Using Class Dojo to monitor student participation
Type of technology: Ipad App
SAMR Model Rating: Augmentation
Grade Level: k-12
Subject area: Any subject
If you’re like me, assigning participation or citizenship grades is a highly subjective task, one that can significantly be influenced by how much caffeine you have consumed or how sleep deprived you are at the moment of entering grades. Let’s be honest. Class Dojo is an app that can help you systematically keep track of student behavior and participation while providing feedback and incentive for them to stay on task.
Here are some of the highlights of Class Dojo. Each student is assigned a unique, adorable avatar. You can reward individuals, the whole class, or teams by awarding points for team work, participation, being on task, helping others, and persistence. In addition, there is a way to note what behaviors need work like being unprepared, talking out of turn, and being off task. You have the option of creating your own rewards as well. The app displays the student or team score in a circle above the avatar. You can view individual, team, or class reports which display circle graphs of percentage of positive points awarded. You may also allow parents to be able to see their student’s reports.
Class Dojo has other cool features. There is a “Class Story” feature which allows teachers to upload pictures and other classroom news with the option of being translated into over 30 different languages. Additionally, attendance can be taken, progress over time can be tracked, and reports may be downloaded in an excel file.
In full disclosure, it wasn’t “love at first sight” with me and Class Dojo. I found it to be too streamlined and difficult to navigate at first. In even fuller disclosure, had I taken advantage of the Teacher Resources on their website and actually watched the introduction videos before trying the app, it might have been different. Knowing that this lack of chemistry was probably me and not the app, I decided to find a teacher who uses it extensively and interview her. This was easy to do, because the app shows you which other teachers use it at your site. So, the talented and lovely Katie Alexander showed me how she uses it for her AVID class to keep them on task. The game changer for me was being able to “select all” to input positive behaviors. This way, you can just uncheck the hopefully few students who are off task.
Take it from a teacher who once attempted to encourage her high school math students to stay on task by threatening to play Barry Manilow’s “I Write the Songs” and Captain and Tennille’s “Muskrat Love.” I have fallen “in love” with this app. Class Dojo is a quality product that offers 24/7 support for teachers and is worth the minimal effort it takes to get to know it. Make it part of your classroom routine and you will reap the benefits of having quantifiable data on your students’ engagement and behavior.