Test scores and academic performance get a lot of talk in education – and rightly so – but classroom learning isn’t just about ingesting information and mastering skills, it’s about developing habits of mind and building character. Teachers spend a significant amount of their time managing student behavior but, for the most part, they’ve had few tools to help them out.
Since launching last year, however, San Francisco-based ClassDojo has shown that game mechanics (and cutesy avatars) can go a long way in helping teachers not only keep their students on track but encourage positive behavioral skills. On Wednesday, the startup, which was part of education startup accelerator Imagine K12‘s first class, is announcing that it is officially launching out of beta and has raised $1.6 million in seed funding from top investors. The long list includes Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator (it was a personal investment), Ron Conway at SV Angel, Jeff Clavier at SoftTech VC, Kapor Capital, the Start Fund, General Catalyst, Morado Ventures, Lerer Ventures,Learn Capital, NewSchools Venture Fund and other angels.
Co-founded by Sam Chaudhary, a former high school teacher and McKinsey analyst, and Liam Don, a game developer and computer science PhD candidate, the mobile and web app lets teachers give students real-time feedback using any computer or mobile device and a smartboard or display screen.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc