As I write this post, I am singing along with the Scottish duo, The Proclaimers, “I would walk 500 miles…” Although I haven’t quite walked 500 miles in search of Pokemons, I certainly have joined in on the excitement that has captured the attention of all ages across the globe.
My previous post, Pokemon Go…Catch Some #DigCit Advice #DigCitPLN, has led me to further examine the role of digital citizenship in regards to Pokemon Go and has had me outside and playing with my son. In fact, he has recently recognized educator, Ryan Read as the DigCitKids #DigCitAward recipient for embedding all nine digital citizenship elements into Pokemon Go!
This post is an update and further looks at the potential of Pokemon Go in Education, an idea that the ISTE DigCit PLN is going to be exploring to see if the project can help play a role in helping schools and educators assess the educational value of the game.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been collaborating with the organizer of the UK Digital Citizenship Summit, William Jenkins, and Ramona Pierson and her team at Declara to curate articles about Pokemon Go in education.
We will be producing a DigCit PLN Pokemon Go Safety Advice document as well as a report that looks at how the game was adopted so quickly and what educators can learn from those methods, how universities, libraries and museums are using the game, the health benefits and the social impact the game is having on people around the world.
Our research and the articles we’ve read suggest that this is something worth exploring. The reactions have included a full range from skepticism to complete adoption.
Collaborating with William during #DigCitSummitUK and Ramona and the Declara team on this project, I have a better appreciation of things like the “The Technology Adoption Cycle,” and how ideas and technology get adopted.
Can anything be done to test this game before bringing it into the classroom? We think there is.
Here are some of the extracts and insights that we’ve read about for students to write stories about Pokemon Go:
“Currently, Pokémon Go doesn’t have much storytelling built in about the places people are going to; players simply find their Pokémon and head to the next location”
“Since students already have their phone in their hands, have them use the Google Street View app to take a 360° spherical panoramic image of the Pokestop”
“Have students write a short piece about their personal reflection of the game.”
“Perhaps players visit a location, and then see archival news stories related to that location”
“perhaps players notice something in that location that’s worthy of a news story in and of itself.”
“Right now, Pokémon Go doesn’t have much storytelling built in about the places people are going to; players simply find their Pokémon and head to the next location”
“Get learners to create a digital poster, presentation, comic, or video of what makes a good trainer.”
“Your students can then create presentations or digital posters about their top three favorite Pokémon.”
“Ask your learners to work in pairs or small groups and come up with a list of five to ten safety tips and good practices for players. Some ideas include having an non-playing adult present, not playing in the streets, practicing good judgment, and exhibiting good manners”
“Once your learners play the game, have them write a digital story of their experiences battling or capturing a Pokémon“
When playing the game with my son, we have found some really interesting Pokestops and have been disappointed when there has been little or no description of the Pokestop:
“It would be nice to have a detailed history of the places you visit and may want to revisit or research more on.“
“Unfortunately, the app’s “journal” tracks only the time and date of each Pokéstop, but does not identify the place by name.”
In Putting Education in “Educational” Apps: Lessons From the Science of Learning the article highlights that:
“Apps that encourage children to connect new information to their daily lives, for example, by learning about triangles by taking pictures of triangles they see in their home, will provide a more effective learning experience than an app that in which children simply pick a triangle out of a line-up of different shapes.”
We further explored how the Pokestops were created and that a description was one of the ways to increase the chances of getting a portal accepted but was not compulsory (See the Ingress Candidate Portal criteria post for more details).
The DigCit PLN Pokemon Go report that we are working on will highlight what Kipp Founder, Mike Fienberg argues that great Edtech facilitates “Great teaching… and more of it.” By this, he means that great EdTech tools either free up educators time by removing administrative tasks to ensure that teachers can spend longer in the classroom, or it facilitates learning outside of school hours.
If we add some of the things that we’ve explored about Pokemon Go so far, these are our observations:
- Understanding educators desire to explore Pokemon Go
- Realizing the need to test with some pilots before “scaling”
- Appreciating that there is hesitancy as some educators may be thinking “here we go again…the new next big thing in education”
- Kids will be playing Pokemon Go whether educators like it or not…whether the game is banned or not
- We agree with some of the comments from the blogs above that we should be using all learning opportunities
- Anything that facilitates “Great teaching and more of it” is what good EdTech should do, so Pokemon Go has potential
- That not all the Ingress Portals/Pokestops have a description
This is the idea that we’ve come up with, that we hope will allow any educators who are advocate of Pokemon Go to test the games potential and hopefully establish some evidence and case studies before taking this into the classroom.
Pokemon Go Homework Challenge
The DigCit PLN and DigCitKids have come up with an idea. Here’s something we can all easily do to amplify student voice in this conversation.
Let’s ask our students to assess if Pokemon Go has any educational value. Let’s have our students write a description about local Pokestops. For example, ask students to answer the following questions:
- What is the Pokestop?
- When was the Pokestop created?
- Why was the Pokestop created?
- Who was the architect/designer/artist?
- Did you notice the Pokestop before you played Pokemon Go
- How many stories and articles did you find about the Pokestop
- What did you know about the Pokestop before you researched the Pokestop?
- What did you know about the Pokestop after you researched it?
- Write the description that you’d like to see about the Pokestop on Pokemon Go
Have a competition between Team Instinct, Mystic and Valour to see which team in your school supplies the most and /or best descriptions.
Post the student responses at schools/libraries and museums that you know welcome Pokemon players and/or who have Pokemon Go noticeboard…promoting student work while doing some school community outreach and educating other players: A real win-win scenario, all outside of school time!
We would welcome educators and students to also record these details on the following link:
Pokemon Go Homework Challenge
We will then ensure that these stories are shared with the DigCit PLN and DigCitKids and others in our network who subscribe to our Pokemon Go updates.
To receive these updates and/or to join our DigCit Pokemon Go Steering Committee please complete the details on the following link: DigCit Pokemon Go Contact Form.
We’d like to thank William Jenkins at Tech Stories and Ramona Peirson at Declara for all their help with developing our Pokemon Go Digital Citizenship resources.
Here is a link to the Pokemon Go Collection on Declara that we have curated to date, and which will for the basis of the DigCit PLN’s Pokemon Go back to school advice.