Thursday, January 7, 2016

Six Steps to Submit Stellar Spotlights - plus a few other suggestions

Edmodo Spotlight helps you boost your lesson planning and find resources to spark your students’ curiosity and improve their overall learning experience. It is a place to share, collect, review, and discover helpful resources for your students and teaching. It is a marketplace where both publishers and teachers can create and share resources. Teachers from the Edmodo network can download, peruse or purchase these resources.

I was reluctant to use Spotlight, until I really stopped and looked at it. It was super easy, but it helps to be prepared. So this blog post is to help you plan ahead. When you upload, you’ll be asked for some information. If you have it ahead of time, it will make the upload flow much smoother. Also please know your resource is most likely to be approved if you include a title, at least 1 (but 4 is better) thumbnail images and both parts of the description.

1. If you are “recommending” a resource, first, please, search spotlight to be sure no one else has already shared it. If they have, simply add a comment using the [review] button, seconding the recommendation.

2. Title: be sure your title gives a clear picture of your product. For example, Sandy’s Shoes tells you nothing, but Measuring Distance with Sally’s Shoes gives you a better idea. A good title helps teachers decide whether to look at a product!

3. Up to 4 thumbnails: you will need to have 1-4 meaningful thumbnails representing your product. If you do not include your own, there are defaults, but these are not going to attract users to your product. (see images below)

Great thumbnails will help draw in teachers. For example, the images for the products here...

tell you more than these ...

4. Description: The Description Field provides an overview of your content. This is what teachers will read when clicking on your resource, before deciding whether or not to download it.
  • Question 1: Describe your content, including how it addresses a specific subject and standards. Tell us what academic objectives it achieves. Hint: Try to anticipate questions that teachers may have. We recommend 50-100 words.This is the overview teachers see when they are deciding whether or not to download your product. It should provide a detailed overview of the content and related standards. It may include links to related resources or products. You could also provide data or social proof, “this project is a favorite with my 5th graders every year”. If you have this written up ahead of time, you can just paste it into the box when uploading
  • Question 2: How can teachers use this in the classroom? Hint: Provide an idea for how the teacher can integrate this resource into their lesson. You can mention discussion, collaboration, assessment, etc.

5. Resource type: if your product doesn’t neatly fit into one of these categories, just give it the closest choice.
6. Grade levels (up to 4) and subjects addressed. You should also know the CCSS numbers, if applicable.

There is sometimes confusion about the licensing. There are six licence options but only two are available through Spotlight. Non-commercial, no derivatives means no one can sell OR modify your work for their purpose, to fit the needs of their students. If you are okay with others using and modifying your work to fit their needs, then use share alike. This allows others to build upon your work as long as they give you credit, even for commercial purposes. I am a big fan of open educational resources (OER) so I tend to use the most accommodating license.

You will also need to select a few other things but these are pretty straightforward.
A few other suggestions:

  • Create a profile! I know I like to see that someone has put the effort into letting me know something about them. As we say in twitter-land, don’t be an egg! Upload an avatar or picture representing you. And come up with a motto. It can be a mantra, guiding principle or even a nickname.. just put something!
  • Share your work! You are your own best salesperson. Tweet out links to your products. Share them in content specific groups in Edmodo, let your spotlight shine!
  • Share the spotlight love… review and rate other teachers’ products. Not only will it help give you great ideas, a review helps that teacher by motivating, encouraging and giving them ways to improve their own offerings. After all, it is all about collaboration!

Coming up next, 

How to Search for Stellar Spotlights