Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Rescuing the NYC education system with 1,000,000 phones?

This program in New York is an amazing fresh approach to trying to improve the educational results of students.

The Million program aims to offer short-term incentives and rewards to motivate students, increase classroom participation and contribute to their overall success in school. The Department of Education selected schools to be a part of a pilot program and has partnered with Verizon Wireless to provide a free Samsung U740 to every student.

Each student will receive start-up Million points, which can be redeemed for minutes and texts, for the first month. After that, the student must earn additional Million points by doing well in classes and exhibiting good behavior.
Rewards will be allocated based on attendance, behavior and three additional performance indicators (e.g., homework completion, class participation, etc.) aligned with academic goals in your school. Students will receive rewards every other week based on their performance in these areas.

As the program continues, though, exclusive content will be developed and made available to students on the Million phone (e.g., wake-up calls from celebrities, gift certificates to favorite stores, free tickets to sporting events, etc.).

Teachers will be able to engage students through the Million (e.g., homework reminders, homework hotlines, etc.). The goal of the program is to enable students to earn the necessary points for normal use. Therefore giving the students something that is so very important to them in reward to their academic efforts.

If the students don't perform they can run out of credit and not be able to contact their friends - their worst nightmare!

How brave of a government education system to take a giant leap to a reward system that would really mean something to (their audience) students.

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