How to move your school to remote learning with Class Dojo

Children across the world have not been able to attend school due to coronavirus. However, our school is opening, April 6th, for Term 2.

The Maara House teaching team decided to come up with a plan to take our learning virtual. We engaged our community (kids and parents) in thinking through our anticipated challenge. Initially, our hypothesis was that we were trying to solve this problem: How might we make learning Maara House style remote?

Jess and Gabi chatting with one of our parents, Zolani and getting some great insights.

We literally picked up the phone and video called moms, dads and kids to understand their needs and feelings in the chaotic context of COVID-19. We really wanted to understand the problem space that we were solving for.

Twenty calls later and some hours of interpreting data, we refined our design question to: “How might we continue to learn and maintain a sense of wellbeing while not sharing a physical space called school?”

We followed a design-thinking process to develop a prototype solution that we could iterate on.

Our solution needed to be simple because everyone was feeling overwhelmed by uncertainty, change, and too much choice. We learned:

  • Parents are concerned about how their kids will continue learning and who would be responsible for supporting them.
  • Parents were uncertain about the economic implications and their financial stability.
  • Kids missed their friends, being challenged and doing interesting things at school.
  • Teachers want to support kids in learning and caring for their wellbeing.

For the past two years, we’ve been using a great platform; Class Dojo to communicate to parents what their kids had been learning at school. It is “a school communication platform that teachers, students, and families use every day to build close-knit communities by sharing what’s being learned”.

Class Dojo has a bunch of really useful ways to support teachers in using their platform to continue with remote learning: https://www.classdojo.com/remotelearning

We’ve managed to continue learning and support parents and kids by using Class Dojo in these ways:

We’re posting a weekly “playlist” and schedule using the class story feature to communicate what children need to get done (includes core skills, creative projects, physical activities, and house chores).

We’re using the events feature to schedule Zoom class calls and inform them to do things such as book tutor sessions with teachers.

We’re using the activity feature in portfolios to assign work to our kids such as reading activities, writing prompts, maths practice and provide prompts for creative projects.

We’re also using the activity feature in portfolios as a way for kids to submit their completed work for feedback and revision/edits.

We’re using the post feature in portfolios to assign individual activities to kids for personalized learning.

Class Dojo has more ideas for remote learning, check them out: https://static.classdojo.com/img/remote_learning/cd_remote_learning_activity_ideas.pdf

We have managed to make this transition by living some of our school values such as creative thinking, collaboration, and grit. We’ve spent the past few days onboarding teachers, parents, and scaffolding how to use various platforms in preparation for the start of a new school term. We’re very excited about our first day of school!

If you’d like support in helping your class or school transition get in touch with me: gabi@mindjoy.com

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Founder of Mindjoy, kid at heart. I root for resilience & construct concepts of happiness by designing learning experiences that we call “hard fun”.

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Hello, I’m Gabi!

Hello, I’m Gabi!

Founder of Mindjoy, kid at heart. I root for resilience & construct concepts of happiness by designing learning experiences that we call “hard fun”.

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