Class Dojo: Managing your classroom online

Now, let’s get serious. Being an ESL teacher in progress, I have the chance to meet and share with a high school cooperative teacher. He introduced me to a lot of websites and softwares used during his classes. Most of them were fantastic, but Class Dojo grabbed my attention more than the others.

Class Dojo is a website (available on the App Store) used by the teacher and the students to improve the communication between everyone. While it is mostly used by the teacher, both students and parents can access the page of their designated classroom. Students begin with a difficult choice: their avatar. These are funny-looking characters which can be customized in order to please every student. When this is done, the teacher can look at the Class Dojo and see every student logged in with their personal avatar. This is where the fun comes in.

Class Dojo allows the teacher to share data with students and parents. Instead of having to write tons of email, the teacher can give positive or negative feedback on students’ behavior inside the class. For example, when a student is trying to use the L2 in class, the teacher can add a positive point to this student’s profile. However, when a student didn’t complete the homework or is talking too loud, the teacher can instantly remove a point. Everyone can see the results on the SmartBoard or on their personal device. Moreover, the teacher can send a report to the parents of every student.

Tasia Fields, an English teacher in Illinois, said: “Before, I could only tell parents at a high-level about a student’s behavior, and without it grounded in actual examples. And now I can actually show them their son or daughter’s weekly and monthly percentages for behavior, with notes on what occurred!” This software can be useful to indicate problems among students, but it is also a powerful tool to congratulate positive behavior.

Michael Olson, a 5th grade teacher in Minnesota, saw the importance of Class Dojo. He lets students get settled before watching their behavior. As soon as he sees a student beginning the homework, Michael gives out a point to this student (giving points make sounds if the volume is high enough). This can lead other students to adapt the same demeanor.

PROS

  • Completely free for teachers.
  • Easily accessible within the class and even from your home.
  • Available as an App to use on almost every personal devices (Cellphones, tablets, laptops, etc).
  • Incredibly easy to use for teachers and students.
  • Increases positive behavior in the class.

CONS

  • Might be considered too childish for high school students and adults.
  • Allowing feedback to be seen by everyone can have a negative effect on sensitive students.

ESL Teacher Review

I didn’t have the chance to use Class Dojo a lot yet. Although, I agree with the fact that it provides a lot of useful resources to the class. Students’ behavior is difficult to handle correctly. Now that we see tablets and cellphones allowed in class for pedagogical purposes, Class Dojo is becoming more popular. According to the website page, more than 35 million people are actually using Class Dojo (teachers,students and parents included). I will use this class management tool as much as I can during my practicum. It may look childish, but it is incredibly fun to use. I would recommand it to every teacher who uses personal devices and SmartBoard in their classes. Have I mentioned that it is free?

Here is the official website: Class Dojo

Following is a great tutorial on how to use the software: Class Dojo Tutorial

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