New app lets students earn points for shutting off phones in class

Students often have a problem keeping their phones off and put away during class time. A new app presents a solution for UMKC students and professors.

Pocket Points is an app available both in the App Store for iPhone and in Google Play for Android. According to their website, “Pocket Points is a new mobile application that gives students rewards for not using their phones during class. Simply open the app on campus, lock your phone, and start gaining points. Points are then used at local and online businesses for awesome student discounts, coupons, or gifts!”

Around campus, these points can be redeemed at places like Pickleman’s on Oak St., and Insomnia Cookies and Which Wich in Westport. The points can also be redeemed through online purchases from companies like Forever 21, Papa Johns, MLB.tv, or even up to 30 percent off a ticket to a Chiefs game.

The most common deals provide free appetizers or buy one get one free entrees, but others like Barnes & Noble provide 20 percent off any item purchased during a select weekend.

“I think it’s kind of funny they’re trying to incentivize going to class,” said graduate student Jonathan Daldalian. “For me, I’ve always thought of it as, ‘I pay to be here.’ My secondary reaction is, ‘It’s great!’ I think it’s really cool that you can make something positive out of going to class and get more than just the learning experience.”

Daldalian also said that he would be hesitant to use the app because he doesn’t like sharing his location. Other students seemed less worried.

“I would definitely use it. Getting points to go to class is pretty cool and gives me more of an incentive,” said Jillian Bell, a 21-year-old senior. “I saw a few options that I use pretty often.”

As soon as students sign up, Pocket Points gives 30 free points to start, then it’s on the student to continue to attend class and earn more rewards.

 

ktscn6@mail.umkc.edu

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