Category Archives: Education

ClassDojo Makes Life In The Classroom Easier For Teachers

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.

Professor Gives Back to Orange Coast College, Helps Construct New Planetarium

After a career as an educator, retired professor Mary McChesney continues to demonstrate her love for education and an impassioned need to see others learn. McChesney, who taught English and Spanish for over three decades at Orange Coast College, donated $1 million to her former college to assist in the continued construction of an on-campus planetarium.

At 91 years of age, McChesney says that she continues to see Orange Coast College as a place she very much loves, and the construction of a new planetarium can bring more students, and the surrounding community, to have a greater appreciation for astronomy.

This donation, made in the name of her late partner and colleague, Adelyn Bonin, who served as a professor of German for the college until 1983, will go towards a Foucault pendulum. This will allow the planetarium to best articulate the rotation of Earth in demonstrations.

Doug Bennett, Orange Coast College Foundation’s Executive Director, praised McChesney’s involvement with the college over the years. As an educator, she has been a key player in the decisions of the foundation, such as the recipients of scholarships.

While Bennett knew that initiatives like the new planetarium would appeal to McChesney, he did not anticipate her generosity would be reflected in such a dollar amount.

This planetarium will be able to accommodate 129 attendants, a big upgrade from the 35-seat auditorium in the old building. When all is said and done, the $20 million facility is scheduled to be open for students and the surrounding community, namely children between kindergarten and 12th grade, by fall 2018.

About Orange Coast College:

Since 1947, Orange Coast College (OCC) has provided higher education to the Southern Californian community of Costa Mesa. With more than 130 academic programs and career concentrations, with a particular focus in Technical Education, OCC provides opportunities to more than 25,000 students each semester.

OCC has continually ranked as first in Orange County for transitioning students from its community college to University of California and California State University campuses across the state, reaching into the thousands in just the last decade.

While others seek higher education opportunities in private colleges or seek institutions across the country.