I know classroom management kung fu
Have you ever had a student who disrupts your class and you just want to walk over and karate chop them right in the face? Well Class Dojo won’t be able to help you with that. What it will help you with is tracking in-class behavior (both good and bad) and a way to give that feedback in a handsome looking report. Class Dojo is free for the time being (hooray) and is very easy to use (hooray again), but I have some issues with the software (at least the way they want us to use it) and while I’m still recommending it, I do have some thoughts on the matter. Read on past the break to see if your classroom management kung fu can be improved with Class Dojo.
Class Dojo is currently in its beta version and is free. They mention that it may not be free when it gets out of beta, but that is something that we will see in the future.
Getting started is a snap. Like most web services it requires an email address, a unique user name and password. There is no verification email to click on or anything which means you give the information they want and you’re off and using the program. Take a peek at the picture below.
Once you sign up, it immediately tries to get you going by either walking you through a tutorial with a sample class or by creating your own. They claim it will take 2 minutes, but I feel like it is even faster. Take a look at that welcome below. Isn’t that just warm and inviting?
Creating a Class
As the arrow might suggest all you have to do to create a class is to click on Add a class. A new window will appear asking you the Grade level you are working with and to name the class. When done with this step click Done and it is time to add our students to the class. Trust me, we’re already almost done. It’s that simple!
Another new window will open up asking you to add their names. What’s nice about this window is you can add your entire class in one window. Just be sure to put each name on its own line. When you’re done click on Add these students. Don’t worry if you make a mistake you can always go back and edit them, delete or add a new student.
Now that we’ve named our class and added our students it is time to customize the behaviors we want to track. It gives you 10 initial behaviors but you can add more or even delete them. You can also customize them as well. For example you can get read of Great insight and replace it with Wonderful Patience. It’s totally up to you. I have no idea if there is a limit to how many positive and negative comments you can have, but it pretty clear that too many will make this program a bit of a hinderance. Keeping them non specific and general is a good bit of advice.
There is another step for Rewards but it was not available at the time. They promise it is coming though.
Using Class Dojo
Now is the moment of truth. Time to implement and use Class Dojo. It will take you back to your classes screen. Select your class and click on Start Class. Now you will see your class and all you have to do now is to select their name and give them a “award” for a positive or negative behavior. Here I selected Joan Baez’s name. Then a pop up window will appear where I can chose between positive and negative
If you a assign a positive award, you will hear a pleasant chime and a green badge will appear on the student’s icon. If it’s a negative award, you hear a buzzer sound and a red badge appears. Check out the class after a slew of awards have been given.
When class is over or when you’re done with the class you click on End Class and Class Dojo will take you to a very attractive looking chart that beaks down the type of behavior you had in your class that day. You can also click on individual students to see how they were behaving in your class. This is very nice but Class Dojo takes it another step further. You have the ability to save that report as a PDF or email it (from Class Dojo mind you no need to open up your favorite email client) to any email address you want. This is handy. You can also show the results over a range of time.
What I like
There are a lot of things I like about this service. I like how easy it is to get started and use. I know of plenty of teachers that abandon services because they get stuck and don’t know what to do. Here will not be the case. It is super simple from sign up to emailing reports. I also like how focused it is. This isn’t a service that does everything. It does one thing and does it well.
I also like how attractive it is. The icons, the sounds, the easy to navigate interface is also nice. I don’t why, but educational software can be pretty damn ugly. That is why Edmodo, Class Dojo, and Tiki-Toki are sooo nice to use since they are easy on the eyes.
These things add up to a winner web service.
Class Dojo encourages you to put this up on your projector or interactive board and let kids see it when they receive awards. Hmmmmmm. Ladies and gents, let’s boil this down. Putting it up on the screen is a lousy idea. Sorry people at Class Dojo but it is. This is simply a form of extrinsic motivation. The idea is to condition students to identify what behavior is accepted and what is not. The bad thing about this is students will behave to get those pleasant green badges and chimes, but if this goes away, so will the good behavior. There are plenty of research out there to back this up.
While I like a lot of things about Class Dojo, I think putting it up on a white board is a big time mistake.
