Student Messaging

On Edmodo
– On Edmodo students cannot message one another. They can message teachers directly or they can post to the whole class. I encourage students to message me with a private question regarding grades and to post to the class if their is confusion about homework. At the beginning of the year, students would message me at night and on the weekend A LOT. We had to have a very serious conversation that while I wanted to help them and be accessible, they needed to realize that I was not “on-call” 24/7. I do have my Edmodo notifications set to email me every time I get a message. This allows me to glance at it, to make sure it is not an emergency, and if it is not, wait to log on to the site to respond when I am ready. Many teachers tell students that they will not respond at all after school hours. I wish I could do that. I just know that I would rather take care of some questions right away, to save me time later. This really is a personal decision, or one that could be made by a school’s administration.
On Gmail
Our school made the hard decision to set up a domain within Google for our students. This is one we thought long and hard about, considering the age of our students. In the end, we felt that in order to take full advantage of Apps on the iPad, students would need to have personal accounts, which often requires an email. We do have our domain set so that students cannot email or receive emails from anyone outside of the domain. This does technically allow them to email teachers and other students. I do not allow students to use the email feature though. Instead, I encourage them collaborate over Edmodo, so that I can monitor what they are doing easily. I talk very frankly with students about the reasons why they should not email one another i.e. risk of cyber bullying and suspicion of cheating. They know that if we see that they have emailed one another, there will be serious consequences.
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