A lot of mobile tech critics will argue that young children are too zoned into it that it causes or increases ADHD, and they believe parents should regulate their usage of it. But others have figured out ways to use that technology to capture young children’s attention while in the classroom including the founders of ClassDojo. ClassDojo is an app that works like a social media app, but all activities are classroom focused and include behavior point systems, class project feeds and open channels of communication.
It was Sam Chaudhary and his partner Liam Don who brainstormed the idea for the app. They happened to visit a teacher’s forum and started bouncing ideas off the teachers in attendance there. They realized they didn’t need a real complex app with too many useless gizmos, but just an app that could the basic things that teachers needed to deliver their lectures more effectively. Each new version of the app they released had even more features that took into account customer feedback, and soon they had something similar to Facebook on the market, but with a very different philosophy.
Unlike the controversy that’s surrounded Pinterest in the news recently, ClassDojo has never sold user data to any advertising firms or mining companies. They have never attempted to track users, and in fact some of the investor capital they’ve received has been used to increase privacy and security measures. The app integrates well with mobile device messaging systems, and parents love it because they can periodically check in to see how their children are doing in the class, or to hear what their teachers are saying. Administrator approval is not required to use the app, but many principals have decided to use it because it not only allows them to see how teachers are doing; it also has led to them doing away with the parent-teacher meetings because ClassDojo takes care of it for them.
ClassDojo has always been free, a model that that Chaudhary and Don always want to keep. Their main goal is to make it user-friendly and not to flood their interface with ads, and they don’t use ads to promote it either. They believe in the power of user reviews and word of mouth to spread awareness of it, and their plans for bringing revenue from it will be adding optional premium features to it in later releases. For now though investors are not in any hurry to get their capital back.