ClassDojo Is The New Top Free Education Communication App

ClassDojo is quite the hit in the education technology community because it’s doing things for classrooms that most wouldn’t consider an app of its simplistic structure able to do. It’s modeled after Facebook but is specifically designed to be classroom specific in its features and it’s become a big phenomena not only because it’s free, but also because it’s been spread through user reviews and word-of-mouth alone. The main features of the app are for posting photos of class activity and sending out the word of what will be happening in future class schedules. But it also has direct messaging that allows parents to get instant updates and teachers to talk with them directly.

While Facebook-style posts and instant messaging are at the top of ClassDojo’s platform today, it originated as a behavior reward system app that Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don founded back in 2010. They had gone directly to teachers themselves to ask them what could be done with an app to improve the flow of the classroom, and upon hearing their suggestions they used them to develop the early versions of ClassDojo. But the app soon evolved into the classroom social media and learning platform it is today because Chaudhary and Don heard more ideas about what it could become, and as the app added more meat to its structure, teachers and parents started using it as an alternative to the regular parent-teacher meetings from the past.

An additional feature that came to ClassDojo was a student growth video series that had animated characters learning how to study for subjects that they struggled in. Chaudhary and Don hoped that these videos would encourage students to persevere through tough subjects and grow and stretch their thinking. They also realized that with as much user data that was being stored on the ClassDojo servers, they needed to protect their users and make sure they knew they were thwarting hackers and not selling information to third parties. Due to spending no money at all on advertising, Chaudhary and Don’s team have been able to use all their capital for improving the user interface, and sometime in the future optional premium content will likely be added to the main app.

Creating a Positive Classroom Culture: Class Dojo

Class Dojo has made communication between parents and teachers continuous and much easier. Parents are empowered with the ability to see how their child is doing in class (ex: prepared, paying attention, etc) and teachers are able to communicate in real time how the student is doing. This company has raised close to 21 million in Round B venture funding in an attempt to grow this communication platform to the next level.

The makers of Class Dojo want to figure out how to grow their content and features to make it helpful to parents, not just when their child is at school but at home as well. The philosophy behind Class Dojo is to build a positive community in the classroom, making it convenient for the teacher to snap pictures and send videos while the student is in class. This feature allows positive feedback quickly and helps to bolster student self esteem.

The original intent behind this app was to create culture and community inside the classroom and since 2011, the idea has grown and taken shape. Two in three schools now use it and students and parents love the positive feedback. Its hard to believe but this 25 person start up has not even generated a profit yet and they are looking to expand their app. One reason is they have made it free to teachers and parents in hopes to build community in the classroom.

They fund their operation through investors. Class Dojo has grown to become a collaborative tool between teachers, students, and parents. The old-fashioned parent-teacher meeting seem obsolete since parents are able to get instant, continuous feedback on academics and behavior, and they are able to communicate easily with their child’s teachers. The investors see this app growing into a social network type app, even though, its purpose is education.

Class Dojo is a free app to parents, teachers, and students. Teachers are able to track students’ academic and behavioral progress through customized system of point tracking. They can photo and video share moments in the classroom, which is tagged to only that student. This feature still allows for privacy of the student and sharing of the proud moments of their child’s education.

It is easy to see why it is a favorite of K-8 teachers. This app has easy sign up features, pre-made take home letters and presentations, and easy to use features. This free app takes the burden out of calling to praise and makes positive feedback real and genuine. Class Dojo has found a way to help create a positive culture within the technology enhanced educational system.
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