New Technology for the Classroom
A century ago, when the majority of childhood education took place in a one-room schoolhouse, a stick of chalk and a board covered with black paint were the tools most commonly utilized by teachers. Since then technology has advanced with dizzying speed, utilizing ball point pens, computers, and now cellular telephones and tablet devices.
ClassDojo is an educational app available free for download on all operating systems. It aims at creating a more engaging classroom and fostering greater connections between students, teachers and parents. By providing an efficient communication platform for teachers to both encourage students and engage with parents, the app allows for ground-up change in elementary classroom settings.
The app has the potential to revolutionize the effectiveness of classroom learning. Teachers are empowered to encourage specific behaviors in their students by awarding points based on these behaviors. Parents can get up-to-date feedback on classroom performance through personal messages from the teacher, and can then respond, helping them to take an active role in their child’s education. Students are engaged through positive reinforcement and customizable avatars in the form of colorful cartoon monsters. 2 in 3 schools currently have teachers who are utilizing this app to create a community of positive culture within their classrooms and schools.
ClassDojo Inc.’s most recent venture is production of a series of videos that aim to help students learn about growth mindset, the idea that abilities, rather than being fixed at a certain level for each individual, can be developed and strengthened over time. The series of five videos can be viewed on the company’s “Big Ideas” website.
For help in creating these videos, ClassDojo looked to Stanford University, home of Carol Dweck, one of the most vocal proponents of growth mindset theory. The company teamed up with the university’s group PERTS, which studies motivation and resilience in students. ClassDojo Inc. has incorporated some of the strategies developed by the group into their videos, and PERTS will be taking feedback from teachers about the effectiveness of the videos in engaging students in growth mindset activities.
The videos represent ClassDojo’s first attempt to utilize its platform as a channel to distribute content, but there are no current plans to use this as a revenue generating project. Teachers can rest assured that, for the time being, this technology will remain as available to them as a the blackboard was in generations past.
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