I recommend it. You can can still use it to track students without putting it up for the world to see. This would be perfect to keep an eye on students who may be struggling with their behavior to look at trends. The results can be emailed to concerned parents or guidance counselors as well. I believe that Class Dojo shouldn’t be your only tool when it comes to classroom management and face-to-face feedback is still a more effective way to manage a student’s behavior, but this is definitely something that can be used for observational evidence.
Try Class Dojo now while it’s still free!
38 thoughts on “Class DoJo – A review”
Hello! I’d like to add my experience of using Class Dojo here, noting that it has made considerable improvements since the article was first published five years ago.
I am second-grade teacher in an international school in China, with a very mixed class of British, Australian, European, American and Korean children. I’ve been using Class Dojo for two years now, and over the last year have been successful in getting our school leadership team to have Class Dojo adopted in every class in our school. Before we started using Class Dojo we already had a very well-established system of giving house points for our eight Guiding Statements (things like asking questions, trying our best, taking risks in learning, working together, and so on). It was very successful but its implementation meant a lot of work for teachers – house points needed to be recorded in diaries which children might have lost or forgotten to bring, and collating the points to see which House was winning took a great deal of work! Class Dojo has instantly solved all of our problems by removing the need for diaries to record points in, and by allowing our Head of Houses to collate all of the data instantly, without having to send emails and/or students around to round up the points, then add them up on a calculator! Furthermore, there are a number of wonderful tools which enhance the teaching and learning experience, including being able to randomly choose students, the Class Dojo timer, the Big Ideas cartoons with Class Dojo characters, and the Help Desk which I have always found to give prompt, friendly and useful feedback from the Class Dojo team.
We haven’t yet tried the negative points feature, which I understand many parents have had bad experiences with, as our school has a policy of only giving positive points (poor behaviour is certainly dealt with, but house points are not taken away). However, I think that next year we might introduce negative Class Dojo points, just for a select number of behaviour – the “digital” or “either-you-did-or-you-didn’t” behaviours. Not things like fighting, or being disrespectful, or not being on task (which can have nuanced situations and complex causes, but things like being late for homework (without a satisfactory reason) or running in the corridor. Anyway, we shall see.
I’d like to say that Class Dojo has developed greatly during the time I have used it. I have seen many new features come in which improved the program and made it work better for teachers, students and parents. Free apps are now in place for Android and iOS devices; the appearance of the website has greatly improved; they are producing a series of beautiful and very inspirational videos about learning, in partnership with the well-known educational researcher Carol Dweck; and Class Dojo now has Parent and Student accounts. I’ve been trialling these in my class for the last couple of months, and they have been a huge success. One of the complaints I’ve often heard from parents is they feel like they don’t know what their children are doing in school; this is a problem that diaries are supposed to solve, but discussions with other teachers (including formal staff meetings) show that teachers find it extremely difficult to keep up with the workload of filling in individual mini-reports three times a week for each child. Now, using Class Dojo, this problem has been eliminated. Communication is greatly enhanced, parents have given me very positive feedback, and the children love their Student Accounts, where they can monitor their house points and have fun changing the appearance of their avatars.
To address a couple of other concerns: privacy seems to be a very well-addressed issue, as the Class Dojo information is entirely protected, available to nobody except the teacher and parents involved; and I have found that, although they are planning in the future to add Premium Account features, all the things which are currently free on Class Dojo will always be free. This has been announced in an article on their website and was confirmed to me by a message from one of the administrators.
In short: I would wholeheartedly recommend Class Dojo for any teacher, and have found it to be an extremely positive experience.
Fantastic response – I personally haven’t looked at Class Dojo over the past year or so. It is good to hear such positive things about what seems to be a really useful tool.
My issue with it is if a child gets only one bad dojo all day and no good ones, his day is pretty much shot. My son has actually cried because of his score. I am to the point that I don’t think I am going to even discuss it with him or show him when he asks. When I talk to his teach she acts as if he is a sweet child and fun just talks to much at times. So I do not feel like this is helping him. Also, I have had an older child get a bad dojo. He had no idea of what he had done. So when I asked the teacher she could not tell me either. It must not have been too bad. I just feel if they are going to use it to change behavior they have to have verbal conversations with the child to explain why. If they want parents to help with this then we need to know specifics as well. I feel the program can be pretty subjective and starting to wonder if other kids are always getting good badges just to get rewards when others are only getting the negative badges. Don’t get me wrong, my kids have wonderful teachers but as parents I think we receive too much information about things that can only be fixed while in the moment. Having a talk with a 5 year old to stay on task at school is hard to do at 6pm at night. Especially when getting the correct information from a 5 year old is nearly impossible.
