Tesla’s Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk operates a private school in Los Angeles that goes beyond what public schools teach. His school, called Ad Astra, teaches critical thinking skills as well as ethics. One way this school goes about this is by using “Conundrums” which were created by the educational software development firm ClassDojo, Inc. of San Francisco.
These “Conundrums” are used by both elementary and middle school students. They ask open-ended questions that engage the student’s critical thinking skills. There are also have ethics challenges that the students solve. The types of questions they pose to students are not the type that students in a standard curriculum would face.
One example of ClassDojo’s questions is one called the Dojosaurus Rex. The main character, Mojo, comes across a huge dinosaur fossil. However, it is on someone else’s land. The question is who does this find belong to?
It was on June 1, 2011, that entrepreneurs Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary founded ClassDojo. They wanted to create a classroom communication platform that would help teachers, parents, and students establish better connections. All three of these groups can communicate with one another through the app.
This type of communication makes is far easier for teachers and parents to talk about a student rather than the traditional parent-teacher conferences. By improving classrooms the ClassDojo app is now being used in 2 in 3 schools.
Beyond facilitating better classroom communication, the team at ClassDojo has also improved the app by adding in all sorts of tools that teachers have asked for. This includes generating random numbers, creating random groups of students, and a timer.
The ClassDojo app is 100 percent free. They have apps that work on Android, iOS, the Kindle Fire, and both desktop and laptop computers. Privacy has been built into the app from the start so that classroom communities are kept safe.
No information at all is shared by ClassDojo with marketers or advertisers. They also state they don’t own anything in the app and whoever does create content owns it themselves. In Europe they are compliant with GDPR, FERPA, and COPPA.