Back in My Day, Phones Had Cords

textinginclassActually, that’s not true. My father got a cell phone through his job when I was in high school (late ’90s). Back then it was called a “car phone” because the battery didn’t last very long. It was the size of an electric razor.

The point is, we didn’t have cell phones like most kids do today. Which meant that it simply wasn’t an option for us to text, play games, check e-mail, and surf the web during class. I’m hear that’s a big issue in schools these days.

So when I read about an app that incentivizes students to not text in class, rewarding them with discounts from local businesses, I thought the idea was pretty brilliant.

The app, called Pocket Points, works like this: Before class starts, a student loads the app and locks their phone. The longer they don’t touch their phone (I’m assuming this means they don’t even look at it, the more points they earn. Local businesses can sign up to let students redeem those points.

Phones are great, but they create a constant distraction, which can wreck havoc on the learning process. Kudos to Pocket Points for thinking of an innovative solution to this.


3 Responses to “Back in My Day, Phones Had Cords”

  1. jewelyaz says:

    My daughter is 15, and she is in 9th grade. Her high school has a good way of preventing cell-phone usage during class; visible phones are immediately confiscated by teachers, no exceptions. First time, mom and dad can pick it up in the office at the end of the day. Second time, mom and dad can pick it up in the office after one week. Third time, parents pick the phone up at the end of the school year. No points required, though kids are allowed to use their phones at the beginning and end of the school day, and during lunch. My restrictions go a few steps further than school’s; if she slips from her A-B average, she loses her data plan.

    As a kid of divorced parents shuttling back and forth between houses, she “needs” a phone, or at least it is massively more convenient for the grown-ups involved for her to have one. But having a fancy phone is a privilege, and I wouldn’t hesitate to get her another “dumb” aka feature phone if she behaves irresponsibly with the Galaxy S3 that she has now. I find it really disturbing that so many high school kids feel entitled to the latest and greatest $400+ cell phones. Um, no. You don’t HAVE to have a phone at all, and while I’m paying for the device and the service, I have requirements for conduct with that device and school results.

    I do think kids are missing out from some of the pleasure I had in high school in the early 80s, laying on my stomach on the floor in the upstairs hallway, talking to my friends until my dad made us go to bed. It had a cord but it did have push buttons instead of a rotary dial, though the old phone we had down at the beach house was a rotary. 🙂

    • Jamey Stegmaier says:

      Julia: Thanks for sharing! That does indeed sound like a very effective system for the school to make sure kids don’t use their phones.

  2. jewelyaz says:

    BTW, I am not so wild about the phone app that you mention from a privacy standpoint. It’s not good to have an app tracking teenagers’ movement and phone usage and sharing that information with local businesses (and who else?) I’d rather not have companies marketing directly to my 15-year old through her phone.

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