I agree with you for sure. The way I envision Class Dojo being used is to reinforce specific behaviors. There should be a goal and a clear purpose for it. Whether it be basic manners or trying to cut down on outbursts during class. When teachers use it as a catch all or a way to “scare” children into behaving then it has failed and the teacher is missing the point.
If it is used for specific children to chronicle specific behavior so parents and counselors can see and try to improve, that is also a worth while goal. I think in this case, it is the teacher who needs to refine how to use this specific tool.
“…please keep in mind that information (whether Personal Information or Children’s Personal Information or not) or content that you voluntarily disclose online (on discussion boards, in messages and chat areas, within your profile page, etc.) becomes publicly available and can be collected and used by others, in accordance with the privacy settings you select in your account preferences, or in accordance with the User Category to which you belong. Your display name may be displayed to other users when you upload images or videos or send messages through the Website and other users can contact you through messages and comments. Any images, captions or other content that you submit to the Websites may be redistributed through the Internet and other media channels, and may be viewed by the general public. To request removal of your personal information from our public forums, please contact us at email@example.com. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information. If we are unable to do so we will contact you and explain to you the reason we are not able to do so.”
So if you are concerned about personal information, I suggest you keep it all very simple and monitor your child’s activity. If you have specific privacy issues come up, I would directly “face-to-face” speak with the child’s teacher. Other than that, their site says …”You may terminate your use of the Services or your account at any time by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org“…
Hope that helps 😉
This is a ridiculous program! Negatively rewarding the whole class. Who benefits from this? Teaching to the lowest common denominator? UGH!
Not sure how this negatively rewards (what an oxymoron that is) the whole class. Can you explain a little more what you mean?
You sure can. Contact your child’s teacher for login information.
Can it download to an android device so I can walk around the room? I am a middle school teacher and must constantly be walking to monitor and record on paper and pad.
Yes, it is completely web based so if Android doesn’t have an App (thought I think they do) you can just access the website itself.
Yes, you can do a download of the app to any android smart phone. I have it on my android…just in case I forget to bring my iPad to work. It’s easy to use on the phone too.
That is a good question. I don’t think that ClassDojo requires you to put in an email address. So just need a code that the teacher gives you. I also don’t think that they sell off their information. I believe that info is confidential. I do believe that schools can sign up for a school/district account which might give administrators access but other teachers or parents will definitely not be able to see each other’s info.
I am a parent as well, on my way to deliver legal documents in regards to this program. It is incredibly sad that teachers and parents are willing to wave the privacy rights of our children in order to make behavior management more convenient for the school. I am not, and not will I ever be on board with anything like this. Very scary.
Thanks for the comment – that is surely your choice. What privacy are you afraid will come out from Class Dojo? From my experience no personal information of the child is recorded such as age description. If the teacher uses photos of the students I can see the argument, but ultimately it is more than just convenience. It is a anecdotal record, one that can easily and more importantly effectively be shared to parents to better improve the learning environment for each child in the classroom.
Tina, I’m with you. God forbid a teacher has to get off their butt and interact with a student when they can just touch their I-phone. Hell, let’s just have the kids wear shock collars. I’m sure that will also have an affect on their behavior.
Roger – I think you are confusing two different things here. One: the laziness of a teacher and Two: negative reinforcement. While teachers can be lazy (as people can be of course) Class Dojo is a way to chronicle and chart behavior over a period of time. I do know teachers who use it only on their iPhone/iPad. The students don’t see what is happening and at the end of each week write a report with their observations coupled with the data collected from Class Dojo to parents and counselors. This is not lazy or negative but a way to improve communication and to bring about a positive change in behavior. Not everything done with technology is so the teacher can be more lazy and engaging a student over every little infraction or poor behavior is not a sound policy.
I do see how a teacher can hide behind Class Dojo but not everyone will do this.
My issue is the Class Dojo reports feature tells me everyone has a zero percent including the whole class, but when I switch to the points screen, I see their points. How do I fix this! It’s on every device (iPad, work MacBook, and my Android phone)!!! HELP!!!
