Review by Marianne Rogowski, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2018

Kiddom

LMS offers tangible options to differentiate learning

Subjects & skills
Subjects
N/A

Skills
  • Character & SEL
Grades This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
K–12
Common Sense says (See details)
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Pros: Partnerships with companies like LearnZillion, CK-12, and Newsela give teachers access to ready-made lessons and resources.

Cons: The lack of collaborative or social features may disengage students, and the one-at-a-time grade entry process may frustrate teachers.

Bottom Line: An excellent option for monitoring individual progress toward goals, but teachers will need to be deliberate when selecting and assigning content.

Teachers looking for effective ways to differentiate and individualize learning should give Kiddom a look. Upload a document to an assignment from Google Drive, and students can download their own pre-named copies. Create standards-based assignments (with an option to use CASEL's social and emotional learning competencies), and draw lessons and resources from one of many sites, including Listenwise, IXL, TedEd, and Khan Academy. Provide clear directions and exemplars to students by uploading videos, PDFs, pictures, and more. Help students track progress and achieve mastery by assigning lessons based on prior student progress, and promote student accountability by teaching students how to view and analyze their own data.

Whether you want to provide opportunities for blended learning, flip your classroom, or engage in more data-driven instruction, Kiddom offers a variety of options to engage students. The vast library of blog posts, resources, and guides offers an excellent avenue for professional development, as well. It would be nice if there was a way for students to collaborate or communicate on the platform. Also, while the lesson search-and-add feature can be very useful, it can be a bit frustrating to find desired content, so teachers will want to strike a balance between online and teacher-created resources.

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Kiddom is a hybrid gradebook and standards-based personalized LMS (learning management system). Sign-up is quick and guides teachers through creating classes: adding students (and parents, if desired) manually, via class code, or by importing from Google Classroom. Assignment creation can be as simple or as complicated as users choose, with options to attach standards, select lessons, upload files, and assign by class, individual, or mastery level. Support for Kiddom is robust, but it can take some effort to find what you need, due to the variety of features and resources available.

The overall look of the site is clean but fairly basic, and the navigation is a bit tiresome, leaving users to do a lot of back and forth between pages. What sets Kiddom apart are the partnerships with many popular edtech companies, allowing users to add ready-made lessons and accompanying standards directly to their assignments. Teachers will need to spend some time up front exploring school and district policies and account creation options for the various resources (some of which require student emails). While Kiddom supports grade transfer from some sites, such as Khan Academy and CK-12, teachers will have to manually enter grades for other assignments. Grade entry can be a bit laborious without a fill-down feature or mass grading option of some kind. This, along with better autosave capabilities, would be a helpful feature to add.

In the right hands, Kiddom provides a viable solution for effectively using data to drive and differentiate instruction. Using it as a blended learning tool, teachers can connect students with relevant, challenging content and encourage student growth by providing access to resources that foster critical thinking, promote skill practice, and ideally, lead to concept mastery.

In terms of homework, Kiddom supports a flipped classroom model and can be an excellent way to provide written feedback and reach students who need more targeted in-class instruction. The ability for teachers to see which students are struggling, which ones are progressing, and which ones are breezing by can help teachers make informed decisions about content and avoid teaching to the middle. It allows teachers to leave the one-size-fits-all model behind, replacing it with assignments that promote student accountability, engagement, and growth. Such easy access to resources could lead to lazy instruction, however. In order for true differentiated learning to occur, teachers wanting to meet the needs of their students must be thoughtful and deliberate about their content choices.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Without collaborative, social, or other inherently engaging features, teachers must ensure that they're choosing quality content and resources that will keep their students' attention. 

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

Facilitates individualized and data-driven instruction, feedback, differentiation, student growth, and a variety of blended learning models.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

A robust variety of tutorials, FAQs, downloadable resources, and partner materials help teachers make informed decisions about content and help students navigate their progress.


Common Sense Reviewer
Marianne Rogowski Media specialist/librarian

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