Are sites/programs meant exclusively for educators as good as the ones intended for the general public? Is TeacherTube as good as YouTube? No way. Whenever possible, I strayed away from made-for-ed online applications just because I had a feeling they were inferior, and I realize it cost me.
This post is sort of like an admission of guilt. I have been blockheaded and I would like to own up to it. Here goes: A couple of years ago I was looking to break into the Facebook craze with a classroom social network, something one step beyond my blog. Someone suggested Edmodo, and I shrugged it off. I wanted something meant for the masses, not some sort of edu-friendly watered-down deal.
Instead, I joined NING, and our class was social. It worked well, except for the advertising and the internal IM network, which proved difficult to manage. Then, NING decided to go commercial and instead of paying for the same services, I joined GROU.PS. They claimed they would take all NING refugees, so I moved the classroom. Almost the same features, even more ads, and slow page loads. Then GROU.PS did the same thing.
Lately, I wanted to get something that would act as a middleman to get text messages to kids without having to collect phone numbers. SOmeone online suggested Edmodo, and I took a look.
Well, as it turns out, Edmodo.com is exactly what I wanted in the first place. I can collect links and resources, organize classes on one site, and there are no ads or chatrooms. I am so excited to get started with this site, but I also feel bad I shrugged it off because I got the wrong impression.
Makes me wonder what else I may be overlooking.