Parent who has a Junior in public high school with NO behavior issues. New to district teacher using all for science class. How beneficial is this program at that level? Quick internet search showed for younger kids or those with behavioral issues. Neither applicable. It doesn’t give what was off task. Had to email teacher. Sounded bit like teacher gave negatives to kids and THEN explained rules. Any high school teachers using it and for what purpose? Was told used here for 21 Century skill employability! Feedback please!
I think you’re right. It is geared for younger students. Remember that teachers are people too. If she is new give her some time and see how it goes. Maybe she has a plan. They is really no way foot me to judge the situation. If you have strong concerns I recommend going to the administration about it.
I can’t delete kids off my class dojo
Go to the set up screen where you were inputting your class lists. Hover over the name of the student till the X appears in his/her top right of their box. Click the X and that should delete the name. I had to re-input a few kids due to schedule changes.
I love Classroom Dojo. I have a class of difficult students that really haven’t responded to much of anything, until this. When I walk to the mouse, behaviors are automatically fixed, I don’t have to say a word. I like that you can send home a report weekly and parents can log in. I like using it on my Ipad, but couldn’t get it to work today.
I really do like the report feature. It just breaks it down and gives. Nice summary.
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thank you for such an extensive review of class dojo. I’ve been using it for a while but I find it very frustrating to find it doesn’t work properly on IE. Unfortunately, all desktops and laptops at school use IE ONLY and don’t have administrative rights to download any other browser. I wonder if you know of any trick that will allow me to maximize my class dojo ‘IE’ experience. Thank you!
Vivian, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. That stinks about IE. Do you happen to know what version it is. That can go a long way in finding a solution.
why does my password not working…………….. IM TIRED OF IT!
I teach self-contained 2/3 classroom and I use class Dojo and love it. I assign a daily point value the students need to earn if they earn the allotted points on Fri. then on Monday they get popcorn and movie. I have added behaviors and let the students change their monster/critter on Monday. I display this up on the SmartBoard and the kids are really buying into the negative and positive auditory signals. I love how I am able to email parents at the end of the week with their child’s behavior feedback.
I currently have this application for my iPad and I stream it through Doceri on my laptop for the whiteboard projection. I have to disagree though about the extrinsic motivation factor a bit 🙂 I work at an alternative school (9th grade) in which many of my students cannot properly identify -what- they are doing wrong. Having it up on the board and seeing why they were given a negative remark helps them identify the issue. Plus, they know they can “bounce back” with positive behavior. I’ll end here because I could go on and on about Dojo! Ha! I am going to be super bummed if they make us pay for it though, hopefully they grandfather in the super-users!
Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. That is interesting place you work at. I bet it keeps you on your toes. Do other teachers at the school use it? I wonder if the behavior students learn in your room will transfer to another teacher’s room who is not using Class Dojo. I hope so 🙂 It is a concern of mine.
I use it for just a few students who are working on self control issues and I like it a lot. I hope that they do keep the service free. It would bum me out if it comes out of beta and everyone has to pay. Thanks again for the comment and good luck for the rest of the year.
I just learned about Class DoJo yesterday at an AT Network conference. I am very interested in using this program for just a few students who struggle with self control and social language issues. I am an SLP who works with a team of teachers in a middle school. How have you adapted the program to target a few students rather than an entire class?
Marilyn thanks for stopping by. I am lucky that I do not have too many disruptive students at my school. Usually just the occasional joker in class or person who is too distracted to finish their work in a timely manner. For individual students I meet with them and we start off by discussing what aspects of class that they do well (participating, coming up with good ideas, etc.) then we discuss areas of improvement (staying in their seat, raising their hand to ask a question, etc.) Usually at the end of the week I talk to those few students and show them the report and break it down. I try to highlight the good with the areas that also need improvement.
If the student is a concern to the counselors I can also pass that information onto them for further review. Like I said, I do this for only a few students (like anecdotal notes), so it’s not terribly time consuming, but it gives them some feedback and reminds to keep an eye on that student. Hope this helps 🙂
I love my class!!:):)
Allyson glad to hear that. What do you think about Class DoJo?
when is it going to be alviable to kids
I’m not sure I really understand the question. This is a resource that helps teachers monitor and track behavior.