HATTIESBURG, MISS - Cellphones could be our biggest innovation in the modern day generation.
"I can tell you that for our traditional age of students... they are continuously connected to their phone," University of Southern Mississippi, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Dr. Amy Miller said. "It's the norm, so they look many, many, times an hour at their phone."
It's happening everywhere, even in the classroom. That's why USM is using a new app called Pocket Points. According to statistics, the average person looks at their phone more than 100 times a day. Also, according to Apple, the average user unlocks their phone more than 80 times a day, which is something that USM believes they can bring down by using Pocket Points, at least while students are in the classroom.
"Basically, what pocket points does is it allows students to earn points when they lock their phone while sitting in class," Miller said.
The app uses a timer to count how long a student's phone has been locked. The longer a student doesn't look at their phone, the more points they get which allows them to earn rewards.
"We have several hundred students at Southern Miss using the app right now," Miller said. "Several of them mentioned to me it helps them stay off their phone in class, because they want to earn those points and redeem them to get food discounts at local restaurants."
Which means, no texting, no browsing the web, and no selfies inside the classroom.
"I love the idea of rewarding students for good behavior," Miller said. "If they are sitting in class listening to a lecture the temptation is to look at their phone if it buzzes... this is just that little insinuative to post-pone them from picking up the phone."
To find out which restaurants Pocket Points work at visit www.pocketpoints.com.