For the last few years I've used a website and blog to communicate with students, hold online discussions, offer help and post resources. Maintaining the two different systems wasn't always easy, there were features I wanted, and it was all public. So, this year I decided to use Edmodo with my classes. It has been great already. Edmodo is a free, learning management system that is full featured and easy to use.
I teach Physics and Advanced Placement Physics. I created one group for the 4 Physics classes and another group for the AP Physics class. I have folders for uploading files for both of them also set up.
I had students sign up the 1st day of class right in my room, either on the 8 student computers I have, or on their own devices, mainly smartphones. Within minutes, all of my students were online and ready to go.
It's really easy to use, there are tons of places to go for help and ideas and tips, and the students love it. Many had already used it last year with other teachers, so it was even easier to get them using it in my class.
Some of the features I love:
1. Closed system. I can post the information to join the Evernote Group, the online textbook access codes, and much more here and only the students in my class can see it.
2. Parent access. I am currently setting up parent access to Edmodo. Parents will only see notices I post to the parent group and their own child's information. Edmodo even has sample welcome/invite letters and how-to info for parents.
3. I can easily post an announcement or alert to all my groups at once. With the blogs, I had to post to the Physics one and then the AP Physics one separately.
4. Library. It's very easy to upload files and share them to any or all groups.
5. Support. There is a vibrant user community and support materials available, making it easy to find help.
6. Layout. Edmodo is easy to read and find things on the page. The new layout, introduced today, is even better.
7. Notifications. I can get notifications through the mobile app on my smartphone when a student messages me or completes an assignment.
Edmodo is a great way to connect and share with your students. http://www.edmodo.com/
Edmodo - free social learning platform expands and improves
22 Great Tips on using Edmodo in the classroom
5 Great course management resources for educators
Some more great Android Apps for Education (including Edmodo app)