Guest post by ClassDojo
If you’ve been watching the education technology space, you will have seen a flurry of tools for teachers being released every day. The majority of these focus on delivering content in new or different ways. Very few of these tools, however, aim to solve the other really huge problems for teachers and students. ClassDojo, a free, innovative tool for teachers is doing just that, by helping teachers quickly and easily improve behavior in their classroom.
Poor behavior in the classroom is a huge problem for teachers, and it is a huge barrier to effective teaching and learning. 4 in 10 teachers say they spend more than 50% of their time in class managing behavior rather than teaching – that’s half the school year gone with no teaching or learning taking place, all because of needless disruptions that affect everybody. ClassDojo is changing that, and returning hundreds of hours of instructional time to every classroom, so that teachers can teach more and students can learn more.
How to Use Class Dojo
ClassDojo is displayed during class on an interactive white board or screen in a classroom, so students can track their progress and gain a better understanding of their behavior throughout the day. Teachers have the option of both giving and taking away points for the specific behaviors they set, with just one click of a computer, smartphone, or tablet. ClassDojo also launched student logins near the end of the year so students can login at home to check their progress, set goals, and much more. Best of all, ClassDojo never requires teachers to sit down after school and enter data: all the data is logged and collated automatically in behavior reports as teachers are using ClassDojo in their classrooms. New features launched last year based on teacher feedback have made sharing with parents is just as easy. This means that not only does ClassDojo actually build better behavior in realtime, it also actually reduces the amount of work teachers need to do both in class and beyond.
Kalen Gallagher, a former middle school teacher who left the classroom last fall to join ClassDojo, explains that the broader purpose of the product is to go beyond just building good test scores, to actually building strong lifelong learners.
For classroom teachers, some of the program’s features include:
•Access from any computer with an internet connection – no software required!
•Powerful data visualizations of the behaviors and skills you track
•The ability to send ClassDojo reports home to staff and parents with one click
•An easy, positive reinforcement system that keeps students engaged with minimal effort
Gallagher also stresses that the company firmly believes in a “Teachers First” mentality. They actively seek teachers’ input and suggestions, talking with teachers daily to find out what works, what needs to be improved, and what additional features can be added to make the program a stronger tool. “When ClassDojo started, it was a very minimal program, but teacher input helped it grow into what you see today,” Gallagher explains. “As a former teacher who often felt ignored by edtech companies, I’ve worked hard to make sure we do the exact opposite.” As the company moves forward and ClassDojo evolves into a tool that encompasses all areas of behavior management, the feedback of the teachers who use the program is more important than ever.
In September, ClassDojo was selected by the NBC network as one of the education technology startups to watch for 2011, and was subsequently voted by teachers as ‘Best Education Technology Company of 2011’, winning a $75,000 prize and appearing on NBC’s Today show.
Today, ClassDojo is used by millions of teachers and students in over 100 countries around the world. The program is changing the way educators think about and approach behavior management, and the way students interact in classrooms around the world. “We want all students to succeed and to understand what’s holding them back so they can address those issues before it’s too late” Gallagher stresses. With ClassDojo, students, teachers, and parents all succeed. Do you use ClassDojo with your students? Share your experience below!
Sign-up for your free ClassDojo account at ClassDojo.com. Have a suggestion or idea for them? Email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also find them on Facebook and follow them on Pinterest and Twitter.