I first heard about ClassDojo at my District’s Technology Kick Off Day a couple of years ago during @Lesliefisher’s Keynote. I liked what I saw and set up my teacher account in about 2 minutes. I had been researching a variety of Classroom Management Apps and found this one to have just about all of the features I was looking for. Here is the Field Note Review that I wrote on Graphite.org. If you have not checked out Graphite.org yet get your favorite beverage and find a comfortable place to look it over, you’ll be there for awhile!
I used ClassDojo with my 10th grade Science Students as well as my 11-12 AP Environmental Science Students. I have seen ClassDojo used at all grade levels. This tool is best when it is tied to an incentive of some kind. I have seen Dojo tied to extra credit points, class behavior points, prizes, candy, etc. If it is not tied to an incentive then it might not have the positive long term effect on your class that you might be looking for. I like the option that Parents can access their students’ data in real time, you can also set Dojo up to send weekly email reports home. The data can also be useful during parent-teacher conferences to show the most common type of distractions or behaviors that might be holding a student back academically.
HOW I USE IT
Originally I used ClassDojo to help break students from the habit of using their cell phones in class when not appropriate. I found that it helped with class focus & engagement (yes, even high school students like the avatars and sounds). I tied the positive % at the end of the week to a student professionalism grade. I found that the use of cell phones when not appropriate went down drastically and as soon as the class heard the sound of the positive points being given it helped with focus & behavior. The negative point sound seemed to actually increase distraction because everyone wanted to know who lost a point. This tool is not the cure-all for class behavior issues but it can help. Nothing is better than building solid relationships and designing creative, relevant, engaging lessons to improve student behavior. If you are looking to change student behavior for the better this is a nice tool in the box for educators.