ClassDojo and Ad Astra have developed a Learning Tool that will Equip Students with Critical Thinking Skills

ClassDojo, in partnership with Los Angeles private school called Ad Astra, has come up with a new student learning tool. ClassDojo is an educational software developer looking to connect teachers, students and parents as a way to encourage learning, character building and skill development among others. The developer and Ad Astra have endeavored to develop “Conundrums”, a set of critical thing puzzles, and release it soon for students and teachers’ use.

The Conundrums pose critical thinking puzzles to the students. The open-minded critical thinking problems are then discussed by the students among themselves in an effort to find a solution. They are also exposed to ethical problems. The conundrums contains more nuanced and complicated questions compared to other elementary school or middle school curricula address.

In an effort to give a better understanding on how the Conundrums works, ClassDojo provided some few examples. Conundrum questions exercises are coupled with cartoons to paint a comprehensive picture scenario to students and give a real touch to issues. One of the exercises the conundrum poses looks to address issues of property rights. For instance, a student could be asked, Denis and his friends have discovered a massive dinosaur on someone else’s land! Who does it belong to?

During the session, the students are encouraged to be open-minded, respect the opinion of others and discusses the issue at hand with others. Additionally, ClassDojo has incorporated a platform in the tool that gives teachers tips to help students to solve the puzzle. The conundrum can also be designed in a way that each group seem to have a valid claim to the dinosaur skeleton. For instance, it can be twisted a little bit to become, Denis and his friends discover a massive Dinosaur skeleton. However, half of it is in Yosemite National Park while the other half is on Farmer Spike’s land. Who should the dinosaur belong to? The three parties seem to have a valid claim to the dinosaur skeleton. That will spark a new way of thinking in students.

Essentially, the tool equips students with critical thinking skills, ethics and social skills. The classroom tool is one of the many classroom solutions that ClassDojo has developed.

Find out more about ClassDojo:

Entrepreneur Dick Devos

Most people don’t realize this, but Dick Devos is now working in Washington as well. He was appointed to the Management Business Advisory council by the FAA in September 2017. If you recognize the name, it’s because he is married to Betsy Devos, the new US Education Secretary. While he has run for office in the past, he has yet to hold an office. The council is his first foray into politics on Capitol Hill.


The council is comprised of 13 members. There are some former transportation officials and well as previous airline executives who are joining the team to help with FAA’s new policies and regulations set to come out later this year. The FAA has been working on new security regulations and plans for future growth, as more competition has caused American airlines to fall in stock from time to time.


The lack of stability has been a concern as aviation is one of America’s stronger markets. However, part of that is also the employment of pilots and the dwindling student numbers in education. Most don’t realize that Devos has experience in aviation education himself, as he is a pilot and also a co-founder of an aviation school.


The aviation school is called West Michigan Aviation Academy. Located in Grand Rapids, it’s one of the projects that Devos has been closer to in his time after Amway. His wife helped co-found the school earlier in the 2000s. It’s one of the only schools like it in America. Students train to become professional pilots.


However, there is a lot more happening with aviation than most realize. There has been incredible instability has markets fluctuate month to month for airlines, and the decreases are becoming slightly more drastic. Devos has been one of the masterminds behind the increase and growth of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids as well. He has helped the airport expand, including a $45 million renovation that will be completed in 2018.


However, it was Devos who originally helped the airport come up with new ideas for revenue and sales. He started by asking airlines to expand their destinations and bring in new travelers looking to go to several international destinations.


Now that he is on the council, Devos has been working the FAA for almost a year. It will be interesting to see his thoughts on the new policies and regulations coming out in 2019.


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