Game-like app keeps phones locked in class
Pocket Points* is a mobile app that rewards students for NOT using phones. With the app, they can earn a discount, free cookies or a second pita at a local business. Professors have even expressed interest in offering extra credit! Pocket Points is further gamified with a leaderboard and rankings, features that motivate some users more than coupons. The authors claim it is the only app that encourages students to be OFF their phones.
A location-based iOS app, Pocket Points rewards a student based on how long her phone has been locked and how many other users are nearby. It was launched last September at Chico State by a comp sci major and a marketing major. Over the past five months the app has spread across the country to schools like Penn State, Michigan, San Diego State, and Colorado – along with several community colleges and high schools.
There has been some grousing that Pocket Points only rewards basic good behavior, but isn’t that pretty common? Many people use incentives to encourage themselves to things like exercising or eating right. Where’s the harm? If phones are the problem, why not let them provide the solution?
[Tip o’ the hat: App Gives Students an Incentive to Keep Their Phones Locked in Class, Wired Campus]
* no connection to the Android app PocketPoints (no space).