This past week, the first term of the Japanese school system came to an end with the second term just shortly starting up. With this new term, there is a new app I am looking forward to trying.
Class Dojo: classdojo.com
Class Dojo is a realtime classroom management tool, allowing the teacher to grade students’ participation in class, while in class. If you remember as a young elementary student, watching the teacher write your name either on the “good” side or the “bad side” of the board, full of stars or minuses… that is exactly what Class Dojo is, just in digital form.
You can set up individual classrooms with student names and avatars (or student photos if you recommend other potential users via e-mail). While in class, you have a list of point generators and deduction buttons, ranging from class participation and creativity to not turning in homework and disrupting class. If you have a large screen the the class can see, students can watch as you add and deduct points in realtime.
The app is currently a web based app, but a mobile version is available as well. I have tested both the web app and the mobile app on an iPad 2 with success from either end, so it would be up to the user on which to use. The avatars and sound effects may become a bit distracting, so the mobile version seems to be the choice for me (sound can be turned off in settings).
Another positive aspect of Class Dojo are its co-founders, who are very quick with any support a user may need to make Class Dojo a successful experience.
Class Dojo is a free application as it is currently in beta. According to the website, there are only a limited number of beta testing spots available.