How to Teach at Home
by Craig Fernandes, Guest Contributor
It’s a new day. You wake up feeling groggy and out of it, reach your hand towards the side table to grab your…. wait WHERE’S MY PHONE? *cue panic*
You are walking towards the metro (post covid19 obviously), life feels great because you even get a seat, you reach out to your pockets to grab your… WHERE’S MY PHONE? *cue panic*
Irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, career or economic status we are all connected by one common factor which is our smartphones. From the minute we wake up till the moment our day ends, our phone is a staple part of it all. Our social life through DMs, Whatsapp, Tinder and our business life through calls, notes, last-minute presentation slides; you name it and your phone has got it.
Just like a coin has two sides to it, here’s where our problem starts. The Pew Research Center (2018) conducted research that says 60% of adolescents between 13 and 17 years acknowledge that excessive screen time is a significant problem. The same 60% also admit that this is an urge that cannot be controlled.
While smartphones can certainly be used for ‘good’ in the classroom, they are often used for ‘evil’. A study published in the Journal of Media Education found that around 97% of university students will use their phones in class sometime during the week, for non-academic purposes. Almost 90% of them said texting was the main offender and distraction in class.
You would think that students are the only ones affected by the excessive use of mobile devices. However, this isn’t true. According to a survey conducted by the International Society of Technology in Education (2019),34% of teachers admitted that they are also distracted by students who use their phones during class.
Yes, students use their smartphones or tablets to take down notes and pictures of the lecture slides, but what if a notification suddenly pops up? Curiosity killed the cat, didn’t it? It’s about time we all admitted we really are addicted to our phones. From endless scrolling through Instagram and Twitter to incessant selfie-taking, it’s very easy to fail to put the tech down- especially in situations where we really need to, our classrooms.
Back in early 2017 during a rather boring lecture, a student at the University of Iowa picked up his phone to text his father only to realize that most of his peers were already using a digital device. This struck a chord and a cause for concern. After days and weeks of brainstorming over how to solve a problem that had dumbfounded parents, teachers and professors around the world, a team of students from the UAE led by Craig Fernandes developed an application called Lock&Stock. With the idea of “Earn While You Learn” and a mission to fight smartphone addiction in classrooms, Lock&Stock was launched for the sole purpose of helping teenagers stay off their phones.
Launched for students in the UAE in 2017, Lock&Stock is a mobile application that incentivizes students to pay attention in class. In exchange for staying offline, students are rewarded with points and can use these points to redeem offers and discounts at restaurants, fashion outlets and cinemas. They can also use the points to apply for jobs and internships from companies looking to hire young talent and even gain access to a network of university scholarships from international institutes. All three reward exchange outlets are aimed at solving the three main problems in a student’s life – student allowances, side hustles and university tuition.
From its inception in September 2017, over 43,000 Lock&Stock users have collectively spent 153 combined years offline. This is 153 years given back to teachers, professors and educators, and the students themselves.
Finally, you have reached the end of this article but were you reading it amid a boring lecture, a study session or a movie with your family? You know what to do now. Go on, download the Lock&Stock app, we’ll wait.
The Lock&Stock app is designed to start generating points as soon a mobile phone is locked while learning in class. The goal is to keep focus in the classroom! Points can then be traded for great deals right on the app.