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App helps students pay attention in class

By staying up to date with how today’s students learn, University of Mississippi instructors also are keeping up with how they are distracted.

A new app called Pocket Points is designed to reward students for not checking their cellphones during class with coupons.

Hunter Thompson, 20, said, “Most all students have smartphones today. With an app like this, students are encouraged to refrain from usage while at school.”

Once the app is downloaded, a student can sit down in class, open the app, lock their smartphone and start scoring points. Points vary throughout the day, but the more students use the app on campus, the points per class can increase. Students can score up to three per class period.

The points can then be redeemed at local businesses or in larger chain stores as well as online.

Thompson is a management and information systems major from Booneville. He said there are great benefits like discounts to restaurants or online shopping, which mean there is a higher chance students will use the app.

Katelyn Miller, 19, a pre-pharmacy major from Corinth, said it’s helpful because phones are really distracting in class and the Pocket Points app gives you an incentive to pay attention and stay off your phone.

“It definitely works for me because I’m a college student trying to save money and it’s nice to get those discounts,” she said. “I think the best thing about the app is that you can use your points for online shopping too.”

Pocket Points is being used on hundreds of college campuses already. The app markets around students and the amount of time they spend on their phones. Because business owners know this, they can use the app for advertisement by agreeing to put coupons for Ole Miss students.

Miller said the only thing that could make it better is getting more local businesses to participate and offer rewards.