As some of you might have read on Mashable this week, the fifteen year old Parker Liautaud has gone on a journey to the North Pole to unlock the “Last Degree” Foursquare Badge. He is accompanied by David Newman, an experienced Artic traveler and the whole trip is sponsored by General Electric. The main goal besides being the youngest man on the North Pole plus the first one to unlock the Last Degree Badge is to raise attention on global warming.
I would not be suprised if someone else is going to try to unlock the badge before Parker. And then, who knows if the mobile phone can take the cold?
This whole thing got me thinking about people checking in everywhere and I bet there will be badges for the South Pole, the Mount Everest and the bottom of the Mariana Trench, soon. And don’t forget the first man on Mars.
Now as everyone is checking in everywhere why don’t we take this and transform it into something more useful. Why not building an application for checking into school more precisely into classes. There could be a badge for every topic and extra badges for voluntary work in school or activities outside the regular lessons.
I mean if you can get an adult to check in to every supermarket, fast food restaurant and train station he/she comes across everyday then why should kids not do the same in school? And the same teacher who tells them that they are playing too much with their Xbox will certainly check in to Wendy’s on the way home to become the mayor one day.
The second thing that got me thinking about applications to motivate children and teenagers is iRewardChart. It’s an application that lets parents give stars for positive or negative things children do every day of the week. The stars they gain get to their virtual account and if they earned enough stars they can change it into things like $2 pocket money, an icecream, tickets for the cinema etc.
As you can see in the video, the app is fully customizable and can also be used in other environments. Now taking into consideration that kids are used to get feedback and results very quickly, if not instantly these days here is another use for schools. With an adapted app like this teachers could “rate” students directly during or after the class so there would be no issues for the students to know were they stand right now and not when it is too late, e.g. when they get their report cards.
And finally, the third moment was this video of a two and a half year old girl who has no problems to understand and use the iPad.
Of course she must have known the apps from the iPhone before as she uses them naturally and knows what to do with them but that also means that she used a touch screen device before the iPad. And Gartner predicts that by 2015 most kids will use PCs with touch screens.