The traditional student-parent relationship is changing. Parents are busier, educators have ever-increasing duties, yet the need for teacher and parent communication still exists. Communication is especially important in grades K-8 where child development and monitoring is paramount in ensuring a quality education.
One venture that is now in a Series B level of source funding is ClassDojo. This project is being developed to allow parents and teachers to communicate using mobile devices and an app. This is a project with an estimated $21 million development cost, but is already gaining interest in over 85,000 schools nationwide.
This app will allow teachers to post daily child-specific information that is sent directly to parents. The aim of this program is to minimize the need for formal, semi-annual parent and teacher conferences by focusing on daily progress. Teachers can use ClassDojo to send updates on academic progress, behavioral concerns, and announcements about school programs and projects. Parents can stay on top of their children’s progress by having an open forum that is directly connected with the classroom. The reason for personal parent-teacher conferences is informing parents about student progress and goals of the school. ClassDojo will eventually eliminate the need for these formal conferences with an app that marks daily, not term, student progress.
ClassDojo was co-founded by Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don in 2011. This team initially sought funding for this project from entities like General Catalyst, GSV, Reach Capital, and SignalFire. Since the inception of this project, Chaudhary and Don have garnered over $31 million in venture funding from their company based in San Francisco, CA. The project was born on the famous Imagine K12 accelerator, but has recently been acquired by Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley support network for start-ups showing extreme potential for growth and profitability.
Early in its development, Class Dojo was used as a program to help monitor and track student behavioral development. It has grown to include user tools that fully connect teachers with parents. It is a collaborative tool with unlimited potential for parent and teacher collaboration.
Future plans for ClassDojo include app features that allow students and parents to survey and shop for auxiliary class materials, pay for field trip expenses, purchase lunch room credits, and meet financial deadlines like yearbook payments and class fundraisers. ClassDojo, in its final stages, will eliminate the physical disconnect between parents and children as they leave home each day to attend school. Parents will gain instant access to the classroom, and teachers will gain instant access to parents. ClassDojo will use existing social networking to bring the classroom and the home closer together.