When we switched from private to public school this year, I was extremely nervous. The private Quaker school we were previously at was amazing in just about every aspect: art and play were encouraged, all kids got two recess breaks a day, and classrooms were essentially open for parents. Being a public school teacher myself, I knew that all those things were about to change. Luckily my kiddos are pretty resilient so they adapted well. That being said, there is one tool that their school uses that has driven me bonkers: ClassDojo.
ClassDojo boasts that it is used in over 90% of elementary schools in the US and describes itself as: “A communication app for the classroom. It connects teachers, parents, and students who use it to share photos, videos, and messages through the school day. They use ClassDojo to work together as a team, share in the classroom experience, and bring big ideas to life in their classrooms and homes.” Sounds pretty great, right? The problem is that this is largely not what the site is being used for. Students have accounts and either earn or lose points throughout the day based on their behavior in class that day. Essentially, ClassDojo is old school behavior modification. Now many parents may choose to use rewards charts or other behavior modification tools in their parenting, but I fear that teachers are unable to truly use the tool to accurately measure good and bad behavior on a daily basis. Check out my daughter’s points from today: