Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pokemon Go Edu

I have seen a lot of blog posts and ideas about using Pokemon go in the educational setting, but many of the ideas have to do with conversation starters or a discussion on Augmented Reality or GPS. I think all of these are great examples of ways to bring in the phenomena into the classroom, but how can we actually utilize the platform and gaming aspect of PokemonGo during an actual lesson., The following are a list of my thoughts on how I can see an actual, practical, and factual way of using Pokemon Go in the classroom or Edu setting.

This of course is a fantastic way to answer the question on how technology and PE can be brought together. I am a huge fan of competitive scavenger hunts and have always believed technology could be used to add a digital component to an already competitive and gamified subject. I could see Pokemon Go being utilized as a tool to create a variety of activities to be run through PE.Now I am by no means a Pokemon Go expert so I would love to hear back whether these ideas are practical or impractical to be completed in a class period.

Also before I run down my ideas let me ask you who you think your Poke' experts will be. Will it be your star athletes? Maybe, but probably not. Most likely it will be your introverted students who would rather be in science class than PE. Wouldn't it be a phenomenal experience for you and the students to see those students who reluctantly follow in PE, become Team captains to train their hand selected group of Pokemon catchers? 

  • PokeTrap Dash: I know that use of Poke' traps/lure  in the game are used to entice a Pokemon to head to the trap. How about utilizing this feature to allow teams to place traps all over the campus. Here would be the rules:
    • Each group will have one leader with the Pokemon Go App at his disposal. His team will have 5 flags, of the teams color, at their disposal. 
    • Each team will need to place 5 traps/lures around campus. Each trap must be placed at least 50 yards apart for their own and other teams traps. 
    • The team will need to use the App to identify their next trap location and RUN to their next location before another team puts down their trap before another group does.
    • After the team finishes they must run through the designated finish line.
    • Once completed, each teams distances are vetted by other teams to ensure the 50 yard rule was obeyed.
    • In this fashion on a few students, the captains, would need to being out a digital device.
  • Pokemon Go (non-digital): I can see some reluctant PE teachers worried about students bringing an electronic device outside. Questions like "What if a kid loses it?" or "What if he drops it and I'm responsible?" Both are valid points, so why not create a non-digital form of this game. I could see using Hula Hoops as Poke stations, and small foam balls used by the participants to catch Pokemons. You could separate teams and designate students as Pokemon to be captured. You could use a large field to create an arena with possible areas of where a Pokemon will appear. Students as Pokemon can jump in a Hula hoop full of flags, if he stands in the hula hoop for longer than 10 sec without being tagged by the foam balls he grabs a flag and then runs out of the hoop. If you "catch" the Pokemon he joins your team and his flags get added to your group pints. This way the "Fastest" Pokemon Students end up collective more flags and become more valuable to the team who catches him. Think of this as a combination or capture the flag, freeze-tag, and dodge ball. 
  • Pokemon Go Edu Expeditions: Now I know this does not exist, YET, but wouldn't it be fun if the creators of Pokemon Go created an Edu version where a teacher could place Pokemon's around campus and had their student run to each new character they find. This would allow teachers to create isolated games for their students and reset the characters or replace each character after each game is over. The instructor could see the whereabouts of each group via a dashboard view ala Google Expeditions.
  • Pokemon Go Scavenger Hunts: Have the students the first few days of school travel around campus on a scavenger hunts to discover all the campus buildings and meet the support staff of each building. The could get to the building and screen shot that they are there. Bonus point if you capture and screenshot a Pokemon Character. 

No as I have said above, I am NOT a Pokemon Go expert and I have only casually played the game, so if there are suggestions on how to make the above work OR you have a better way to utilize this app in an Edu setting PLEASE let me know. I would love to revise and add to our Pokemon Go Edu list!!.

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