The education technology industry may not be at the front of magazines like TechCrunch or Inc., but it’s quietly been an area that entrepreneurs are looking into. To really make it in the edtech world, you need to offer a solution that will take on real classroom issues and bring about the transition from traditional pencil and paper to electronic devices smoothly. One app that’s been performing well in this area is ClassDojo, a new classroom social media kind of app that has been growing in use since 2011.
ClassDojo was introduced as an app that simply had teachers assigning points to students based on behavior, and it had a few other features that teachers wanted when the ClassDojo founders Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don asked them at a gathering. The early version of the app was just simple in its interface yet many teachers became happy about how it afforded easy communication to parents about their students. So Chaudhary and Don decided to build upon that with photo postings on student stories and sharing classroom activities, an interface that’s now started to look a lot more like Facebook. But thanks to parents now seeing these school activities and having instant messaging capabilities with the teachers, it’s allowed them to have more insight into their children’s activities and even save time on having to go to parent and teacher meetings.
One way that ClassDojo is addressing learning challenges is through an animated video series that shows how students change their thinking when faced with challenges that look impossible. The first video series that was put out was done in collaboration with a Stanford University research team and is part of the rest of ClassDojo’s free content. More of these videos are planned to be released as part of a premium content feature that is there if parents and teachers want to pay for it. Thus far Chaudhary and Don have received over $30 million in venture capital for the app, and they’ve put all of the funding into the app because they’ve spent no money on advertising. They plan on using the optional premium content as a way to return investor funds, but they’ve said there’s no rush to do so.