An Artist Performs
It took ClassDojo seven years to announce the company’s first paid offering. The San Francisco based company is a venture-backed technology startup with a focus on education. Having emerged at this decade’s start, ClassDojo has been growing without any revenue. Still, the company has created quite a footprint. The company’s extraordinary numbers show that at least one teacher in 95% of US middle and elementary schools is using the tool.
Even more, one in six U.S families (with an under 14 child) utilizes the app. ClassDojo launched in August 2011, and since then the company is steadfast on its commitment to never charge schools or teachers. Now, the company has a concrete plan to sustain that model. It will be charging a monthly subscription in their new version tailored for parents and their children.
The new “ClassDojo Beyond School” app has features aiming to strengthen connections between children and their parents. The features include meditation/ mindfulness exercises, reflection activities, and a feedback tool. The feedback tool employs digital points as rewards for positive behaviors/ habits at home.
Sam Chaudhary, ClassDojo’s CEO/ Founder, sees the home as a place with pockets of opportunity for informal learning. The company wants to assist parents to convert these opportunities into learning experiences. The new app has features like the original ClassDojo. An example is the behavior incentivization system tool.
It is the tool that teachers use to subtract or give points to students based on their behaviors. This functionality is available to parents on the Beyond School app. Users can set the preferred criteria for awarding points. Some people have lamented that this feature can be as a behaviorist conditioning tool. Even so, Mercedes Ford, one of the Beyond School early testers, sees it differently.
The mother of one says the feature is useful in delivering immediate feedback and encouraging positive actions. According to Ford, the tool is practical because it brings to life teachers’ and parents’ expectations in a fun way. After trying the app with a daughter, Ford noticed that the child was no longer disruptive and disrespectful. Instead, her second-grade child acts responsibly to gain points.