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Mo Dojo Mo Personalization

As a teacher trying to personalize learning in my classroom, technology has been a key to my ability to efficiently move the dial in meeting learners needs. Whether it be Canvas, Pear Deck, Or Google Apps, they all have a place in the learning environment I'm working in.

One key tool I have revisited over the past week is Class Dojo.  Now don't think of this type of dojo.

It is true that fear does should not exist in Class Dojo. The fear of try something new. The fear of failing. But unlike the Cobra Kai Dojo, Class Dojo does not look to treat all learners the same. It recognizes their differences. In this post, I’d like to take some time to discuss how Class Dojo can be used to effectively incorporate key elements from the Honeycomb Model developed by The Institute for Personalized Learning.

What is Class Dojo?

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Class Dojo, here are a couple of quick introductory videos.

Rapid Cycle Feedback
One of the key features of Class Dojo is the ability to give students immediate feedback about skills they are meeting or need to work on.  Via a desktop computer or the app on a mobile device, educators can report out with a few clicks. This results in specific and timely feedback that is actionable.

There is also a random mode you can use to randomly select students.  I find it’s a good way to not only select a student to observe, but choose a random student to approach for discussion during work time.

Standards Guided Learning, Learner Choice, and Anytime Anywhere Learning
Class Dojo comes with some preloaded skills for measurement.  But, these skills can be customized to whatever meets the needs of the learning environment. You can add both positive skills/behaviors and negative skills/behaviors.  They can also be scaled to different levels in the positive and negative direction.  

By creating specific skills for desired outcomes, teachers can track outcomes for students regardless of the form in which the learner demonstrates it.  This allows for an efficient way to measure outcome mastery.  It allows for multiple paths to demonstrate mastery for a single outcome.  In addition, these competencies can be recorded anytime the teacher sees them - even outside depending on internet access.

Now before measuring any skill or outcome, it is essential that learners know what it looks like. So, be sure you are not measuring anything that you haven't communicated to your students. This process only works if it is transparent. Learners need to know what they are being assessed on. Also, if you plan on instituting a range of points for an outcome, be sure that it is clear what each level entails.

Personal Learning Goals
Class Dojo fully embraces the growth mindset.  In fact, they have a web series devoted to it.

Class Dojo keeps track of student data over time. But, not simply for a single day.  In the student view, learners are able to see daily reports and track skills over time.

The teacher also can track progress over time for the student and the class.

This provides the opportunity for learners to see specifically where they are struggling and set goals based on where they want to be.  Once a goal has been set, the teacher and student can monitor progress towards those goals over time.  Students designing and tracking their own goals is a key element the heart of the personalized learning framework.  Class Dojo provides the ability to track this progress over time. (Note: This is an idea I plan to implement in the future, but not one currently in practice)

Family Engagement
The student data in Class Dojo is not only for teachers and students.  As a part of the student signup process, they are prompted to add a parent email.  The teacher can also add parent contact info (email or phone) from the teacher portal. Parents are able to see their student’s progress and also the teacher can send out messages directly to parents.

Community Engagement & Educator Collaboration

Class Dojo also has the ability for teachers to post information to the community of teachers and parents of the school.

Also, there are community on Facebook for educators to collaborate across the world. And they have a strong Twitter presence @ClassDojo .

Learner Profile
After using Class Dojo for a period of time, what you have created is a picture of the learner over time based on the skills selected.  You may have been recording data on a specific day but this data is not a point in isolation.  You have a picture of the learner that not only measures the selected outcomes, but a picture that shows growth of these outcomes over time.

Although students can view their progress towards goals, it would be nice if there was a way for students to record their own progress. The data present in Class Dojo is currently designed to be entered only by the teacher.  But, I can imagine some innovative uses that would involve students entering or measuring themselves in some way.  I’m sure there are some innovative classrooms that are doing some really great things in this area using Class Dojo, and I’d love to learn about them.

One other great thing about Class Dojo that all learners love is the ability to customize their avatar.

Class Dojo has a great playlist of learning environments are using it in powerful ways.

Oh, and Class Dojo is free. It works on desktops and their iOS and Android apps are great. Check out more at 

What I've written above are some potential connections and some that I am currently putting into practice or have put into practice. Like I said, I was out of the Dojo for 2 years and I'm returning. My practice today is very different than it was 2 years ago. I've got some great ideas and look forward to using Class Dojo to help facilitate.

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