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Digital Classroom Economy


During our recent Utah Teacher event, UCET, a colleague attended a presentation on tracking classroom economy systems digitally. The problem was, the teacher created app was only available on android and the alternative suggestions for ios were limited to small groups in the free versions. Additionally, students didn't have access to see their point/dollar balance.

I have a strong belief that for students to be in charge, they need to have the information. So, having a piece that allowed student access was critical for me. Being a Google for Education district, I work heavily with Google and thought that there must be a way for Google Sheets to help out in this application. Indeed, there is! I discovered the Scan-IT to Office app and Sheets add-on that allowed information to be sent to a connected sheet and add information connected to the scan of a bar code. By connecting the master sheet to individual student sheets, students now have access to their total balance.

I've created this Google folder that contains all you'll need to make this a reality for your students. Simply make a copy of the folder in  your own drive and follow the instructions given in the included "setup" document. Once you have all the student sheets connected to your master, you can use the same ones each year. Just delete the information from the master and share the individual sheets with your new students.

How can you use this with your students? In any way that you already award students for behavior. Instead of passing out paper dollars that get lost on the floor, add digital points. Students redeeming their points or dollars at the class or school store just became that much easier. If you subtract for things like a bathroom break in the middle of class, students just scan their card for the subtraction. Do you have a semester or end of year student city or society simulation? Use this setup to track their balance and "shop keepers" can scan and subtract purchases. You can make students as responsible for tracking their income and expenditures as you'd like by having them "balance their account" at the end of each day or week.

In what ways do you plan to use this digital class economy idea? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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