When I bought the iPad I wanted this device to help simplify my life and make it easier to keep track of details involved with teaching. Of course I figured I might end up playing a few games in the mean time as well but that is beside the point for now… So I was very happy to find an app that would allow me to quickly keep track of details of classroom management right in the midst of class – things like students who have forgotten their instrument, people who are prepared, students who are on task, musicians who have played their parts wonderfully and who is listening or working hard. I do not have time to type in numbers or type out words, I just wanted to be able to tap a kid and tap an activity.
ClassDojo fits that bill pretty well and over the past couple of years it has only improved! The concept is simple… Create your class, enter your students names, input activities and you are all set up. Then you wait for class to start. When class starts you select the class, tap the Start Class button, select the student you want to enter points for and then select the action/activity. Wa-la a green icon pops up, adds a point to the students score and plays a nifty little sound (of course if you are in a noisy environment like band rehearsal the sound is probably going to go unnoticed!). Now, if the action/activity was a negative one then a point is deducted from their score and if that puts them in the negative then the little bubbly turns red.
Simple and to the point. UNLESS…. you want to get into the app a bit more and explore things like reports, use the app to track attendance and communicate with parents. Maybe I will blog about those options later. Right now though I want to take a closer look at setting things up when using the iPad because it is now possible to set all this up using just your iPad – before we had to take a visit to the website.
TIP FOR SETTING UP CLASS DOJO ——-
To start, click on the plus icon in the top right corner to add a class. Enter a class name, Grade and Subject and select an icon then tap the Create Class button. Now you are on the Edit Class screen. This is the screen I keep forgetting how to get to and it is an important one! This Edit Class screen is where you can enter/edit the activities/actions you will be keeping track of! If you want to access it later then simply tap on the class then look in the top right hand corner for the Edit link. Now that you are in this Edit Class page you have three important options available – enter students, enter Behaviors (positive) and enter Behaviors (negative) – simply tap on the area where it tells you how many items are in the section you would like to change. Currently your class says 0 Students for instance – tap that and start entering students names. Then tap where it says “Student Name” and then tap the + icon. Same goes for the Behaviors.
I find myself setting up my class at the start of a trimester but part way through wanting to change Behaviors and I have to stumble around to find this Edit Class Screen.
I should mention that there is a Class Dojo app for teachers that will run on an iPad1. Then there is a Class Dojo app for Students that will NOT run on an iPad1 because it require iOS6 or higher and the iPad1 doesn’t run anything higher that iOS 5. Something to keep in mind if you are in that situation.
The best part about this app and service? It’s free!