What is ClassDojo? Teaching Tips

(Image credit: ClassDojo)

ClassDojo is the digital spot that connects teachers, students, and families all in one space. That can mean easy sharing of work but also better communication and monitoring all round.

At its most basic this is a platform for sharing class photos and videos between parents, teachers, and students. But that's not unique -- what makes this special is the ability to add messages too. With more than 35 languages supported with translation smarts, this really aims to open up lines of communication between home and class.

The fact ClassDojo is totally free also adds appeal to everyone who may be considering using it. Teachers can more easily share student progress with guardians and communicate to monitor and plan progress and interventions as needed, live.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about ClassDojo for teachers, students, and families.

What is ClassDojo?

ClassDojo is digital sharing platform that allows teachers to document the day in class and share that with families via a web browser so that nearly any device can access the content – from a simple smartphone to a laptop computer. As long as it has a browser, photos and videos can be viewed.

ClassDojo's messaging service is another big draw since it allows parents and teachers to communicate through commenting on photos and videos and messaging directly. The translation service that offers more than 35 languages is a great tool since it allows teachers to enter text in their native language and have all parents and guardians read it in theirs. 

ClassDojo allows teachers to work with the class remotely too, including to provide activities for students, deal out classwork, and share lessons. Students can earn Dojo Points based on their conduct, letting teachers use the app to foster positive student behavior. 


(Image credit: ClassDojo)

How does ClassDojo work?

Teachers are able to use their smartphone or tablets to take pictures and videos in the classroom to share using ClassDojo. This could be a photo of a completed piece of work with grades, a video of a student explaining a task, or perhaps a hypothesis written for a science lab. 

Teachers can assign activities to students in the form of videos, test, images, or drawings. When students submit the work, it is then approved by the teacher before being published on the profile, which can then be seen by the family. These tasks are then saved and logged, following the student from grade to grade, to provide a broad overview of progress. 

ClassDojo is also for use in the classroom, assigning positive values to the class and as areas that need work. For example, a student might get a positive, such as "good teamwork," but then may also be given a needs-work notice for no homework, say. 

Behavior is rated with a number that the teacher can pick, from one to five points. Negative behavior is also weighted on a scale of minus one to minus five points. Students then are left with a score on which they can work to improve. It also provides an at-a-glance score for both teacher and parents to track student progress.

Teachers can populate their class roster in the app manually or by pulling in names from Word or Excel documents, for example. Each student profile then gets a unique monster cartoon character – these can be assigned randomly, for ease. Teachers can then invite parents by printing and sending invites, or via email or text, requiring a unique joining code. 


(Image credit: ClassDojo)

What are the best ClassDojo features?

ClassDojo is a very easy-to-use platform, with the teacher page divided into three sections : Classroom, Class Story, and Messages

The first, Classroom, lets teachers track class points and individual student points, and to generate reports. Teachers are able to dive into the analytics here, viewing the attendance report or whole-class behavior metrics. They can then filter results by time and view any in a data donut or spreadsheet.

Class Story allows teachers to post images, videos, and messages for parents and guardians to see what's happening in class. 

Messages lets the teacher directly communicate with the entire class, individual students, and parents. These are sent either as an email or an in-app message, and parents can decide how they wish to be contacted. 

The family's access is possible via the website or the iOS and Android app. They can also view the data donut with child behavior metrics shown over time, as well as the Class Story, plus engage through Messages. They can also view multiple student accounts, ideal for families with more than one child at the same school. 

For students, access is possible through the website where they can view their monster profile and see the score based on points they earned or lost. While they can view their own progress over time, there is no access to other students as this is not about being competitive with others, but rather with themselves. 

How much does ClassDojo cost?

ClassDojo is free. Totally free, to download and use. Seems hard to believe but the company was founded with the vision to give every child on the planet better access to education. This is something the company is committed to offering forever.

So how is ClassDojo free? Part of the company structure includes staff dedicated specifically to fund-raising so that the service can be offered for free. 

ClassDojo Beyond School is another option, which is paid for by families. This offers additional experiences and does support the costs of basic free service. Paying for this gives families the chance to use the service outside of school, creating feedback points for working on habit-building and skills development. It is available as a seven-day free trial and can be cancelled any time.

ClassDojo has no third-party advertising. All class, teacher, student, and parent information is kept private and not shared.

Class Dojo best tips and tricks

Set goals
Use the results 'donut data' to motivate students by creating rewards based on achieving certain levels -- which they can monitor through the week.

Track parents
See when parents have logged in so if you're sending a "note" home you'll know when it's actually been read.

Get physical
Print physical charts with information such as daily goals, points levels, and even QR-code based prizes, all to put up around the classroom.

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.