Class Dojo Helps to Eliminate Parent Teacher Meetings

Most parents and teachers dread parent-teacher meetings. Scheduling is difficult, and the meetings rarely give parents a real sense of what is going on in the classroom. There is never quite enough time, and the inconvenience of scheduling means that parents often have to take time off and possibly hire a babysitter. For teachers, it means taking time out of their busy schedule or staying after class to meet with parents who are often late or unappreciative of the effort.

That’s why the entrepreneurs behind Class Dojo created an app that is designed to eliminate those dreaded parent-teacher meetings. By creating an app that allows for constant in-depth communication between parents, teachers and students parents can see what is happening in the classroom with a complete picture than any rushed, stressful meeting could ever provide. They are provided with constant updates on grades, behavior, and activities in class. Teachers and students can send messages, leave notes, and even share pictures and videos of classwork and class activities.

According to Entrepreneur magazine, the reason why Class Dojo has been so successful since it was first released in August of 2011 is that it follows the key tenants of what makes an Edutech app. Since the app was launched it is being used in over 90% of US Public School districts. One of the biggest reasons for the success of the app is because the app’s founders have used feedback from teachers as the primary source for ideas and tweaks since they first began planning the app.

Other key tenants pointed out in the article that Class Dojo’s designers have followed include rigorous testing. They used a think tank of teachers to help develop the app, and have followed up with these teachers and every other teacher that uses the app throughout the process. The app continues to change and grow based on user feedback, and the developers are always coming out with new and interesting features that are beta tested on a small group of classrooms.

It’s clear that Class Dojo has become a leading app over the last few years and is sure to grow. Not only is it the perfect Edutech app, but it’s a great example for budding entrepreneurs and app makers of how to do things right.

Here’s What Every American Educator Should Know, Rocketship Education Edition

Preston Smith has been a teacher in the San Jose area for three years, starting in August of 2001. After three-and-a-half years in an entry-level teaching capacity, Smith went on to found L.U.C.H.A. Elementary School, alongside parents, teachers, board members, and administrators he hand-picked just months before its inception. This experience, especially Preston’s ten years with Rocketship Education, has thoroughly taught him countless lessons about educational theory, planning, application, and everything in between.

Fortunately for every educator in English-speaking North America, Mr. Smith recently published an article in which he outlined ten things that were most important from his experience with the nexus of kindergarten through 5th grade public charter schools. Here are a select few of the most important.

Children with developmental, learning, and social disabilities should be included in regular activities for most of their time at school. Typically, schools strive to place students in special education classrooms for more than half of their time at school, although this hinders their abilities in several areas. However, Rocketship Education requires its disabled students and those with special needs to spend at least three-fourths of their school days in general education capacities, or those with fellow peers that aren’t disabled. This model is unique to Rocketship Education, called the meaningful inclusion model.

School systems should first test their plans at select locations, then make an administrative decision as to whether all schools should be subject to such changes. If all schools tested don’t respond well to such changes, the changes shouldn’t be rolled out in full. Rocketship Education experienced this with their flex model, in which classrooms’ responsibilities were delegated to three teachers and one oversight administrator. Although the flex model worked in a few schools, it didn’t work in 100% of them, urging Preston Smith and his administrators to roll back the flex model.

Teachers need to visit their students’ homes once annually. This helps them develop their learning plans more effectively, as a large part of Rocketship Education’s success is through its personalized learning platforms. Seeing firsthand where a child lives is a great way to fortify customized education endeavors.