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Class Dojo: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
posted by: Alana | October 03, 2016, 07:58 PM   

 

Since the dawn of the industrial age, teachers of all grades and subjects have been using technology to reimagine the classroom and communicate with students on whole new levels.

 

Some of these ideas have been quickly embraced as revolutions in education, others have fallen flat on their face, and even more have had mixed reviews.

 

Take the idea of ClassDojo for example.

 

ClassDojo is a free app for smartphones and tablets that claims to "connect teachers with students and parents to build amazing classroom communities." Each student has a profile – complete with their own avatar – to which teachers can assign positive and negative points (or 'dojos') throughout the lesson.

 

Theoretically, the app aims to give students a voice, share moments with parents, and create a positive culture in the classroom through sound recognition, up-to-the-minute progress visualization, and even the gamification of basic classroom behavior management. Teachers have the ability to give students digital high-fives or reward students with points for a job well done, and parents can get immediate feedback on the projects their child worked on in class or their child’sbehavioral needs.

 

But it has not come without criticism and doubt.

 

Concerns regarding student privacy, the psychological impact of public displays of student success on sensitive students, and the potential to reduce the amount of face-to-face communication with parents are all just a few of the cited concerns among critics of the app.

 

Perhaps there's no one perfect system. And while this tool may work for some, others may have a completely different experience for a variety of factors from the students using it to how the educator actually implements it. In the ever changing American classroom, innovations like ClassDojo still reign supreme.

 

 

Do you use a class dojo?

Tell us how it works in your classroom in comments below!

 

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