Skip to main content

Out of the Mouths of Babes; 3 Reasons Why Teachers Should Play Pokemon Go


Curiosity got the best of me. For the past few weeks, neighborhood kids by the dozens, maybe hundreds, are heading outdoors, riding their bikes, meeting friends for a walk. Eagerly walking their dogs without provocation. What is the cause of this activity, this wellness revolution?

If you haven't heard about #PokemonGo, then you have been in perpetual airplane mode, or trapped beneath a large immovable object. At the urging of my kids, I downloaded the augmented reality (AR) app a few days ago and captured four Pokemon within a few minutes. I play a few minutes per day so that I can speak somewhat intelligently about the game if asked about it. I also find the learning potential of this very intriguing. Instead of getting on my soap box about the newest tech craze, I decided to ask local experts, 

"Why do you think your teachers should play Pokemon Go?"

My son, Trevor, 16, said, "Pokemon Go helps people learn about geography, relative location, distance, and global positioning."

My stepson, Billy, also 16, said, "This game can help teachers understand what augmented reality (AR) is. Teachers who want to gamify their classes have a good example to learn from."



Jamie, 14, was holding her iPhone while roller blading with several friends through the neighborhood park. She said, "Pokemon Go gets kids out of the house. It gives teachers something they can talk about with their students."

She's right. Every evening, several families can be seen walking down our street, their phones poised to capture a prized Snorlax or Mewtwo. Recent news reports indicate the number of daily Pokemon Go users exceeding 21 million players. For reference, that's more daily users than Twitter, Minecraft, or Netflix. Last week, a few thousand people converged at "the Bean" on Chicago's lakefront as part of a Pokemon meet up. In addition to the obvious competitive fun, collaboration, and teamwork is integral to this gaming experience.

Teachers and parents should play Pokemon Go so they can promote safe practices and guide moderation. The potential hazards of walking, riding, or driving while looking at your phone are easily understood. I'm spending quality time with my kids as they teach me rules and strategies to become a better player. Like other forms of social gaming and social media, Pokemon Go provides a way for teachers and students to interact, build relationships, and engage in relevant learning experiences. 


Related Reading



A Beginner's Guide to Pokemon Go - USA Today, Brett Molina


Comments

Carrie Baughcum said…
Well said Robert! I love how you went right to the players and asked them what they thought. I also LOVE that your stepson knew what gamification was!!! Your reflection and suggestions are thoughtful and right on.
Robert Schuetz said…
Hello Carrie,
I stumbled onto your #XPLAP Twitter chat - looks fun and interesting. The boys and I discussed GBL and gamification principles. So yes, I am glad the concepts transferred to our Pokemon Go conversation. Kids continually impress me with what they understand when the context fits their interests.
Thanks for reading and for contributing with your comment - much appreciated!
Bob

Popular posts from this blog

"Five Reasons Why Schoology Rocks!"

Networking at IETC last week provided me validation in my choice for best learning management system, Schoology . Having used Moodle, Edmodo, Canvas, and Blackboard, I can tell you that these are all terrific products for digital instruction. However, for the past several months, I felt that Schoology was a better choice than these previously mentioned products. Many times, asking the right questions is a precursor to making sound decisions. Here's an article that serves as a guide to asking the right questions when choosing a learning management system: 10 Questions Everyone Should Ask When Choosing an LMS Here are five reasons why Schoology remains my #1 choice for a classroom LMS: Full-featured classroom organization tools, a collaborative learning place for teachers and students, device-independent applications, Schoology API  allows the program to play nicely with others, and the basic level instructional components are, and will always be, FREE. 1.  School

Digital Badges for Teacher Professional Development

Increasingly, digital badges are becoming a topic of discussion for educators. A digital badge is a digitized token of recognition for acquiring a skill, demonstrating a competency, or for sharing knowledge gained from the completion of an activity or project. As more of our learning comes by way of digital connections and contributions, badges are becoming a more prominent method of acknowledging skills and accomplishments. Many teachers readily acknowledge the importance of personalization of learning for students. Shouldn't professional development experiences offer the same promise? Ask a typical teacher to describe their PD experiences in a single word and you will likely get responses such as irrelevant or  boring . Besides personalization and relevance, digital badges provide opportunities for teachers to discuss the skills and knowledge that support educational best practice, and professional growth. These conversations support the form and function of profession

My One Word for 2018 is Wisdom

Wisdom, according to Dictionary.com , is "the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight." "Any fool can know. The point is to understand." This quote, often incorrectly attributed to Albert Einstein , provides an illustration of the value of understanding over knowledge. A simple search reveals this quote can be linked to the writing of mathematician, George Finlay Simmons .  Narrowing my thinking to one word is an interesting challenge. I have gained a greater appreciation for words and how the combination of words can convey meaning beyond definitions, beyond knowledge. Where are the resources for knowledge in a modern world? We purchased an Amazon Echo as a gift for my parents. "It's such a smart and funny device," says my mom. Alexa has a seemingly unlimited access to information, music, and jokes, but does she understand? Can