Sunday 15 January 2017

Changing the world with ClassDojo

Ben Williams and Aliastair Rutherford raise a series of concerns about the globally popular classroom management app ClassDojo.

"Millions of parents will be familiar with the free mobile app, ClassDojo. It allows teachers to award or deduct points to children for their classroom behaviour, and has become a worldwide educational success story, with claims it is being used by over 3 million teachers and 35 million children from 180 countries globally."

"Despite its popularity, ClassDojo raises significant concerns many parents may not have considered. As our ongoing research shows, in 2016 its Silicon Valley team received over US$20 million to extend into a ‘school-wide’ platform, quickly making it into an indispensable tool for connecting schools with parents, enabling a constant flow of dojo points, classroom pictures, messages, videos and digital portfolios of children’s work to be sent from schools to homes."

"Meanwhile, teachers are involved in producing a huge database about children’s behaviour. It’s no longer just a cute app for promoting positive behaviour; it’s becoming more like a  social media site..."

"As a globally successful social media site for schools, ClassDojo is becoming as integral to the relationships between children, teachers and parents as mainstream social media is to the everyday lives of millions around the world. It is making teachers into data collectors and data entry clerks, encouraging children to see themselves in terms of their behavioural points, and inviting parents to become users of ClassDojo’s services. School leaders can now use ClassDojo data and local government authorities may also be able to access it in future, potentially making it into a key tool of whole-school management and performance measurement."

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