ClassDojo is quickly becoming a name associated with elementary school and something that teachers, students and even now parents are becoming familiar with. It’s an app that is changing classroom environments for the better and encouraging young children to study hard and be active in class activities. It was originally an app that was used to reward students when they behaved and listened well in class, but now it’s become a highly interactive platform that’s serving a purpose like Facebook in the classroom. ClassDojo is free to download and is compatible with just about any tablet or mobile device.
The men behind this app are Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary, two graduate students that had long been looking for an app that would benefit a market that was being neglected. They thought of education and realized that not a lot of effort was being put into making classrooms better at encouraging good student behavior, or staying up to date with technological advances. So they went to a teacher’s conference in San Francisco where they started bouncing ideas off of different educators to find out what they thought should go into a good classroom app, and they came up with ClassDojo.
As the app evolved from simply giving points out for good behavior, it started using a Student Stories profile where teachers could post photos of class activities and put them on Student Stories for parents to see. Or they could even send a picture message directly to the parents during the day. ClassDojo also teamed up with a research team at Stanford University to produce learning videos where little monster characters would have to tackle a difficult subject in school, and would learn to think differently and collaborate as a team. With these learning features and constant communication available, the app has not only made teachers jobs easier but schools have been able to start eliminating parent-teacher meetings from their once-a-semester schedule.
ClassDojo has done all of this without even spending money on advertising costs. The app has received several venture capital rounds of funding, including over $21 million in just this last year alone, bringing its total venture capital to about $30 million. Investors have no immediate demand for a return of income on the app, and Chaudhary and Don plan to always keep its download and basic use free. They are however planning to add extra content that teachers and users can opt to pay for if they’re interested. Such content might include various e-textbooks or more videos of monster characters.