14 March 2016

Class Dojo

Class Dojo is an innovative technology that is radically altering the way teachers interact with both students and parents.  So what is it exactly?  Well, Class Dojo is an educational tool that allows teachers to provide real-time feedback for student behavior.  It is available on smartphones, tablets, and computers (although if you want the best experience, a tablet or smartphone is preferred to avoid running back to the computer every time you want to input data).  I suggest downloading the app for your device.  It's free, easy to use, and fun!

How does it work?  Class Dojo allows teachers to copy and paste their class rosters to create individual avatars for each student (the avatars are all cute monsters vis-a-vis Monsters Inc.). Students can even edit their avatar for a truly personalized experience. Once students are entered, you can keep track of their behaviors with the click of a button during class.  The app comes stock with 6 positive behavior options and 6 "needs work" options.  A student made a great point during a discussion? They get a "Participation" point. Student forgets homework? They are deducted a point under the "Missed Homework" button.  You can also customize the choices to include whatever behaviors you are looking for.  Teachers also have the option to give the entire class (or specific groups) points simultaneously.

Class Dojo keeps track of your students aggregate scores and will give you the feedback in the form of a doughnut chart that offers an overall participation grade percentage for each student.  See below for an example:

Class Dojo works best with immediate feedback, which is why smartphones and tablets are preferable. Each behavior elicits a sound corresponding to whether it was a positive or "needs work" action.  Students will become conditioned to recognize the sound of the mark as it counts towards (or against) their classroom participation grade.  The data sets are easy to organize and print, making documentation a snap.  

The app also lets teachers randomize the response (similar to picking popsicle sticks with students names out of a bag) of students, simplifying the process and avoiding the same 3 students to responding on a daily basis. 

Class Dojo also has added a messaging component to their services, which is a BIG bonus.  Now, parents who sign up for e-mail notifications will receive weekly updates about their child's classroom participation. If parents decide to download the Class Dojo app, they will receive weekly updates on their phones in the form of an alert (the small red number over an app), reminding them to check their child's weekly report. Teachers can even send blast messages to parents of the entire class reminding them of an upcoming project deadline or test.  You can also send direct messages to parents who have signed up, informing them of positive behavior changes.  This is a wonderful way to include parents in their children's education.  The best part of the messaging for teachers: no phone numbers are ever exchanged, the entire communication is conducted through the Class Dojo app or e-mail.  Teachers can see if parents checked their update and at what time. However, parents can respond to these messages and send direct messages back to the teacher, but only through the app and they cannot see what time the message was read by the teacher.  

So check out this revolutionary app and let me know what you think.  If you truly enjoy using Class Dojo, they provide the necessary information and tools to share this app with your school, allowing you to be on the cutting edge of educational reform.  Below are a few more videos of Class Dojo so you can see for yourself if it's the right fit for your classroom.  Enjoy!!!  


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