As school starts back across the nation, parents, teachers and administrators are ready to implement their latest plans and teaching strategies to improve retention, behavior and safety. Safety is of growing concern in today’s schools. Initiatives like requiring clear book bags, student ID cards and strict dress codes are all commonly used to help keep students safe, but what NEW things are being done?
Student ID cards are generally worn in obligation and have somewhat of a negative reputation. However, new app-based programs being implemented across the U.S. are shedding a positive light on student IDs and student tracking. With a simple and easy-to-generate QR code, student IDs can be upgraded for use with smartphone apps that boost student engagement and crack down on bad behavior.
Student Recognition and Reward Programs
Programs such as PBIS Rewards help teachers, students and parents stay on the same page about student learning and success. These types of school programs use QR codes that connect to profiles on smartphone apps. Students can earn points that can be used toward purchases and other types of rewards. PBIS and similar programs eliminate paper tickets and boost instructional time, while allowing teachers, kids and parents to see a clear representation of what is happening in the classroom. Students are more engaged and accountable in the learning process because they feel empowered to keep earning positive feedback.
Positive Behavior Reinforcement
Schools have also begun using apps to cut down on behavioral issues. Programs like Hero provide a convenient and measurable way to keep track of disciplinary actions, late arrivals, absences and can also aid in safety when a student is unaccounted for. These programs make classroom management easier and keep school offices more organized. They also provide a unified standard for student discipline so that each student feels he or she is treated equally. Hero can connect classes, schools and districts to one unified behavior management standard. This helps with positive reinforcement and with intervention. Administrators and parents can see clear trends in student behavior, both at an individual level and school level, and they can intervene before issues escalate.
Schools using programs like Hero have real data that shows them percentages of suspensions, late arrivals and more and they can watch these numbers decrease over time. Schools in 45 states are using Hero. Many other schools have adopted similar programs.
“Research has proven that when school culture is more positive, discipline-related issues decrease. At the same time, in-class instruction time grows and student performance thrives,” according to Hero. Ten and 15 years ago, students were expected to wear ID cards at school, but were not given an incentive to do so. New programs that work with simple QR codes on IDs are helping to encourage kids and keep them accountable.
Some schools may be hesitant to use programs that track student learning and behavior. Perhaps they are concerned with the ethical implications of tracking a student’s every move, they’re afraid of the cost of IDs and the accuracy of QR codes, or the programs themselves are too costly. Also, schools have had to crack down on cell phones in the classroom, which might inhibit some institutions from using programs like PBIS and Hero, however most classrooms offer instructional tablets. These programs can be used on those devices as well.
Tracking programs may not be the best option for some schools or teachers, but cost and technology shouldn’t be the deterrent. There are free behavioral and learning tracking apps online, such as Class Dojo. Stephanie Jones, a dedicated special needs teacher in Jacksonville, Florida swears by Class Dojo.
“It’s easy to use with their app as well as on the computer. Parents have access to view their points – positive and negative, so they know exactly what’s happening in the classroom. You can also update with “class stories” so parents can see what’s going on in your classroom, on field trips – whatever you want to show them,” says Mrs. Jones.
Moreover, for apps that work with QR codes, these codes can be easily generated online and are easy to print. They are more forgiving than barcodes because if they are damaged, they can still be scanned with a smart phone to connect to a website or app. There are many businesses that create and print ID cards with QR codes. Here at NameTagWizard.com, you can order fully customized photo IDs for students and employees. Reordering is quick and affordable, so updating IDs for a new school year can be done with just a couple of mouse clicks.
At NameTagWizard.com, we are the Identification Experts, and our sole purpose is to connect names with faces. As technology continues to evolve, we will be doing more than that! More recently, name tags and IDs are used to not only connect a person and their name, but also a person and their digital profile. Schools across the world will continue to grow and use tracking apps to keep kids safe and help them succeed. Our product line will also expand to include everything you need to identify students and employees in today’s digital world.