Its early growth is impressive
Before Sam Chaudhary and Liam Don began building what would eventually becomeClassDojo, they set out to identify the biggest problems teachers face in the classroom every day. After interviewing several hundred educators, a pattern quickly emerged: Managing student behavior. Teachers almost unilaterally agreed that they tend to spend more time playing cop and disciplining students than they do teaching. Yikes.
So, Chaudhary and Don launched ClassDojo in August 2011 to help teachers win back control of crazy classrooms. The free service allowed teachers to leverage their mobile or desktop technology of choice to track and influence student behavior. In fact, using ClassDojo is pretty straightforward: Teachers assign students an avatar and, based on their behavior throughout the day, dole out rewards or consequences (+1 for smiling, -1 for punching) from their laptop, tablet or smartphone. ClassDojo tracks behavioral data over the course of days (and semesters), allowing teachers to share results with parents.
With teachers eager to take advantage of any tool that helps them reduce the amount of crowd control they do on a daily basis, it’s not surprising that ClassDojo has found an eager audience among K-12 educators. Since launching just under a year ago, the startup has attracted over 3.5 million teachers and students (in more than 30 countries) to its platform, who have collectively produced over 50 million feedback points.
Based on this encouraging early traction, the startup is today officially emerging from beta and announcing that it has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from a number of familiar names. Investors in ClassDojo’s seed round include Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham (who invested personally, not through YC), Ron Conway, Jeff Clavier, Kapor Capital, Start Fund, General Catalyst, Morado Ventures, Lerer Ventures, NewSchools Ventures, Learn Capital, along quite a few angel investors (including Flixter CEO Joe Greenstein and OpenFeint Founder Jason Citron).
via TechCrunch – RIP EMPSON
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