The popular ClassDojo app has announced that it will be adding Student Stories to its services to help students share photos and videos of their classroom creations with their parents. Students can add records of their classroom activities to their stories without login credentials and without having their own devices.
The app already includes School Story and Classroom Story, which allow administrators and teachers respectively to send information to parents via smartphone and tablet. Now, students will be able to use the app to share with parents as well.
Liam Don, co-founder and chief product officer at ClassDojo, said:
Parents don't get to see all the great work a kid is doing. Kids get to share homework, but not the exciting stuff. The science project or the poem, that is the exciting part.
Don hopes that the app's addition will improve the quality of dinner-table conversations by allowing students to share with their parents the things they do in class that they are proud of.
The addition of Student Stories will also allow students to document their work over the course of a year, reports Tim Newcomb of the 74 Million. This has impressed many teachers, as many hope that their students use this feature to recap their education and cement what they've learned.
Stephanie Smith, a fourth-grade teacher at Roy Waldron School in Tennessee, said:
"I'm a big believer in reflection, so for them to be able to see the evolution of their work is exciting. I'm hoping by them having the ability to reflect, they will develop a strong growth mindset that will continue with them in the future."
The app also includes a behavior-tracking aspect, with which teachers give or take away points based on classroom conduct. However, this aspect of the app has proved controversial.
Teachers can use devices like the iPad to allow students to take photos or videos of their work. They are able to access ClassDojo with a QR code instead of a password to submit a post, making the process easier on everyone. After the activity, the teachers approve the posts and send them to parents, who can see only their child's work, reports Joshua Bolkan of THE Journal.
"Toward the end of a phase, teachers can pass around an iPad and say "let's all take a photo.""
Welsh pair Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary founded the company, which has grown largely by word of mouth. The app, which focuses on K-8 classrooms, has expanded to two-thirds of all US schools and 90 percent of school districts since its launch in 2011. It's also being used in 180 countries worldwide. During last year's back-to-school rush, more than 500,000 people downloaded the app every day.
In late 2015, the company raised $21 million in Series B funding, reports CIOL. Before that, it raised $8.5 million in 2013 during its first institutional funding, and $1.6 million in 2012 in seed funding.
The app is available via Google Play and the Apple Store, reports Abby Jackson of Business Insider.