Tracking Students In Real-Time
In 2005, approximately half of sixth graders in the United States reported that they owned a cell phone. Today, that statistic still holds, plus an additional one-third that claim they own a smart phone. This should not be surprising to many parents, as the teen tracking industry has expanded exponentially in the past half decade alone. Concerned parents have lauded GPS tracking technology for its ability to monitor the safe location of their children, and the ubiquity of GPS tracking systems have made it possible for younger generations to experience and innovate with a network that was originally designed as a tool of national security. With the student travel programs of many schools across the nation stuck in the 20th century, a company dedicated to enhancing the quality of education of our nation’s youth is incorporating teen tracking technology to bring field trips up to date.
Founded 45 years ago, WorldStrides is the first organization of its kind to be accredited as a travel study school. Today, a team of more than 400 professionals are dedicated to making a child’s educational experience as interactively and life-changing as possible. In partnering with SCVNGR, a social teen tracking application that allows participants to share pictures and location statuses using cameras and GPS tracking data, WorldStrides has designed an interactive, location-based game that students can play while on field trips. SCVNGR is used by students to answer questions about the historical and educational experiences they encounter on their field trip such as monuments, historical sites, and nature preserves. After snapping a photo, students can have their friends try and guess where they are before revealing the GPS tracking coordinates. Students can also use the teen tracking system to share personally-designed maps to the interesting places they have visited and encourage their friends to do the same.
In popular student travel destinations such as Washington D.C., SCVNGR utilizes the navigational capabilities of GPS tracking technology to provide the students with maps and routes that will avoid areas of high traffic or recent criminal activity in attempts to keep the trip as safe as possible. One of the chief designers of SCVNGR noted that in an age where technology has never been more prevalent among our younger demographics, the entire paradigm of experiential learning must also shift to keep students involved and interested. Truth be told, the New 3 E’s of Education (according to the 2011 Project Tomorrow report) are Enabled, Engaged, and Empowered. Educational teen tracking applications that utilize the safety and convenience benefits of GPS tracking devices allow for schools across the country to ensure these principles are brought classrooms nationwide.