Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hey Edmodo Users, Are Your Groups Secure?

With the start of the school year off to a running start, it is important to address some key items that will insure success of your groups and prevent some not so nice things from occurring. I'm an avid Edmodo with Edmodo serving as the hub of my virtual classroom, but I learned a valuable lesson two weeks ago concerning the security of my groups and the trustworthiness of my students.

As an Edtech advocate, I'm always willing to try out new tools and I'm adamant about teaching digital citizenship. My students learn long before they enter my classroom what is appropriate online behavior, but I'm guilty of being too trusting and assuming that my students know one basic rule about digital citizenship: don't share passwords, or in the case of Edmodo, group codes.

Two weeks ago, one of my student shared the code to one of my Edmodo groups with his friend. This friend decided it would be funny to make a fake Edmodo account, join my group, and post very inappropriate items to my class. Edmodo Support was lightning fast in deleting the offensive postings and disabling the fake account, but some parents and students saw the items. Long story short, Edmodo Support traced the fake account to an IP address used by a real student, and my administration was able to suspend the student for breaking the district's acceptable use policy. While this story has somewhat of a happy ending with the perpetrator getting caught and punished, the inappropriate posting could have been prevented by me with just two quick clicks in Edmodo group settings.

Please heed my advice and make sure your groups are secure. By locking group codes and moderating posts, we can make sure that one bad apple won't spoil the entire barrel. To learn how, view this quick screencast. In less than one minute, you can prevent inappropriate use.

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