ClassDojo, an innovative educational teaching and communication platform, is taking the nation by storm. Elementary school teacher Jennifer Ellison is one of many teachers using the app to open lines of communication between students, as well as to empower students by teaching empathy and compassion.
Ellison uses ClassDojo to introduce these skills and put them into practice. According to Ellison, one of her autistic students was struggling under immediate social pressure. She instructed her students to watch a series of short videos that teach mindset and growth. Ellison then opened ClassDojo to allow her students to communicate to one another. This creation of a positive culture within her classroom allowed Ellison’s autistic student to feel at ease and he was better able to interact with his classmates.
“I knew that we needed to make this boy comfortable,” Ellison said. “My students, as a team, decided to use ClassDojo and opened the door to a whole new world for him. The other students communicate with him regularly using stickers and have included him more in their activities.”
“Adults use LinkedIn to communicate professionally and Facebook for casual communication,” said Hemant Taneja, creator of ClassDojo. “This is an educational software , social network focused on your children.”
ClassDojo is a small startup that employs less than three dozen people. The software was used in at least one classroom in approximately 65% of all U.S. schools in 2015. The number of schools with at least one classroom using the software increased to 90% in 2016.
ClassDojo is a communication tool that has created communities between students, parents, and teachers. Educators can use the application throughout the day to track student progress through rewarding and subtracting points. Students can watch videos and receive short lessons relating to personal development and socialization skills. Parents may track their student’s progress throughout the day by checking the point system. ClassDojo enables teachers to send files to parents and features a private messaging system to help foster teacher-parent relationships for even the busiest of parents.
@ClassDojo , launched in 2011, was originally invented to teach good behavior skills to young students, but many educators have leaned toward using it as an encouraging communication platform. Some have suggested that the software expands to include payment transfers that would enable parents to pay for lunches, field trips, and fines using the application.
“ClassDojo needs to meet the needs of students, teachers, and parents,” Taneja said. “We do not expect to monetize the program for at least another year.”