Category Archives: ClassDojo

ClassDojo’s gang of ninja monsters fight bad habits

ClassDojo has quickly spread throughout elementary school classrooms since its roll out in 2011. The unique app is premised on making K-8 classrooms more efficient learning environments solely through positive behavioral reinforcement. To date, it’s in use in over 90% of schools nationwide and has received a deluge of positive feedback from both parents and teachers.

An education app geared towards kids

One of the problems the app’s creators sought to solve was the absence of any truly kid-friendly education software for K-8 classrooms. The co-founders, Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary, had interviewed thousands of teachers asking what daily problems they would most like to solve. Don and Chaudhary quickly discovered that children who grew bored or distracted would become disruptive and thus require the teacher to spend valuable class time reigning in those kids who had strayed from the lesson plan. At the same time, the founders noticed that almost all apps available for K-8 education were aimed at the teachers themselves and that there were virtually no apps available that catered to restless students. So they set out to create an app that would not only handle teacher work load but that would also keep kids engaged with the learning environment.

Over time, a child-oriented user interface evolved. Led by a green ninja monster named Mojo, @ClassDojo experience takes children through a riotous, game-like journey where they meet friendly monsters, are met with challenges and are immersed in a new kind of school environment where completing assignments and learning concepts are more akin to leveling up in a video game than the class work of old.

All this is the product of careful design. Both Chaudhary and Don have extensive education backgrounds and were familiar with the work of child psychologists like Carol Dweck, Angela Duckworth and James Heckman. Using principles derived from both original academic research and the field of game design theory, they set out to create an app that would get kids hooked on learning using the same mechanisms video game developers employ to hook users on their product. The early results are in and it seems to have worked.

ClassDojo has received enthusiastic feedback from teachers across the country. The app has made teacher communications with parents easier and facilitates giving out class assignments, grading work and a host of other tasks. But maybe the most important thing cited by teachers is that it makes learning fun for kids, and keeps them enthralled with learning the whole day through.

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