About 7 years ago, many teachers were saying that they wished there was an app that could add to their students’ assignments and learning experience, and they complained that education was largely ignored by silicon valley. While America’s heart of technology may not be fully invested in education yet, things have been done to change the lack of apps, and one of those things has been the rise of ClassDojo. ClassDojo may not sound attractive, but this little app has become one of the most effective tools for encouraging class teamwork and giving parents updates on what’s happening in the classroom.
Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don, two graduate students were interested in building an education tech app that did things most other developers hadn’t thought of yet. They formed their ideas by visiting with different teachers, and they realized they didn’t have to load the user interface with all kinds of fluff. Teachers just wanted basic ways to reward student behavior, and ClassDojo made it simple for them to do so. Within just a few years of its initial release, ClassDojo added profile pages, a chat platform and story pages. Teachers can now contact parents through ClassDojo’s messaging, and students can get reminders when assignments are due the next class period.
ClassDojo is available on all the app stores and is compatible with Android, Windows and Apple products. It’s completely free to download and use, and there are no intrusive ads within the interface. ClassDojo has received several rounds of venture capital investments and has accrued about $30 million total, and all of that capital has been used to make improvements since none of it has been spent on advertising. Chaudhary and Don prefer to market ClassDojo through old-fashioned person-to-person marketing and having user reviews and blog posts promoting it.
ClassDojo also has become a secure platform making sure private networks of teachers, students and parents are not exposed to unapproved data mining companies. Chaudhary and Don have insisted that they will never sell or give data to anyone, and they’ve built secure layers to keep hackers away from user profiles as well. Right now there’s no hurry to monetize ClassDojo, but there are plans to add some premium features to it for those who want more out of it.