Social Networking

I have been using Class Dojo since 2013.  I like it for a number of reasons, but my favorite part is the student input and opportunities. In the past, I have only let students get on their accounts at home. This limited many of my students who do not have internet access at home, but the only thing students could do in the past was change their avatar, which I did not think was an effective use of instructional time.

However, last year was the first year for the class story and school story feature on Class Dojo. I used the class story very minimally last year and only used it only for parents to see pictures of what we were doing in class. Example:

class-story-example

Parents and students can “like” or comment on the pictures that are posted on our class story. It reminds me a lot of Instagram, but I like that it is secure and private for my students in my classroom.

There is also a student story feature which seems to be a work in progress. Right now, this feature can only be used on iPads. We have one iPad in my classroom that I let my students use during our literacy centers. We also have iPods that can be checked out from the computer lab. Orange County Schools has a 1-to-1 technology program which provides K-2 classrooms with iPads and 3-12 classrooms with Chromebooks.

student-story

The school story feature allows you to post pictures for anyone who is connected to the school to see. This includes teachers and parents who have set up accounts. Right now, my school only has 9 teachers using Class Dojo out of a staff of 75. I would love to lead some professional development on how to use Class Dojo in the classroom, especially after this project.

school-story

This year, I am going to let my students set up their accounts at school. This will allow them to social network with their classmates. In the past, I have used Padlet or google docs to have students collaborate online. However, Class Dojo will give them a more authentic experience to social networking.

I plan to use this tool across disciplines to allow students to respond to my questions, prompts, and pictures. I like that parents can also see the class story, comments, and can be a part of our dialogue. For example, I can post a question about our mentor text, Charlotte’s Web, and students can engage and respond to each other. I also hope that students will have the ability to post thoughts and ideas on their own stories as they learn new things and make new connections.

In our writing course this semester, we have discussed and participated in journaling, which has really made me want to find more time to journal in my classroom. I think this may be a great space to do some shared journaling! I can post a prompt and students can respond and read their peers’ responses.

I think I will have to teach my students how to respond to comments and network with each other on a common thread. This will be a great opportunity for my students to practice accountable talk, which my school is implementing in kindergarten through fifth grade this year. For example, students can make comments that include accountable talk such as:

“I agree with what Harry said because…”

or

“I would like to add to what Margaret said…”

Communication and collaboration on Class Dojo will be mostly be focused on learning HOW to social network. We will learn within our own community, and maybe with more experience we will move on to collaborating on other social networks!

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4 thoughts on “Social Networking

  1. dezvillalobos September 21, 2016 / 10:20 pm

    Though I am not familiar with Class Dojo, I think using it to engage your students in and out of the classroom is an invaluable tool. Even better is that you said that you used if to keep parents up to date with what is happening in the classroom which is also important. Again, I am not familiar with Class Dojo, but after reading your post it is something that I am definitely going to look into. It sounds like you plan to expand your use of Class Dojo this year, so I am curious to see how it works out!

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    • whitneyallred September 26, 2016 / 3:03 am

      You should definitely check it out! Class Dojo has so many resources and possibilities. My students and parents absolutely love it. I am looking forward to trying the new features to social network this year!

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  2. karkk1ka September 21, 2016 / 10:22 pm

    This post sparked an interest when I saw Class Dojo. My sister is a first grade teacher in Florida and she uses it in her classroom. She has also done it for years and seems to get a great response from both parents and students. I didn’t really know a whole lot about how it actually was implemented so your post was helpful to get the general idea. It seems like it would be a great way for students to have another opportunity in the classroom to exchange ideas and thoughts but also another way for parents to be connected to the classroom. It would be interesting to see how this could be implemented in a physical education classroom because that is the content area I am hoping to teach after graduating this upcoming May!

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    • whitneyallred September 26, 2016 / 3:05 am

      Awesome! Our special area teachers can be added as teachers on our Class Dojo accounts. You can “share” your class with other teachers which makes it so helpful for special area teachers or even if your students have multiple teachers for different subjects. I love that it becomes a universal language when teachers are on the same page.

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