Ben Drewelow and I met a participant at the educelerate event a few weeks back who told us about an app that a school had designed for incoming students that forced them to get acquainted with the school and their peers. It sounded like a really amazing tool that helped the new students get to know the school including the layout, expectations, procedures, staff, and even their fellow students. In effect the school used gamification to quickly build a knowledge base and enhance school culture with every new student. I think that if we could write an app like this and tailor it to each one of our school sites it would really ease the transition of the new students and help them to get to know their peers (and maybe get them to stick around a bit longer). I think every program is in constant flux with students enrolling throughout the school year and I feel that if we don’t hook them right away many just see us as a pit stop on their education rollercoaster.
This is just a thought and I have no experience with programing apps but it sounds like something fairly easy that we could do to build positive school culture.