ClassDojo introduces student-led digital portfolios

July 26th, 2016

Communication app will allow for student-driven sharing

ClassDojo has launched Student Stories, an easy way for students to add photos and videos of their classwork to their own digital portfolio, and share them home. Parents will be able to follow along with their child’s learning: whether it’s a photo of a poem they wrote, a video of a science experiment, or a reflection on finally solving a tough math problem, students can easily record and share their learning with parents.

“Like everything we do, the idea for Student Stories came about from speaking with teachers and parents,” said Liam Don, co-founder and Chief Product Officer at ClassDojo. “Parents already loved seeing photos and videos from class on ‘Class Story,’ but wanted to see even more about their own child’s projects and accomplishments. And teachers wanted to give students more ownership over their work. Student Stories does both: gives students more of a voice, and involves parents in learning moments they might otherwise never know about.”

Student Stories replace boxes and binders of students’ work with digital portfolios that are shared between school and home, sparking meaningful conversations on what students are learning at school. This is a dramatically different experience to what most parents are used to – where work may only be shared a few times a year or sent home days or weeks after it was done.

“ClassDojo has already made me feel more connected to my daughter’s education than ever before,” said Clarissa Miles, whose daughter, Caraline, is a fifth grader in Tennessee. “Being able to see her ‘Story’ will help us have even more meaningful conversations at home about what she did at school. Those conversations are the best part of my day, and they’ve brought me, Caraline, and her teacher closer together. For the first time, I feel like we’re part of the same team.”

Student Stories is simple for any classroom to use – and in particular for the majority of classrooms that don’t have a device for every student, but just a few devices to share. With Student Stories, students can use shared devices without having to remember any logins or passwords: they just scan a class QR code, and can then easily add photos or videos to their Story, post reflections or comments, and even tag classmates in work done together. Teachers approve all posts before they’re sent home and can also post directly to any student’s Story.

Features include:
– Students take the lead: students can share and celebrate their learning by snapping photos of projects, taking videos of presentations, and writing reflections.

– Work is shared, not stored away: rather than being stashed in desks or stored in boxes, work is shared instantly with parents, sparking hours of conversation at home.

– All communication in one place: parents, teachers, students, and school leaders on ClassDojo can now use it for all communication between home and school.

– Perfect for shared device classrooms: no need for every student to have their own device; Student Stories can be used on one device shared by all students in a classroom.

– Closed platform creates a safe place for sharing: a student’s Story can only be seen by the teacher, and that student’s parents.

“As a Title I school, we don’t have classroom devices for every child. So, students being able to safely create their own ‘Stories’ on ClassDojo using shared classroom devices is a real game-changer,” said Amber Humphrey, a principal in Newton, North Carolina. “Students are going to love being able to create their own portfolios, and it’s going to make communication with parents even easier. We’re excited to help students tell their ‘Stories’ this year!”

So far, most of ClassDojo’s communication features have helped teachers, parents, or principals share with each other. Today’s announcement marks the first time the company is enabling students to create and share their own learning experience.

“I like getting my own story to add my own photos to because then my mom and my dad see it and we can talk about it at home,” said Galen, a second grader in Audrey So’s class in San Francisco.

ClassDojo teachers can add to their students’ Stories immediately on any device. Students are able to start adding to their own Stories from a shared classroom iPad, with other platforms such as Chromebooks following in time for the start of the school semester.

“I’m really excited about students having their own Stories,” said Stephanie Smith, a fourth grade teacher in Tennessee. “All teachers dream of having a student-centric classroom, where students have a voice, and take ownership over their own learning. With Student Stories, this coming year I’ll be able to make that a reality – and I’m hoping it will create some great discussions at home as well.”

Over two-thirds of schools in the U.S. use ClassDojo – with more than 500,000 people joining every day during back-to-school in 2015.

“I’ve never seen a company with more raw, user passion than teachers, parents, and students have for ClassDojo,” said Deborah Quazzo, co-founder and Managing Partner of GSV Acceleration. “With Student Stories, ClassDojo is making student-led learning a simple reality in millions of classrooms around the world. It’s a huge moment and an example of how it’s possible to change education at mass scale if you take a ground-up approach.”

About the Author:

Material from a press release was used in this report.