Five years ago, Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don had a dream: To launch an ed-tech startup that made school classes more efficient and interactive. The basic premise was already there but research had to be done in order to pinpoint the main problems of education in public, private and charter schools. Educators were asked to open up about the obstacles they have to face every day. Their answers helped understand the situation and shape the project. The result of that effort was ClassDojo, an app that serves as a private social network to connect teachers, parents and students through photo, video and text.
Today, having been embraced by the teaching community, the startup has grown enormously. ClassDojo has transformed the teaching experience in two-thirds of all schools across the nation as well as 90% of school districts. Last summer the app was downloaded by over 500,000 people in 180 countries every day.
Essentially, ClassDojo is a communication platform between teachers, parents and students that fosters support while creating community-oriented interaction. It empowers users by providing tools that can help achieve ground-up change in the classroom. Using the app teachers can upload photos, videos, classwork and other materials to private groups that can be viewed and approved by parents. Simultaneously, parents can track the progress of their child, get announcements and even message teachers directly.
Perhaps, though, the biggest accomplishment of ClassDojo has been creating a positive culture with classrooms and schools that thrive on collaboration. By providing new routes of communication it allows home and school to integrate in a seamless manner. The app aspires not to replace teachers but to enable them to do their best work shaping the minds of students. Its tools were designed to enhance an educator’s personal teaching method while also keeping parents and students up-to-date about classwork and other relevant information.
This community-oriented philosophy has already proven itself effective. Without spending any money on marketing, Class Dojo has grown exclusively by word of mouth and personal recommendations. That is a tremendous feat that reflects how educators, parents and kids everywhere have embraced this startup. Chaudhary realizes the importance of incentivizing an open environment of support for each and every user. “We’re going to be the company that really listens to teachers, parents and kids,” he says, happily revealing ClassDojo’s real secret to success.
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