How I Use It
I keep this application running in the background of my computer on a daily basis to track participation and negative behavior of my students. I set a class goal of verbally participating at least three times per class period, so I simply click on the student to give them participation points every time they add to the discussion. I also use it to track when students are off-task and needed to be redirected since we just switched to Chromebooks this year for all students (which has led to a large degree of distraction). I then share these results with parents at conferences and in emails as a talking point to encourage participation and to correlate lower scores and comprehension with less participation in class. At times it's annoying to have a computer open at all times, but for the benefits involved, it's worth it. This application has definitely saved me more than a few headaches in parent/teacher conferences alone! I'd recommend it to anyone, even high school (which I teach). At first I thought it might be too juvenile for them, but I was surprised to learn that high school students enjoy personalizing their avatars and monitoring their progress as just as much as younger students!
ClassDojo is definitely a teaching tool that I use in my classroom, but not in the standard sense of the word. I often try to correlate active class participation and preparation with better test scores and comprehension of content material, and from that perspective, ClassDojo definitely helps me do this easily. I like that students can immediately see their participation and behavior numbers for the day or week on the "student" side of the application. I also like that I can set up whatever categories I want, which allows me to monitor multiple things all at once depending on what my class goals are! I can also quickly see which students are not routinely participating or are having discipline issues so that I can remedy those situations. I would like to see the format for class viewing (which is currently quite large, even when you make the icons smaller) in more of a list structure so that I could click on names even more easily. My students would also benefit from the ability to set their own goals within this program and to get some kind of digital badge for acquiring a certain amount of participation points (like badges of accomplishments or something like that). Overall, I really like this program though!