ClassDojo, a free Smartphone app that connects teachers, parents and children, announced recently that it is now being used in over 90% of U.S. schools. This is a remarkable feat for a company less than 5 years old. ClassDojo is now positioned to become the primary social networking app for K-8 classrooms the nation over. And according to many teachers and parents, that’s good news.
Creating positive learning environments through fun interaction
The ClassDojo app recently unveiled its mascot. Mojo The Monster, is but one of a cadre of animated characters who seek to instill life lessons through videos and interactive software. Kids love it and at the same time these interactive media teach life skills like empathy, and an education-oriented mindset.
The fun, cartoonish interface has proven to be a major hit with children using the app. This is in stark contrast to other similar apps which have been geared towards teachers and parents, featuring businesslike interfaces that are not kid-friendly.
There really isn’t anything else like ClassDojo currently on the market. Part of the reason for this is probably that even though ClassDojo is now present in virtually every elementary school in the country, they still haven’t settled on a permanent business model. Thus far, the company has stayed funded primarily through the $31 million in venture capital that it raised in its first two years. Eventually, ClassDojo management says that it will generate revenues through offering premium features to parents. Management plans to always keep the app free for teachers.
Founded in 2011 by entrepreneurs Sam Chaudry and Liam Don, @ClassDojo sought to fill a void in social networking that existed between parents, teachers and students in K-8 classrooms. Originally envisioned as a sort of Facebook for elementary school students, the idea evolved towards a means by which parents and teachers could stay in continuous communication. It also allows for parents to virtually participate in their student’s school days, seeing their classwork in real time and even video highlights from class presentations or projects.
Over the first two years, ClassDojo accumulated $31 million in venture capital. This allowed them to focus on getting the applications out to teachers across the country. Teachers turned out to be the greatest sales force of products . Once a teacher is on board, the parents and children quickly adopt the user-friendly technology. Using this teacher-first strategy, ClassDojo grew from no users to being used in over 90% of U.S. schools by the start of 2016. The company aims to continue growing the product and expanding its use within these existing client schools by always keeping the app free for teachers, focusing the creation of profit centers instead on features that will add value for parents.