What can Pokemon Go do for education?

What can Pokemon Go do for education?

It’s hard to miss, there are burgeoning pokemon trainers wandering everywhere from school campuses and shopping malls, to the great outdoors.  In case you haven’t tried your hand at it yet, here’s what you need to know about the smartphone app taking the world by storm.

The downloadable app is an updated of the Pokemon card game released in the early 1990s.  There have been many incarnations of the game since then, including a popular television series, toys, movies, and numerous video games for handheld devices and consoles.  In its newest form via Android and iOS, you can take the role of a pokemon trainer and go into the world to catch different creatures, train them and battle in gyms.  The game uses augmented reality via your phone’s camera so it looks like the pokemon are standing right at your feet.

What sets this game apart?  One thing: movement.  No longer can you sit on the couch with phone in hand — this game requires you to get out and walk around.  Want to hit a pokestop?  Walk there.  Looking for new pokemon?  Time to wander.  The app is getting players outside, walking dogs or going on bike rides in hopes of catching more pokemon and finding other trainers.  Pokestops are placed at various local landmarks and historical locations near players, encouraging users to go learn more about their community and visit new places.  Businesses are taking advantage of the hype too, luring users to their stores by way of pokemon-related specials and advertising.

So what does this have to do with education?

The game is active, engaging and fun.  It allows users to hit achievement milestones, do research, and be social.  It utilizes geolocation, math, probability and memorization.  Some educators think the game could be used as a tool to help children with autism learn skills for socializing.

There are also resources popping up for teachers, educators and librarians who want to take advantage of the game’s popularity in the classroom.  One example, Explore Everything with Pokemon GO, is resource from a teacher that aligns learning experiences from the game to Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences.

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  • James Koster Reply

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    June 28, 2016 at 12:36 pm

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