I have used Class Dojo since my second year teaching in 2013. Class Dojo started as a behavior management system. Teachers add their students, and students can earn points for good behavior or work ethic and earn prizes. Parents can set up their own accounts and check their children’s progress. I still use this aspect of the program, but now Class Dojo has so many more possibilities than just tracking behavior. Here is a video that explains this aspect.
Last year, Class Dojo added a class story feature. This feature looks like an Instagram feed and allows the teacher to share pictures. Parents can “like” or comment on pictures. I used this feature last year as soon as it was available. I love that this feature allows me to share what is happening in the class, especially for working parents who do not make it in to volunteer or chaperone. This updated video briefly discusses the class story feature.
This year, Class Dojo added student stories as a feature. At the beginning of the year, students could only access this feature through an iPad or iPod. I taught my students how to use it and made it part of our literacy centers. They use it to document their own work or a peer’s work. They can post a picture or video with a caption to their own story.
Before the posts are live on the website, they must be approved by a teacher. This requirement is one of the biggest reasons I chose this platform for the social networking quest. I love the security. Students and parents need to code to access any of the pictures or information shared, and I approve all posts before they are seen by others.
I did not realize that they could not comment on each other’s pictures and videos, so this somewhat limited the social networking we could do. However, parents can comment on the pictures and videos, so students enjoyed the social networking aspect with parents in our class. Class Dojo views this feature as an opportunity to have student lead portfolios, and it is less about social networking. This video explains the feature.
Students used the student story feature to post “emoji stories.” We’ve been using emojis to summarize popular or famous stories. I got the inspiration for this center from these examples. More about using emojis in the classroom here. Can you guess this one?
On October 26, I received an email from Class Dojo that students could now use the student story feature from Chromebooks. Luckily, my district purchased Chromebooks for students in 3rd to 12th grade this year. This feature was only available for “mentors.” I think there is only one mentor at each school. I’m not totally sure how I was chosen as the mentor, but I assume it is because I have been using Class Dojo the longest or because I have the highest usage at my school. Being able to access student stories from our Chromebooks definitely made using student stories easier as students all have their own Chromebook as opposed to sharing the class iPad.
Just last week, I was contacted by Class Dojo asking for feedback on the student story for Chromebooks feature. I completed the survey telling them that I wish students could take videos from their Chromebooks, like they can using an iPad or iPod, and how I wish students could comment on each other’s posts. I mentioned that SeeSaw is a similar program with more possibilities. Looking forward to seeing how Class Dojo continues to expand and improve!