In 2011, the classroom social networking app ClassDojo was unveiled. Its original purpose was to serve as a sort of Facebook for K-8 classrooms. The founders of Classdojo Sam Chaudry and Liam Don, recognized that teachers, parents and children lacked a dedicated app that could efficiently share children’s class work in real time. The idea was successfully sold to venture capital firms and within two years, armed with a $31 million starting budget, ClassDojo began being distributed to teachers and classrooms across the nation.
More than just social networking for kids
One of the coolest features @ClassDojo is its ability to serve as a social network for kids too young to be on Facebook. This networking option allows for close parental monitoring and maintains a safe online environment.
But the app is much more than networking for kids. It allows teachers to send results of tests in real time to parents. It allows parents to watch their child give a class presentation or work on a science lab. And perhaps most importantly, it almost completely obviates the need for parent-teacher conferences. This is more than just a convenient way to save parents a trip to the school.
Parent-teacher conferences can often be a shock to parents whose children are struggling in class. Children who are not doing well often hide this fact from their inquiring parents, needlessly exacerbating the problem and putting it off until it is often too late. ClassDojo nips this problem in the bud by notifying parents of any problem their child may be having in comprehending lesson material at the very moment it manifests. This way with parents fully involved, homework assignments can be tailored and focused on what children need help understanding, not on assignments that they have already mastered.
Started in 2011, the firm quickly raised over $31 million in venture capital and started distributing its first version to K-8 classrooms nationwide. This proved an unqualified success. Within 5 years, the app was being used in over 90% of K-8 schools across the country.
ClassDojo’s present business model is to continue rapid expansion with an eye on adding premium user features for parents and children in the future. However, features that are currently free will always remain so.