The Vermont Agency of Education (AOE) has partnered with global education network Edmodo to create a statewide network for Vermont educators to collaborate and access Continuity of Learning resources to enable continued support for all Vermont students. The Edmodo platform will also provide educators with a virtual ecosystem for peer learning and networking communities to share information and best practices. Each school district and supervisory union (SU/SD) and approved independent school will be provided with an independent space for localized development and online teaching.
Built like a social network, the Edmodo platform enables group conversations and threaded discussions, in addition to classroom tools and a robust content resource library. At the district level, schools will be able to build out environments for students, parents and teachers to communicate and collaborate if they choose. Educators will also have access to powerful remote teaching functionality for virtual learning and a robust mobile app.
As the first statewide partnership in the U.S. for Edmodo, the Vermont AOE chose to introduce the network to all Vermont stakeholders because of Edmodo’s ease of use and multifunctional offerings. Additionally, it was important to support Vermont’s education community throughout the Continuity of Learning phase with a solution that addresses the long-standing equity gap in how educators can come together in a physical learning space. In the past, in-person AOE convenings and training opportunities have been held in larger towns and cities like Burlington, or in the geographic center of the state, presenting a geographic barrier to educators in the northern and southern areas of the state. Edmodo will support a virtual convening space so that educators from across the state -- from the farthest northeast corner to the farthest southwest corner -- can interact and learn from each other. In the coming weeks, AOE and Edmodo will work with Vermont school districts to set up accounts and provide login information and training for educators to access and use the network.
Edmodo is a UNESCO recommended global education network and learning platform that connects teachers to the people and resources needed to reach their full potential. Founded in 2008, Edmodo supports more than 125 million members worldwide for accessible learning from any location, at any time. Our classroom tools provide a secure space for teachers, students, and parents to communicate and collaborate. Our innovative remote learning offering supports continuity of learning in events of prolonged school closures or student absence. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, California.
Data and Security Protections
As SUs/SDs and schools review the myriad uses for Edmodo in supporting professional, classroom and community interactions, privacy and security will be a consideration in decisions about use and rollout within their education communities. Many of those considerations will center on protecting student data privacy, particularly when deciding whether to use Edmodo as a Learning Management System.
The Agency of Education shares your investment in the protection of student data privacy and the need to protect personal information for students and staff. Though we cannot speak to Edmodo’s past or future willingness to sign privacy agreements with individual school districts, we can assure you that the partnership with the State of Vermont (SOV) aligns with the intent of the Vermont Student Data Privacy Consortium standard agreement and meets the SOV’s obligations under FERPA.
In the SOV partnership with Edmodo, the SOV and district users have multiple layers of data privacy protection.
- Edmodo licensing was purchased through a cloud solutions partner, Quest Media & Supplies, Inc. utilizing a NASPO ValuePoint master contract. In this contract, all purchases are required to adhere to the terms and conditions of the master contract including Exhibit 1, with sections including but not limited to ownership, protection, breach, termination and encryption.
- To utilize the ValuePoint contract each participating state is required to develop a Participating Addendum (PA) in which the state may choose to add additional terms and conditions. The Vermont PA adds a number of terms for data protection (see Exhibit 1 – Item 2, e. and f. on Page 33 of the Vermont PA). These terms apply to the contractor, Quest, and any subcontractors that Quest will use, such as Edmodo.
- Finally, Vermont’s new Act 89, an act related to data privacy and consumer protection, went into effect on July 1, 2020. The student data privacy protections described in Act 89 will apply to the work on this project.
If you have any questions about the Agency of Education's partnership with Edmodo, please contact Jess DeCarolis at email@example.com.