As I mentioned in last week’s post, today I want to review Class Dojo.
I had never heard of Class Dojo before three weeks ago. During my practicum, at lunchtime, the regular English teacher of the school mentioned working on her iPad with Class Dojo. I was curious and have done some research about that tool. I was amazingly surprised! It is a really good tool for any types of teacher. It is free, which is always a good thing in our domain.
Class Dojo consists of a tool that helps you with classroom management. You can access it via the website, the app on your iPhone or iPad. You can also switch from one mobile device to another one. It is really easy to use.
The first thing you have to do is create an account. You can create an account as a teacher, a student or a parent. In our case, we will create an account as a teacher. You can choose the name you want your class to have, the grade and the subject. From that point, you virtual class is created and you can start adding students. You can either copy a list of all your students or type in all their names. All of your students will appear with a little monster icon. As we said earlier, Class Dojo is a tool for classroom management. The aim is to give points to your students that have good behaviours and take away points for students with bad behaviours. Class Dojo offers you some choices of positive and negative behaviours, but you can easily add your own according to your type of students. You can also change the little icon that represents that behaviour. The concept is really simple; you reward students that have good behaviour in class, such as good participation, helping others, working hard and teamwork and punished students with negative behaviours, such as bullying, disrespect, off task and unprepared, for example. You click on the student and then chose the behaviour. For a positive behaviour, the student will have a little green circle above his name and red ones for negative behaviour. From that point, you can choose what you want to see. You can have the points cumulated or separated (you can see both the positive and the negative points). You can also record your attendance. You can put a student late or absent. When you put a student absent, you cannot click on his name anymore to give him points, which is useful. You can also get the statistics of your students; how they have done that day or that week or for a more specific period of time.
One thing that I like is that parents can see how their child is doing at school during the day. The parents can easily see their child’s behaviour. Also, parents and teachers can easily communicate through that tool.
I have read on some websites that the teacher display Class Dojo on a Smart Board and show all the students’ points. I have to say that I do not agree with that method and so does a teacher in Natasha Singer’s article in The New York Times. As much as I like that tool, I would keep it confidential. The students can go and see their points during the break or after class. I think that it has a really negative impact on children if you show their points. It is really humiliating to see the teacher taking away points in front of the whole class. Kids judge a lot their peers. The Together Group website also mentions something important: it can create a lot of competition between the students. The tool can be motivating for the students, but negative competition may lead to worse behaviours.
I think that it is a great tool for ESL teachers because most of them have many classes and do not see their classes every day. The tool allows teachers to have many classes, which is useful for ESL teachers. The teacher can switch from class to class and have all their students well organized in groups. It is also harder for them to have a system where they can give privileges or punishments to students. Class Dojo allows ELS teachers to keep track of their students’ behaviour. It is also hard to always give feedback to the main teacher directly after class or during the week. That way, the two teachers can see the points of the students and know how they can help him/her have better behaviour.
The Guardian website gives other examples on how we can use that tool. For example, some schools use it when students are wearing the correct uniform. It does not only have to do with in class behaviours. They also discuss with the students as to what are the good behaviours that are worth points and those that can make them lose points. I think that discussing it with your students makes them even more responsible of their actions.
I think that Class Dojo is a great tool. As the Graphite blog mentions, the interface is attractive to children with bright colors, fun avatars and associated sounds for earning and losing points. It is fun for students and motivating. They want to have points; they do no want to lose them.
You can access the website by clicking here;
You can access the app here;
And for Android here.
Here is a good video that explains well all the different features of Class Dojo:
Last week, I attended the Speak on Campus conference at Laval University. The lecturers showed us many new tools that I really want to explore more. You can expect in the next week to hear about Kahoot, Socrative and ClassCraft.
Thanks for reading this week’s blog post.
I will see you next week!