Monday, February 29, 2016

Amazing Apps: Gradestar

Many families struggle with motivating their children to work hard at their education and in fact, for some families, the difficulty with completing homework can result in conflict and even nightly battles.  The unpleasant cycle of nagging by parents and anxiety for kids usually leads to nothing but resentment and poor performance.  Sadly, the United States is currently ranked 17th in math, 21st in science and 17th in reading.
But now a new education app, released on Tuesday, February 23, is seeking to help students get excited about their education and provide parents with a tool to help keep their kids motivated.  Gradestar is a digital behavior chart and reward-based tool designed to help students succeed by earning rewards for working on their education.  Parents can challenge kids to complete various tasks like homework, studying, volunteering, cleaning their room - anything that requires an extra push.  In exchange, kids receive Gradestars, a form of virtual currency that they can then use to purchase goods and services they want, from local and national businesses.
And while the idea of working hard to get into college and get a good job 8-10 years down the road may be hard for students to relate to, Gradestar allows them to enjoy the results of their efforts, in a meaningful way, right now!  With the use of sound psychological principles and by employing “gamification” (making a game out of something), students remain engaged which helps them to develop and practice positive habits building on their success for the long term.
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