Strides - Can this game-like app help students do better in school?
Strides is an experiment in Fresno, based on the personal data-tracking fever inspired by Fitbit and other apps. As schools are using more data to drive decision-making, from the central office to the classroom, giving students a look at their own data is the next frontier. By letting students see trends in their grades and attendance and making that data fun to track, administrators hope students can be nudged toward behaviours that are good for them academically.
Students never lose points. Strides is all about positive reinforcement. The points available are evenly balanced across five “pillars,” with daily and weekly maximums in each category. Besides attendance and grades, students can get points for logging in to the student portal that houses Strides, for participating in after-school activities and for having good behaviour noticed in class. A student who doesn’t get good grades but participates in several after-school activities and has good attendance can keep up, points-wise, with a student who does get good grades but doesn’t participate in any extracurriculars, for example.
“We’re trying to avoid kids opting out because they see these super-smart kids are just going to win and [they] can’t compete,” said Paul Scott, coordinator of Fresno Unified’s software-development team. “That’s not fun at all.”