Ad Astra, which is the secretive LA private school that Elon Musk launched for his kids, has developed a tool for students and teachers. Ad Astra is partnering with ClassDojo, an educational software developer, to develop critical thinking puzzles known as Conundrums, which they will release to students and teachers this fall.
The new tools are intended to offer the kind of critical thinking that is espoused by Ad Astra; however, Ad Astra isn’t using that specific tool. The Conundrums are posing ethical problems or open-ended critical thinking for students. The students are then encouraged to start discussing the issues among themselves plus reason out a solution. Conundrums tend to pose more nuanced and complex questions when compared to most middle or elementary school curricula address.
ClassDojo is among the most widely used communication platforms connecting parents, teachers, and students. Creating community between families, school leaders, and teachers is a way of encouraging learning among students, creating a positive culture with classrooms and schools, and also skill development.
In 2011, a beta version of ClassDojo was released by founders Liam Don and Sam Chaudhary. It reached 3.5 million students and teachers in over 30 nations within one year. Two years later, ClassDojo became available in various languages. In the year 2014, Chaudhary and Don added a messaging feature and Class Story, which is a digital content stream created by teachers. In 2015, it was ready to be used. The app is currently available in a total of 35 languages and has been used in a total of 180 nations plus by 2 in 3 schools in the United States.
Communication via ClassDojo is straightforward, and it’s user-friendly. It’s accessible through any device that has a web browser. The app is also compatible with native apps for Android and iPhone (iOS). Instructors can open a free account and then create “classes” together with their students, and they can see classes and their individual progress. Also, they can invite parents to see their kid’s progress and information shared by teachers. Moreover, the platform also enables teachers to reward their students when they perform a task well and communicate directly with parents.