This morning I began to think about if there were mobile app solutions or tools to assist with promoting school attendance and on the back-end dealing with truancy.
What if there was a scanner at the school like at the grocery store which alerted me as a parent (maybe others) when my daughters walked into school?
What if there were reward/loyalty points attached to the application just like banks and stores provide. 100% attendance, you earn “x.” Attend “Y” days in a row, you earn “y.” Stay for tutoring, you earn “z.”
At some school systems, cell phones are currently banned, ah… but join this system and you will be “rewarded” with carrying your phone to school
The app could be taken a step further to the classroom. Scan as you enter the class… on time, earn points. Tardy, lose points.
Walking the neighborhood or some place while school is in. You get stopped by the police. The police run your bar code and it pops up “This student’s class schedule ends at noon. Not truant.”
How about this for parents? If check-in at PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, school board meetings, etc. and earn points for your child
Sample Prizes or Awards:
- restaurant discounts
- cell phone bill discounts
- school event tickets
- “My child… blah, blah, blah” t-shirts, bumper stickers, signs
- extra credit points
- on and on
What do you think?
This is an interesting concept. Points and rewards are a great idea, and I wonder if using them would cause us to lose sight of the intrinsic reward of just doing the right thing. Even with that said, any system that would ease the paper tracking burden on the institution and make it more fun for the student to come to school, is a win. This is an incremental win. If we’re going to make the investment in some kind of system why not make it a two way street?
I would add a feedback loop for students so they could engage in the process of making their school a better place to spend the day. At the end of each day (if they checked in) they could rate their experience at the school anonymously, either from their phones, or computer terminals. Though you run the risk of spam, I believe after the graffiti phase, you would have valuable student generated feedback on how to make the school a better environment.
Interesting idea… but my first thought was a kid coming to school because of this, when he/she was contagiously ill, and infecting the entire class. Chronic truancy is a problem, but there are very valid reasons to miss class sometimes. Also, GPS technology is not that accurate and you could probably ‘check in’ from the football field bleachers while ditching, anyway.
I like the student generated feedback idea though. You’d just have to make sure to keep cyber bullying from becoming a problem.
I find this kind of monitoring to be a little too “Big Brother” for my taste. I understand the desire for efficiency and safety, but I don’t remember the good ol’ paper attendance sheet to take that long or be flawed.
However, I do like Arthur’s idea of a feedback/interactivity component for students to rate their experience, which has the potential to contribute to changing bad policies/systems/teachers/etc. Listening to students could be such a powerful tool for improving our schools.