ClassDojo, a San Francisco-based startup, has been quickly spreading to classrooms across the country. This innovative tool is helping teachers manage their classrooms through positively encouraging good student mindsets and reducing or eliminating teacher workload for tasks involving communicating with parents. Although there are other products aimed at making K-8 teachers’ lives easier, ClassDojo is unique in its combination of fun, positive reinforcement with the serious tools teachers need to keep their classes running smoothly and efficiently.
An invention born of necessity
When ClassDojo’s founders, Sam Choudhary and Liam Don started out they had only one preconceived idea: They wanted to create something that would make education easier. With no idea of exactly how they would do this, they set out cold-calling thousands of teachers and talking in person to hundreds more in order to get a feel for what problems most plagued K-8 educators. It didn’t take long for an answer to take shape.
The teachers interviewed almost unanimously pointed to behavior problems that they needed to spend valuable class time dealing with as the main obstacle to efficiently running a classroom. Don and Choudhary then set out to discover all they could about how to positively encourage students to adopt a pro-learning mindset. Eventually they came to the theories of various psychologists including James Heckman, Angela Duckworth and Carol Dweck which emphasized the power of positive reinforcement to create a fertile learning environment. What resulted is an app which is fundamentally different from anything else on the market.
ClassDojo becomes the first social network for parents, teachers and kids
What took form is an app that ultimately came to resemble a social network but that also had many well-designed education-oriented features. ClassDojo allows kids to communicate with each other while maintaining a high level of administrative control for the teacher. But it also includes a much lauded positive feedback system, allowing kids to get a healthy dose of approval and recognition each time they achieve something in class. In this sense, @ClassDojo borrows aspects from modern gaming that encourage user longevity. In effect, ClassDojo gets kids hooked on learning, one addiction that can hardly be called a vice.
The app also updates parents with their child’s progress in real time. Parents no longer have to wait for the semi-annual parent-teacher conference to find out their child hasn’t mastered a lesson.
ClassDojo is getting rave reviews from teachers across the country and has spread like wildfire throughout U.S. schools. It solves teachers’ most pressing problems and gets kids excited about learning. Watch for its continued expansion into the future.