Like many Scottish teachers I have been through the 3 day Co-operative Learning Academy and the follow up. I’m also in the process of training to be a trainer. Next to ClassDojo, learning and adopting Co-operative Learning techniques has been the biggest change to my teaching methodology and practice in the last 10 years. I love them both. While previously, ClassDojo was very much a promoter of the individual – the “ping” of the positive award would inspire learners to focus on task, to be kind to one another, to show grit, to listen attentively …or whatever else you set the points up to be, and while you could award multiple pupils at once for a shared task, there was no way of monitoring or tracking that team work through ClassDojo. That is until now.
ClassDojo are outstanding at listening to what their end users, that is teachers, educators, trainers etc, have to say about the features the software has and also what they want the software to provide to make their experiences in the classroom better for all.
As a UK ClassDojo Ambassador and Mentor I am in the fortunate position of being part of a group of inspiring and passionate educators who are, like I am, constantly striving to make things better for their learners. One of the things that came up time and time again in the forums and latterly in the Facebook communities was that teachers really wanted a way to group the pupils through the app or web version to award group points. Not only that, but as many schools run a Harry Potter style House System, often linked with promoting positive behaviour, they wanted some way of being able to award different types of group points within the same class. Well now, thanks to the dedicated and enthusiastic development engineers at ClassDojo, we can do just that.
Here’s some more information from ClassDojo on Groups.
From my perspective this is going to help to promote the Co-operative Learning strategies and set-up present in my classes. My classroom is already set up in Co-operative learning groups to facilitate face-to-face interaction and discussion, positive interdependence and group processing. Up until now my awarding of points to groups has been adhoc and irregular, which doesn’t really support what I’m trying to do. Now though, through awarding points to specific groups quickly and easily with the swish of my finger, I will be able to reward groups of learners at a time for working effectively as a team, an essential skill for a modern workforce. I anticipate this not only reinforcing the essential group processing aspect of Co-operative Learning, but also of increasing the competitive nature of groups – always a good thing for pushing the envelope.
I’ll update my progress and experiences in a few weeks after I’ve tried it out with learners and not just in “practice mode” at home.
Oh and this is just the first roll out of new features, there’s more to come!