A little bit of excitement can do things to keep young students involved in class when you’re a teacher, but so can having an app that encourages them to contribute to class discussions and help their classmates even. That’s what ClassDojo is doing at thousands of schools across the US, and what started as simply a way to give students positive points for listening and doing class assignments has now turned into a new way to bring social media into the class. Students can provide feedback through the app and teachers can share important class moments with principals and also give parents an outside look at the classroom.
It was Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don, two graduate students from the UK who decided to build an app that could help teachers in simple ways, and they decided to crowdsource teacher reviews to improve it. What Chaudhary and Don wanted was an app that did not make cost a barrier for use, and one that had easy support whenever issues in the user interface came up. ClassDojo has been and always will be free to download and use for everyone, and your school’s administrators do not have to approve the signup. Since ClassDojo has done quite well getting its name out there through crowdsourcing, Chaudhary and Don elected not to spend any of their investment capital on advertising.
Most of what Chaudhary and Don have focused on in their development has been the instant messaging and live feed areas of the app, but they’ve also invested in high security measures to protect user privacy. They’ve gone against the norm of social media by stating clearly that no user data will ever be shared or sold with any third parties no matter who they are. They’ve also spent money on videos that show how students can learn tough subjects in ways that change their thinking and enourage them not to give up even when learning is hard. The videos in the first part of this series are free to watch with the app, but Chaudhary and Don said that as they add premium content to the app that more videos will be included in that.