As troubling as it is, studies seem to suggest that bullying is on the rise in American schools. This upsetting statistic is leading not only educators, but administrators, parents, and concerned citizens to question just what is happening to our children’s socialization in our nation’s school system. Just as bullying is on the rise, it would seem empathy is at an all time low in our schools. “Empathy is a precursor to pro social behavior.” warns Luba Falk Feigenberg, research director for a new app and communication platform creating a ground-up change in schools nationwide, ClassDojo. In a scary and disillusioning time for many Americans, ClassDojo is comforting children, teaching kindness, and opening the doors for some important questions about the current state of the world around them.
@ClassDojo, with fewer than 30 employees and just over $30 million in funding, has managed to construct a fun, user friendly, learning tool that everyone in the classroom seems to love. ClassDojo Features a system that allows teachers to reward students for any value or skill, such as being kind, helping others, or working hard, as well as giving students access to their own portfolios to upload photos and video to share and showcase their learning. The app also allows parents to follow their child’s day to day classroom experience with photos and video of the most cherished moments and memories.
ClassDojo helps students grow their social and emotional skills while allowing for a much more consistent connection between teachers and parents. More than anything, cofounder of ClassDojo, Sam Chaudhary, says the main idea of the program is to “Help parents guide conversations at home and support and enhance the learning and development their kids are doing in school.” However, in the early days of development ClassDojo was primarily designed to assist in teaching children with learning positive social-emotional behavior and the app has retained that aspect as a foundation while branching out to create their modern communication platform incarnation.
It’s in ClassDojo’s videos and other content focused on the student users where the program is really producing a ground-up change and creating a positive culture within classrooms and schools. ClassDojo’s videos follow the adventures of Mojo Monster learning to walk in other’s shoes and cultivate positive relationships with family, friends, teachers, and classmates. Chaudhary says that the workforce behind ClassDojo understands that watching a five minute video won’t make anxiety disappear but emphasizes that with two in three schools now employing the program in America, one in three kids under the age of 14 have seen those videos. While ClassDojo may not cure a national anxiety, the app is most certainly providing the path for important conversations and creating the potential for positive change.