Build it and they will come, right? That’s exactly what Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don, founders of the classroom communication platform Class Dojo, did. After several conversations with teachers, students and parents, the idea was born. The tool, currently used in 2 in 3 schools in the US and in 180 other countries, fosters effective regular communication between parents & teachers about how students are behaving and performing in the classroom. And it’s changing the game from the ground-up.
Founded in 2011, the free app – that’s right, free – is effectively creating a positive culture with classrooms and schools. In its infancy, the app’s primary focus was on communicating with parents about students’ behavior – awarding children with points when they behaved well or put a new skill into practice. That has since evolved into teachers being able to send photo and video messages to parents of activities going on in the classroom. This idea of daily communication between parents and teachers, versus the once a semester parent-teacher conference, is one that makes you wonder, “why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?”
As a parent that has actually experienced Class Dojo firsthand, I have nothing but praise for it. And my experience was about 2 years ago – before the sharing of video and photo messages. Nonetheless, I checked the app every day to see what kind of day my son (6 years old at the time) was having – and he knew it. Not only was I very much engaged with the app, my son was too. He would get excited when he had a great day and asked me to check it when I picked him up from school. As a better alternative to email, Class Dojo was a quick and easy way for his teacher and I to communicate. The sense of connection, as well as empowerment, that it creates between teacher, student and parent is unmatched. So much so, that this school year I found myself missing it when my son moved to a school that does not currently use it.
Since its inception 5 years ago, Class Dojo has not only increased parent engagement but that of students as well. That increased engagement has led to the introduction of a series of animated videos on growth mindset, which aims to affect students’ perceptions of themselves as learners. Helping them develop and strengthen their intelligence and their ability to learn, and dispelling the notion that either you’re “born smart” or you’re not. A concept that speaks to the passion the company was founded on: to make education better around the world. Chaudhary and Don, I think you’re onto something.
Learn more about Class Dojo: