Bloomz v. Dojo

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by bella84, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 5, 2019

    I am making a plan for parent communication for this coming year. For the past two years, my teammates and I have used the Bloomz app. I liked it, despite an occasional glitch here and there. I had some parents tell me that they loved it and some that didn't like it so much. Now I'm moving to a building where most teachers use Class Dojo, not Bloomz. I can still use Bloomz, if I want, but I'm wondering if I should just switch over to Class Dojo. I don't and won't use the behavior component on either app. I primarily use it for posting updates and the calendar feature (which Dojo doesn't have, unfortunately) to communicate with parents, although I am considering trying out the student portfolio feature this year. The majority of the parents are familiar with Dojo already because the kindergarten teachers used it, but the third/fourth teachers use Bloomz. I'm teaching first/second, so I get to decide if I'll use what they know or prepare them for what they'll use when they move up (assuming that the third/fourth teachers don't make a change by then). I can see downsides to both, and I'm struggling to make a decision. Any thoughts or advice?
     
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  3. agdamity

    agdamity Fanatic

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    Jul 6, 2019

    It’s easiest if all teachers at one school can use the same platform. I serve on our Parent Involvement Committee, and parents have pretty clearly expressed that they are tired of having Dojo for one kid, Bloomz for another, and Remind for the third kiddo (or switching apps each year). I’d go with whatever the majority is.
     
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  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    This is a great point. If I’m being honest, this is the main reason that I’m considering Dojo. 90% of the students in my class already have at least one parent who has signed up for Dojo. They may eventually have to sign up for Bloomz anyway if that is what the next grade level of teachers still uses when they get there, but, for now, they are all familiar with Dojo. I think I’m leaning towards sticking with Dojo for the parents, but I’m having a really hard time pulling myself away from Bloomz. It just seems to have more of the features that I use, despite having a less appealing user interface and an occasional glitch. But I think you are right. I should probably just get over the loss of a few features and embrace what will keep the parents happy.
     
  5. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Jul 6, 2019

    Do parents need an app for Bloomz?
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 6, 2019

    There is an app, but it can be accessed on a web browser as well. Parents can receive emails when something is posted, but they have to go to the app or browser to interact with the post.
     
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  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    So, if I post something that says, "Reminder - Students will have a math test tomorrow!" parents can see that message in their email but won't be able to comment on it or "like" unless they log in? Do they have to sign up for an account on their end or can I add their email addresses myself?
     
  8. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    Also sorry for getting off topic. If parents are really accustomed to one thing I'd suggest switching to that.

    I previously used ClassDojo but found not many parents actually logged in, and the ones who did were helicopter parents who would email immediately if their child lost a point. I stopped for this reason, but have looked into other apps and not found anything I loved, mostly because I wanted something that required as little effort on the parents' part as possible. In my experience, if something requires parents to sign up and download an app, you've already lost half of your audience as many parents won't go through the trouble to do so.

    Another reason I stopped using ClassDojo was that several teachers used it as a classroom economy, and students expected to get prizes in exchange for points, which is not my jam.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2019
  9. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Yes, the parents can see those reminders in an email that is automatically sent to them when you make a post - unless they have unsubscribed from emails. You can choose whether to give parents a code that they can enter to sign themselves up or to invite everyone by email, which automatically puts them on the email list to receive the email notices about your posts. With that email invitation from you, they can choose to sign up and create an account or not. Either way, they will continue to receive the emails until they either unsubscribe or sign up and change their notification settings. They have to actually sign up and log in (either in the app or through the web browser) in order to like a post, comment on a post, access the files/photos/videos or calendar, or to send and reply to instant messages.
     
  10. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Jul 6, 2019

    I'm totally with you on the classroom economy/prizes and points. I used Dojo for that purpose about six years ago, when that was all it did. I stopped doing all of that long ago and disconnected myself from Dojo then. I know that they've added on some other features that teachers really like, but I still have a hard time seeing it as a communication app rather than a behavior tracking app. Yes, it does both, but it is really lacking in some communication features, and the first screen it takes you to upon logging in is still the behavior points tracking screen.

    I know I should probably use Dojo just for the sake of the parents and to be cohesive with a lot of other teacher, but I am worried that I won't like it or that it won't meet all of my needs. It does have some features that function better than Bloomz, but it doesn't do as much overall. I will be looping with my students at the end of this year, so whatever app I choose will be what I'm using for the next two years.

    You make a good point about parents logging in. Although I know that 90% of the students' parents are connected to Dojo already, I'm not sure of how often any of them log-in frequently or interact with the app. For all I know, they could have created an account at the beginning of kindergarten and then never logged in again... I'm guessing most used it, simply because they're still so young, when parents get excited about school (I'll be teaching first grade this year), but I have no way to be sure at this point.
     

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