ClassDojo

  • Developer: Classdojo
  • Genre: Educational apps
  • Version: latest
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Official information

Release Date August 2011
Developer Classdojo
Publisher Class Twist Inc.
Genre Educational apps
Language English
System Android, iOS
Version latest

Screenshots

–°lassDojo Review

Imagine a digital classroom, where teachers, students and of course parents can communicate with each other, discuss problems, create portfolios, share the brightest and memorable moments from the school life, ask about homework and give a teacher high five.
This is what it is - a digital classroom with an impressive array of functions - both serious and funny. what’s better you can get ClassDojo for Android for free. The same goes to ClassDojo for iOS too, by the way.

Discipline comes first

ClassDojo, first of all, claims to encourage "positive" behavior among the students in the real-life classroom, replacing good old A's B's and F's with a new, "friendlier" evaluation system.
ClassDojo suggests the following categories:
  • Helping others.
  • On task.
  • Participating.
  • Perseverance.
  • Teamwork.
  • Working hard.
These are the positive categories for which students, naturally, receive positive Dojos. Depending on how high and good the results shown in the classroom are, every student can be awarded with from 1 to 5 Dojos.
At the same time the app has 5 categories, at which a student could use some improvement:
  • Disrespect.
  • No homework.
  • Off task.
  • Talking out of turn.
  • Unprepared.
Consequently, those categories are "bad news", meaning that students will receive negative Dojos that will devour their Dojos with the + sign.
If it is necessary, those categories can be modified by the teachers, fulfilling the specific needs of any given classroom/school.
Students in the app are represented as comical, cartoony monsters - each pupil has a unique colorful and silly avatar. It can be done either randomly or manually by a teacher.
The list of students can be added to the application from a Word/Excel/Google Sheets by copy-pasting to economize time.

Parent-teacher conference: The lazy edition

Parents can be invited to join ClassDojo through:
  • A text message.
  • An email letter.
  • A physical invitation printed on paper straight from the app.
Each message contains a special code that links a parent right to their child's profile inside the app.
In the meantime every teacher has three sections through which they can operate:
a) Classroom - used for tracking down the earned Dojo points and making reports on overall attendance, diligence etc.  
b) Class Story - allows to share multimedia files with parents, highlighting the central moments from the life of the school.
c) Messages - allows teachers and parents to stay in touch via emails or in-app text messages - it's up to you which one to choose.
However parents cannot that easily dodge the bullet and avoid reading messages regarding their kids' academic achievement and behavior - the teacher engaged in correspondence will know if the messages remain ignored or not.
Similar to the school's mentors, parents have:
  • Class Story.
  • Messages.
  • Notifications.
  • Your Kids.
And of course, it's possible to contact any given teacher via the app whenever it's necessary.

Tips & tricks

Probably realizing how stressful it is, to have your achievements in the form of Dojos openly displayed to everyone, the authors of the app made them invisible in relation to other kids.
Thanks to the app, it's almost impossible to conceal the poor progress or behavior at school, hence parents can be immediately notified, via in-app text messages or photo and video files. Moreover, Dojo classroom has a feature called "donut", which is a bagel-shaped diagram that shows behavior tendencies of a child during a selected period of time.
If a student skips classes for some reason - being ill for example - they can receive homework right in the application.
According to the authors of the app, they value users' privacy highly, that's why no personal information is being processed for any commercial usage. Besides, if your account remains dormant for one year - it will be deleted automatically along  with all the private data it may contain.
However good intentions of the company have been questioned in a study "Parenting for a digital future", in which it's implied that the app may be collecting the behavior data.
Finally, using the ClassDojo, teachers can create:
  • Zany decorations.
  • Posters.
  • Calendars.
  • Funny diplomas and awards.
It can be done with the help of a printer and absolutely free templates that can be found within the app.

Platforms

You can download ClassDojo for Kindle Fire too (at least second generation) free of charge. There are no additional in-app purchases, except for the green plush Dojo Monster toy that comes at a price of $15.
There are no versions of ClassDojo for PC. But if you want a version of ClassDojo for Windows download the app’s extensions for Google Chrome and Firefox browsers. This way you can obtain ClassDojo for Mac too.

Conclusion

All in all ClassDojo is a peculiar and creative way of organizing the study process and school life. It allows parents, teachers and children stay in touch thus creating a friendly but transparent environment for them to be a part of.

Cons:

  • Controversial status.
  • Risk of stimulating unhealthy competition among the kids.
  • Can be used in pre/elementary school at best.
  • ClassDojo for Windows Phone isn't supported.

Pros:

  • Easy to track behavior and academic achievement.
  • Parents and teachers can easily stay in touch.
  • Memorable events can be captured/shared right in the app.

Usability

Design

Convenience

Community

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