Class Dojo is a free class management website for teachers. It is available in different languages, including English, making it a very useful tool for ESL teachers.You can add all your students; take the attendance take note of who made their homework and those who didn’t. The teacher enters all the students’ name that automatically gives them a little avatar. Considering the fact that most teachers have more than one class to teach to, the website allows you to create more than one ”classroom” linked to your account. Parents and students can also create an account on the website and be linked with the classroom with the use of an access code given by the teacher. Not everybody can join a specific classroom; the teacher must invite them via email.
The teacher can easily keep the website open during the whole class with the use of a projector or Smart Board©. There is also an application available both for phones and tablets, on either the Android or Apple software. The app allows the teacher to control the tool from anywhere in the class. By doing so, there is a timer option that can be used in order to time the students during an activity and they can also see how much time they have left. It is possible to give or take off points depending on what students do. For example, if they have a good attitude, if they help each other, if they participate, etc.
I created myself an account as a teacher. It was fast, simple and efficient. I was able to add students by simply entering their names. I was able to create a fictive classroom with a few students in it. I was able to award or deduct points to either one or to a group of students. It was possible to add our own categories of behaviours, whether positive or negative.
The disadvantages are that it can probably work with students in elementary but not secondary school. The little avatars being in the shape of monsters make the tool look a little childish for high school students. The fact that it can be displayed on the board at all time can be both a source of advantages and of disadvantages. On the positive side, it can motivate students to do their homework because everyone can see who is losing points if they did not do their homework or have misbehaved. On the other side, some students may feel uncomfortable with this situation. Another slight inconvenient of the website is that you can only display your students’ avatar in alphabetical order. It could be interesting if we could play around and place them the same way as they are seated in the classroom. As stated on It’s About Learning ”Class Dojo is a way of manipulating behaviour and all of the research,” it is true that it is seen negative to manipulate behaviour.”
The website has many advantages. It is very easy to take attendance with the website. For elementary students, the website is motivating and amusing. They can all have a different and colourful avatar for themselves without having their face shown on the board. Instead of using a different email account, the website gives an easy mean of communication by allowing the teacher to write messages to the parents and/or to the students directly from the website. Another advantage is that the parents can follow their child’s progress through the website. The teacher does not have to send paper messages to the parents on grades or activities. It is a very good website in order to contact teachers, as sais on A Parent’s Review of ClassDojo ”Ideally, ClassDojo can tighten the feedback loop between teacher, student, and parent.”
I would personally use this website in my ESL courses because it is very simple to use and very useful. I think that it can save papers, meaning that it is possible to take the attendance on it and take note of when the students’ homework is done. I also like the fact that it is possible to put the website in any languages and permit students to see how they are doing in the class.