ClassDojo: A Tool not a Teacher


Recently I was asked to write a follow-up post about the digital classroom management tool ClassDojo in response to all of the comments my original post  has received over the last year.

I was hesitant to respond because I didn’t know what to say to comfort the parents who commented that they saw their children suffering in classrooms that were using ClassDojo as a tool. Then it dawned on me: ClassDojo is just that—a tool. We all know that tools can be used in many ways, both good and bad. Take, for example, a hammer. A hammer can be used to build a house, but it can also be used tear a house down. Does that make the hammer bad?

After rereading the comments from parents on my previous post, I reached out to ClassDojo to see how they handle parents’ complaints. Their answer: “We never want to be the go between for teachers and parents… We certainly listen to parent feedback on ways we can improve ClassDojo, but always recommend that they communicate their thoughts with teachers as well so that ClassDojo is always used in a way that’s right for each community!”

The sheer number of technology tools available can be confusing and overwhelming — especially when it come to educational tech. As parents, we assume teachers have been trained on or mastered these new tools being used to teach our children. This is not always the case. As parents, we can help teachers by giving them feedback about how we see these tools impacting our children. When my son first started school, I was intimidated by the teachers and the principal. It took me some time to realize that most teachers truly want to know what works and what doesn’t work for my child.

When it comes to technology, we are all moving at the speed of light. Teachers, parents, and administrators are all treading new territory here. But I believe that we all want what is best for the children.Teachers and parents make the best support systems for our children. I have always loved the saying that it takes a village to raise a child. We are that village. Parents, let your child’s teachers know if something isn’t working for your child. In return, listen to your child’s teachers concerns and needs, and work with the school to help find solutions.

Any tool that improves parent-teacher communication has the potential to have a positive impact. ClassDojo is still a young company (it launched in 2011), and they are a company that is working hard help our children succeed. They have, for example, just released ClassDojo Translate, a service which helps parents and teachers who speak different languages communicate more effectively.

As a parent, I don’t want to take a good tool out of a teacher’s hands, but I need to communicate with my child’s teacher if I feel a particular tool isn’t working for my child.

For more check out:

Stay in-the-know with all things EdTech and innovations in learning by signing up to receive the weekly Smart Update.