Student interactions in Edmodo versus Facebook
ABSTRACT This study describes student interactions in the academic social network site Edmodo versus student interactions in Facebook. This qualitative case study relies upon four high school juniors enrolled in Advanced Placement Language and Composition who use Edmodo to complete assignments for their English class. Their experiences were gathered in an attempt to describe specific experiences in a complex system. Students were selected using an Internet Connectedness Index survey. Using a Virtual Community of Practice framework, students were asked about their experiences in Edmodo. This study concludes that Edmodo and Facebook can be compared in three categories: accessibility, functionality, and environment. Unlike Facebook, which students access regularly, students access Edmodo only to fulfill the teacher's participation expectations for the specific grade they wish to receive. Additionally, students appreciated the convenience of using Edmodo to complete assignments. The functionality of Edmodo is quite similar in layout and appearance to Facebook, yet students were unaware of the media sharing capability, wished for private messaging options, and desired the ability to tag peers for direct comment using the @ sign, all options that are available in Facebook. Students felt the environment in Edmodo could best be characterized as intellectual and academic, which some mentioned might best be used with honors or AP students. A surprising benefit of Edmodo is the lack of social cues enable students to feel free of judgment when composing writing. Some felt this allowed students to know their classmates better and share their true personae free from judgment of classmates. As a result of the case studies of four students, this study seeks to illustrate how students interact in Edmodo versus Facebook to provide a robust image of the academic social network site for teachers seeking to implement educational technology in their classes.