Usually schools aren't too keen on cell phone use. And while most schools no longer take as hard of a line as outright confiscation, you'd be hard pressed to find many that actually hand out phones to their students -- fancy phones, too.
But according to a recent All Things Considered, San Francisco's Urban School is doing just that, distributing 25 new phones to its students in collaboration with the Go Green Foundation, Nokia and AT&T. The phones are equipped with GPS technology that tracks the students' movements, logging their location every 30 seconds and compiling the information into a route map when hooked up to a laptop. By seeing the actual trail of that quarter-mile jaunt to a friend's house -- and the carbon footprint attached to it -- Go Green hopes kids will be moved to cut back on their driving.
Maybe one could argue that the carbon expended on manufacturing phones and launching satellites negates any benefits from suddenly biking students, but honestly, they'll probably have cell phones anyway, right? While the program is set to expand to other San Francisco schools this month, there's nothing stopping the rest of us from tracking basic mileage the old-fashioned way: Just check the odometer.