking sites like Delicious struggling to keep inappropriate content out of its site, this may be a great alternative. It also prevents you from needing to use multiple sites to create content, submit assignments, and share links. I even wrote last week about its new Quiz feature!
Creating expert learners requires taking the time to develop a student's ability to plan, develop, and organize information. When our students can access their links from anywhere at anytime, it can provide ways for our students to learn more efficiently and effectively. Why? Because their time isn't being wasted searching for that link from earlier today and they can access it anytime and anywhere.