Wherever nerds gather the question of who would win, Godzilla or King Kong needs must arise, and in Ed Tech circles, I guess the equivalent debate would revolve around the relative merits of Moodle or Edmodo.
At the school where I teach the number of teachers using Edmodo and those using Moodle is roughly equal. I’ve been using Moodle ever since it appeared on the scene, and I find Edmodo light on functionality, but many teachers are very enthusiastic about Edmodo, so I thought I’d take a second look and resurrect my old Edmodo account to see what all the fuss was about!
I have to say that my initial impression was pretty much the same as it had been a few years ago – I couldn’t find anything there that would persuade me to give up Moodle. I’m one of the first to admit that if Moodle were a little more like Facebook it would be better, but to sacrifice all the functionality that Moodle has for a posts feed on your homepage seems to me to be missing the point. I have social media accounts for that! All my Moodle pages have Twitter feeds. I have a scoopit feed on my Moodle home page. You can make Moodle social, but I’m not sure you can get Edmodo to do all the serious assessment stuff you really need in a Learning Management System. Nevertheless this is a strong point with Edmodo – it is easy for students to post on class feed. Moodle really needs to add this function.
I also liked the feature in Edmodo which allows students to add parents to their account – it can be done in Moodle, but it is not as easy. The real deal-breaker for me though is the grading routine, which is clumsy and primitive, You cannot use rubrics, or set up peer assessments! To my mind a serious LMS really needs to have serious assessment capability.
There are apps available, many of them free, and these are important considerations. They take some time to figure out, though. Fo example, I installed Blendspace and then struggled to find out how to use it. Eventually I went to the Blendspace website and worked it out from that side. No help at all was available on the Edmodo side. The documentation is absent and if I were any less confident about my ability to figure stuff out I would have given up. I did give up on some apps I tried to install which would not even display in my browser. With a bit more time and patience I can see that adding apps does serve to make Edmodo more powerful. But user-friendly it is not! Those who complain that Moodle is a steep learning curve obviously have not tried Edmodo!
While Edmodo seems to have come quite a long way, I will not be setting Moodle aside anytime soon. Nevertheless I have set up one class on Edmodo to give it more of a test run, and, if Moodle did not exist, I’m sure I’d be using Edmodo enthusiastically.