Craft in the City

Class Dojo is Better Than Status Quo!

Teaching is a stressful job, and certainly is only a calling for those who have the patience, ambition, and sincere love for working with children. Occasionally, there is a teacher who is put into this line of work by some higher power. I am one of those teachers. Although a certified teacher, relocation and life have currently positioned me as a guest teacher (nee “substitute” moniker of yesteryear).

Guest teaching is a harrowing experience for most and therefore the few of us masochists who actually enjoy the ongoing and endless changing of grades, students, schools, rules, etc. have also learned of a new community building software app that is also very beneficial for the guest teacher(s). That app is known as “ClassDojo.”

Having first experienced this new software app on a second grade teacher’s smartboard, I was a bit perplexed at first and more than just a little curious. Hence, a little online investigation of the app pleasantly taught me that not only does it provide a quick and easy communication platform for the entire class, it also provides a “lifeline” to the students’ parents, thereby creating a perfect little triangle of community that does indeed enhance the educational process. Parents can also be made aware of their children’s kudos and demerits online whenever they occur if they are signed up for the service.

The app also provides the ability for a student or teacher to take photos or video of the project they are currently creating and the visual is parlayed directly to the parent. Students love this attribute!

ClassDojo’s creators and founders, Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary, created the app with the mission statement that change in schools is a ground-up process which largely begins with the classroom teachers. The founders’ theory is that a classroom culture changed for the better in turn can lead to improvement for the entire school, then to the community, and ultimately will improve all of academia’s conditions with infinite measures.

Imagine my surprise when I learned that the entire app can be downloaded at will but with obvious approval by the teacher’s school administration. There are the obvious and typical pundits who decry it as a violation of privacy policies; however, ClassDojo has been successfully used in as many as two out of three public schools since its surfacing in 2011.

Academia cannot flourish with an attitude of status quo, so let’s ClassDojo!

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