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Teacher Modernizes 'Paying It Forward' by Using Tech to Encourage Good Deeds

Teacher Modernizes 'Paying It Forward' by Using Tech to Encourage Good Deeds

For those who remember Kevin Spacey as social studies teacher Eugene Simonet in the 2000 film Pay It Forward, you can remember Simonet inspiring his classroom with a year-long assignment to figure out one way to change the world- an assignment that resonated with one student in particular and set into motion a large-reaching chain of good deeds.

The assignment that Simonet gives to his seventh grade class on the first day of class is to "think of an idea to change our world - and put it into ACTION." The film than follows student Trevor McKinney's attempt to do so by starting a chain reaction after performing good deeds and encouraging those he helped to pay it forward.

15 years later, a teacher in Roseville, M.I. is coming up with his own version of paying it forward to inspire good deeds in and out of his classroom-using the advancement of technology to his benefit.

Jeff Verkeyen gives each of his students a bracelet that has its own identification number. The bracelets match the "power of a good deed with the power of the internet" as each student is instructed to pass their bracelet on to someone else when he or she sees an individual performing a good deed. The student must then instruct that individual to do the same.

"Once a person receives a bracelet, that person can go to the web site [] and input the identification number and a brief story about the good deed, along with a location. The recipient can then pass the bracelet to another person who does a good deed," according to

Verkeyen's class will than track the bracelets over the course of the school year to see how far the bracelet travels and how a single good deed can inspire an entire course of action.

Read the full story here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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