ClassDojo Teaching Empathy

ClassDojo is revolutionizing the way parents and teachers communicate. The days of a once a semester parent teacher meeting are gone forever. Parents and teachers are now able to interact on a daily basis if need be. Primarily being used by kindergarten through 8th-grade teachers the popularity of the app is one of the fastest growing segments of education technology.

Recently a 5th-grade reading class teacher noticed one of her students diagnosed as autistic became anxious when faced with social pressure. It just so happened her class had just watched a series of short videos created by ClassDojo and Harvard’s Making Caring Common project, dealing with showing empathy to others. The students realized they could help their classmate by taking turns reading with him. A little jester that worked, the student no longer feels anxious because someone is always willing to learn with him.

While empathy is critical to proper social behavior, recent research tells us it is on the decline. Today there is a lot of anxiety in our society for many reasons. Our last election laced with invective statements caused low-income families to become increasingly concerned with financial matters and the children of immigrants are becoming more concerned about their futures. To succeed in our society today, people need to interact with individuals who have different experiences and beliefs. ClassDojo hopes to help reverse this trend by offering videos that encourage empathy by urging students to talk to and express gratitude for people often overlooked in their communities.

The mobile app is free to teachers, students, and parents. ClassDojo is different than other education apps that treat education in a serious manner; ClassDojo allows the users to create portfolios that are silly and fun while creating a friendly environment where positive thinking and good character will lead to positive results. ClassDojo gives students a voice where they can share classroom accomplishments with photos and videos. Teachers can give parents daily updates on their student’s progress and make suggestions about what they can do at home to further their student’s progress. The app also makes it possible for teachers to inform parents about upcoming school events.

Last year at least one teacher in 65% of kindergarten through 8th-grade schools in the country used @ClassDojo, in less than a year that percentage has grown to 90%. If you add the 5% of high school users, ClassDojo comes to 90,000 U.S. schools. Adults use LinkedIn for business, Facebook for social connections and now ClassDojo to form a stronger relationship with their children and the men and women who educate them.