ClassDojo was originally designed in the US as a digital based behaviour management system where teachers gave children points for choosing to do the ‘correct’ behaviours. The video below explains a little more (as well as many others on YouTube).
There is no right or wrong way to use ClassDojo as it will depend on your own (and school’s) ethos and values as a teacher. However, not being a big fan of using extrinsic rewards systems, but recognising the motivation that ClassDojo could create, I have been exploring using it to reward behaviours that the school and I are trying to promote, namely, building learning power/growth mindsets. New behaviours are added every half-term and the recent adaptation of changing the weighting of the points means that we can value some behaviours more than others. The points are collated over a two week period, at the end of which the highest point scorer receives a leaning power certificate. There are still many features that need exploring, so if you have not signed up for free yet, why not give it a go and experiment in your own classroom?
Our school first discovered the Showbie app just over a year ago when working alongside a senior computing colleague who was actually introducing us to Book Creator (another great app). Since then, we have been exploring how to use it across a range of age phases from Year 2 to Year 6. The video below, from the Showbie website, gives a quick overview of what it does and how it can be used.
There are many great benefits of Showbie, including: the app and sign up are free (you can pay for a pro version); it is cloud based so children can share learning they do at school with home and vice-versa; you can provide different kinds of feedback, including voice messages; it is compatible with many other apps and ultimately is easy to use! Furthermore, it has a brilliant blog with plenty of examples of how Showbie is being used in classrooms around the world.
Having undertaken the investment of IRIS connect, ‘The video-based teacher professional development tool that empowers teachers to reflect on, analyse and share practice’, I wanted to draw attention to their excellent community page on their website and especially the blog. It is still early days for us as a school using the IRIS hardware and software, but we are convinced that the power of reflection through video will be core to teachers developing their practice. At present, we have been trying a lesson study model working in groups of two or three to share lessons and critique them with a specific focus. With the new update of the website platform, including even greater features such as clipping specific sections of a filmed session, we are looking forward to embracing this excellent self improvement tool even further. Whether you have access to the IRIS technology or not in your school, it is definitely worth clicking on the links above which focus on improving teaching and learning.