Parent-teacher communication has always been a challenge: both parents and teachers are, by nature, busy people, and a combination of conflicting schedules and heavy workloads often leads to long periods without any real interaction. The makers of ClassDojo intend to change this.
ClassDojo is a communication platform which encourages connections between teachers, parents and students. Parents and teachers can exchange messages using a built-in messenger feature, allowing parents to have a more in-depth understanding of their child’s education. Students can post photos and videos of their school day to their school’s Story, which both allows them an outlet for otherwise distracting social media impulses and shows parents and teachers what the students find most engaging and interesting about their experience. The app intends to foster a sense of community and positive culture through ground-up change, and it appears to be working: two out of three schools in America have at least one teacher who is active on the service, and with full support for over 30 languages, international growth is sure to be rapid.
Launched in August of 2011, ClassDojo began as a simple point tracker to allow teachers to reward students for good behavior; it has since evolved to become a powerful communications tool, and is rapidly developing into an all-in-one education suite. In January 2016, a collaboration with Stanford University produced a five-part video series on the growth mindset, the idea that a child’s potential is not based on how innately “smart” they are, but rather on how hard they are willing to work. A second collaboration with Stanford produced a further video series, entitled “Perseverance”, while the most recent series, this time produced in conjunction with Harvard, focuses on empathy–all vital topics of conversation in an era of rampant negativity and cyber-bullying. With these videos, ClassDojo hopes to begin transitioning from simple communications app to full-scale distribution platform, using a freemium model similar to that of Slack or other enterprise-focused software. By packaging a variety of educational services into a single software bundle, developers believe they can reduce the cost of traditional educational services, as well as providing a vital new-media approach that will keep students, parents and teachers more closely connected. ClassDojo brings community, communication and a positive culture, all in one free download.