Students rewarded for staying Off their phones in class

Alexis Amato

Paying attention in class can be pretty difficult, especially when the whole world of social media is sitting right there in your phone. The urge to tweet, post, and Instagram can be more powerful than the urge to get a good grade. Luckily, Kent State students can be rewarded for staying off their phone.

Pocket Points, a new mobile app, rewards students for not using their phone in class. All they have to do is open the app while on campus and lock their phone. That’s when the points start rolling in. Once they accrue enough points, they can then redeem them for coupons and other offers at local businesses.

“I’ve been using it since the beginning of last semester,” said Anthony Wahl, a senior architecture major. “I’ve used my points at Twisted Meltz and GRAZERS. It’s nice because if you save up enough, you can usually get a buy one get one free.”

Not only does the app let students to get discounted items at local Kent shops, it can also help them raise their grades.

“I’ve been using it for about a month and it really helps me to not use my phone in class because it reminds me I’m earning points, and points mean free food. It’s kind of an easy trade-off,” said Isabella Trevino, a junior theatre studies major. “I hope people start using this app not just because of the free food, but because it helped me go from a 60 percent in a class to a 70 percent.”

Junior business management major Mark Buzzy agrees on the app’s benefits, but also notes its drawbacks.

“What I like about it is that it makes it easier to stay off your phone in class,” Buzzy saud. “What I dislike about it is that you have to actually open the app to to start the process. It doesn’t do it automatically when you get on campus.”

Pocket Points also tries to make a level playing field for students. They can’t earn points just for being on campus.

“It has a really good GPS, so it knows when you’re not in a classroom,”  Wahl said. “One day I was at Prentice getting lunch and it wouldn’t work until I left.”

Luckily, there are some potential loopholes for students get more ‘bang for their buck.’

“I always considered leaving the app running in the architecture studio because they’re open 24/7,” Wahl said.

Kent State students can redeem their points at local businesses like Insomnia Cookies, Kent Stage, Pita Pit, Scribbles Coffee, and other national online retailers, like Ivory Ella.

Alexis Amato is a business and neighborhoods reporter. Contact her at [email protected].