Finding New Ways to Motivate Students

English Teachers Use New App Called Pocket Points

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Carla

Accessing her Pocket Points app, Laney Demmer (11) begins to receive points. Demmer uses the app everyday in English III class and has earned extra credit and the option to leave early for lunch.

Carla Gomez, Staff

Some students are participating in a new app called Pocket Points. 

The app motivates students to use their phones less in class by allowing teachers to assign rewards to students who stay off their phones for a certain amount of time. 

When students enter the class, they open the app and click the timer shown at the bottom of the screen. Then, they lock their phones and begin receiving points. Every five minutes, one point is earned.

Carla Gomez
Student Jared Voss (11) also uses Pocket Points.

Teachers Jamie Smith and Abby Osborne reward students with the possibility of extra credit or leaving early for lunch.

Smith and Osborne encountered the app through other teachers they follow on Instagram. Smith said she feels it’s her responsibility to encourage students to stay off their phones in class. 

Smith found it quite easy to set up. She logged into the website, added her classes and provided a code for her students to join.

“I saw a few teachers that I follow on Instagram post about the success they were having using Pocket Points in their classes, so I thought I’d give it a try,” Smith said. 

However, because some students are used to using their phones at all times of the day, Smith feels that she “is in a losing battle.”

Osborne agrees that only her students who are willing to use their phones less in class are seen using the app.

“I do struggle because in college you won’t have any incentive to stay off your phone, so I’m not sure if this is the best way to teach students to moderate their technology,” Osborne said. 

Laney Demmer (11)  said she likes the app because of its easy access; however, she wishes the teachers offered more variety in rewards. 

Demmer has received both extra credit and the option to leave early, but those are the only two rewards she has received. However, she continues to use the app to hold herself accountable. 

“I think the app is effective because it not only gives you extra credit, but it also keeps you off your phone for the entire class,” Demmer said.

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