Pocket Points app encourages students to use phones less in class

Emma Smith

If you have ever taken a course you just couldn’t pay attention in, which most of us more than likely have, chances are your first instinct was to take out your phone. This is very common and some professors have a specific policy on cell phone use during classes.

However, what if there was some way you could be rewarded for not using your phone in class? As of 2014 there is and it’s in the form of an app called Pocket Points, which just launched at Georgia Southern a couple weeks ago.

This app may seem like a professor’s dream invention, but according to its press release statement, Pocket Points was actually founded by two college students. California State University alumnus Rob Richardson and Mitch Gardner came up with the app in an attempt to increase productivity in college courses by reducing cell phone use.

Apparently, they were successful. Promotional manager, Kasey Spilman, says the app has been very effective in the long run.

“We have seen a lot of success with students staying off their phones and staying more engaged in the classroom by using Pocket Points,” Spilman said.

As of today, Pocket Points is being used in over 500 universities and high schools across 120 cities in the US and Canada.

How the app works

To get started with Pocket Points, you select the school you are attending, followed by your expected graduation date. After creating your account, the app will only work if you are on campus.

When students go to their classes, they accumulate points by opening up the app and locking their phones. The longer their phones are locked, the more points they will earn. They will usually earn one point every 20 minutes.

These points can be used to get discounts at local and online businesses. According to Spilman, some of the businesses Pocket Points is partnered with include Brusters, Sonic, Chili’s and many more.

Students can also earn free points by inviting their friends to use the app. If a friend accepts an invite and downloads Pocket Points, both students get 10 free points.

Gunther Griffin, sophomore communications major, says he would absolutely use Pocket Points.

“I’m against the addiction to smartphones,” Griffin said. “They control people’s lives.”

If Pocket Points sounds like the app for you, it can be downloaded for free on the iPhone App Store or Android’s Google Play app store.