Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

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Give ClassDojo a Try

A brand new school year.  Time to set routines and high expectations.  Thought that I would share a fun tool that I learned about last year from one of my neighbors, Heidi Herder,  who teaches in a neighboring district.

ClassDojo is a real time, online classroom behavior management system.  Teachers can identify and reward good learning behaviors.  Here is how it works.  A teacher sets up their class on  Teachers then define the good behaviors that they are looking for.  You can be as specific as you would like.  For instance, you could identify learning targets such as “Student used complete sentences when answering a question. “ Teachers then project the classroom on the screen. (The classroom consists of an avatar for each student.)  As the lesson progresses, when the teacher sees a student using a good behavior, they click on that student’s name a give them a point.  Teachers can either reward points to students using their desktop computer, or they can use their Smartphone, tablet or other wireless device as they walk around the classroom. This immediate feedback and recognition is a great tool for keeping students on track.  This summer, ClassDojo added some student features.  Now, students can be given their own log in and create their own log ins instead of using the automatically generated avatars.  They are thinking in the future, student will be able to earn points that they can use to add bling to their avatars.  (Fun)  Teachers also have to the option of taking away points for negative behavior.  Student and class reports are generated for the teacher so the the teacher has a record of class behavior.  

When I saw this tool, I thought that is would be great in the elementary classroom.  I shared with our Digital Literacy Coaches and is the norm, my tech super star, Greg Doud, tried it in his classroom with is 8th grade history students.  He reported that they were really into it.  And really made an effort to make sure that he understood their behavior.  

One drawback of using this tool is that the classroom page needs to be projected on the screen to use the tool, so this would not work if you were projecting something else on your screen to use in your teaching.  (I guess that you could split your screen, but that could be a little distracting.)

It looks like a neat tool and this seems like a great time of year to give it a try.  If you do give it a try.  I would love to hear how it goes in your classroom.
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