The online safety was a major "positive" for us, too, as we were being introduced to Edmodo. I just wish we had had more time to "play" with it. We did create an account, and we did have a small amount of time in the day's workshop to make use of it; however, I would love to hear exactly how teachers are using it and in what courses and/or grade levels. I am glad that your teachers are enjoying the use of Emodo. And, yes, I want to learn more about the "bells and whistles."
Edmodo is a great way to introduce online collaboration to elementary students. All student activity is monitored by the teacher who created the community. Parents are invited to create an account to monitor student activity too. Students do not need an email account in order to create an account. The interface is intuitive and well designed. I highly recommend it.
Yes, I do remember thinking what a valuable communication tool it would be, too. We currently use MOODLE in our junior high and high schools. Parents use their child's login to access the course information rather than have a separate account. I felt like Edmodo may be more geared to elementary.
In a meeting with some LEA tech directors on Thursday, we discussed Edmodo. Several districts are using the school/district domain features and really like it. One of the districts uses Schology and shared that it has the same features as Edmodo. I was aware of the LMS functions of Schology but not the networking featurs. Seems that they are very similar.
Edmodo is a phenomenal classroom tool both for students and educators. The interface is very similar to Facebook and very easy to use. The kids enjoy using the tools and because there is a mobile app they can stay connected to the classroom anytime anywhere. I liked the flexibility of the resources and the wealth of resources and communities to join. This is a very secure system and unlimited storage of all sorts of digital resources for the classroom and students. Try it I am sure that you will love it. :-)