This week’s assignment was to find an Educational Technology or Global Collaboration article on Twitter and respond to it on my blog.
There has been a lot of buzz lately about behavior charts in the class room and the good,
the bad and the ugly that come with them. In this post I am specifically going to talk about Class Dojo. Class Dojo is a popular class management tool it is used in over 180 countries world wide, and offers many different class management options. They are considered one of the greatest successes of the tech-ed industry and with good reason. There are some good things that an application like this has to offer teachers, students and families with wide range of school-related services, such as quick student grouping, a place to display directions, background music, student portfolios and most importantly, in my opinion, easy access for parents. You can learn more by taking a look at their website and specifically their “About” section.
My biggest problems with Class Dojo is the behavior chart. This article I found on twitter focuses more on the surveillance state aspects, which I am on the fence about; however I think it makes some excellent points in regards to why behavior charts and models such as these are bad. One of the biggest things I have read over and over is that these tools focus on control rather then helping children learn how and why to behave. The study the article mentions brings up a lot of the issues that I, personally, have found to be true with this application. The biggest of which being how public it is at my child’s school. The scores were on display at ”Back to School Night” so that all the parents could see every child’s score and that particular day my child was at the top, but what about the mom whose kid was at the bottom? I am sure she didn’t need it to be made public that her kid was having a tough time adjusting.
As well as the public shaming of those with bad
behavior points, Class Dojo encourages teachers to individually reward kids for good behavior. Most of the child psychology now is leaning away from punishment and rewards, as they are not effective on the long term. Manolev points out that reducing a set of predetermined behaviors to a number over-simplifies right and wrong and does not help teachers understand the driving force behind the behavior from The Datafication of Discipline.
In closing, I believe there is a place for Class Dojo in the class room but I am just not sure there is a place for it as a behavior modification tool. This article on Teacher Vision gives some great ideas for behavior modification which do not rely on rewards and discipline.
What do you use in your class room and what have been your successes or failures on the road to classroom management? Let me know in the comments below!
All links referenced in this post