Most of today’s world features social media and its impact on the world, and many critics have talked about it taking a hold of schools and being a major distraction and in some cases an incubator for cyber bullying. But some developers are looking to turn it into a tool that can strengthen classroom unity and get students to pay attention to what the teacher has to say, and such is what the developers of ClassDojo have been doing. ClassDojo is a free app you can download for practically any mobile device or tablet by just going to the Google Play store or iTunes, and it’s evolved to become similar to Facebook but packaged with academic material.
Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don are the founders of ClassDojo. They came to the US from the UK several years ago after graduating college and hoping to start a company in an industry that was largely ignored. They took notice of elementary and middle schools that were lacking in quality education and felt that much of it was due to failing to encourage positive behavior and attentiveness, and they figured technology could be used to address this. They went around asking teachers what they thought could be used in an app that could improve student participation, and after hearing these ideas and brainstorming on how to build the app, Chaudhary and Don went to work and released the first ClassDojo version in 2011. The teachers who started using the app were amazed by how much better their classrooms became, and before long they started asking for even more from it.
ClassDojo started adding in student profiles and stories and giving teachers the ability to manage them and add photos for activities. Parents using the app get updates during the day, and when students come home they ask them specific questions about the activity and give them pointers to improve studies. Students are also challenged to think outside the box when they watch ClassDojo’s growth series videos which feature animated characters and lessons on tackling tough subjects. Since parents and teachers can see exactly what’s going on in class, many schools using ClassDojo have stopped doing parent-teacher meetings since they become no longer necessary.