You can’t go half a kilometer these days without hearing about the Pokémon Go app. This popular and free-to-play mobile app was released in most regions on July 6, 2016, and has teachers scrambling to turn their classrooms into Pokémon Go habitats, while simultaneously enhancing student learning.
The game works by using your phone’s GPS to target your physical location, and then superimposes different Pokémon characters for you to catch. To do so, you need to use the Pokémon Go map, walk to a nearby PokéStop or habitat, and attempt to capture the Pokémon by tossing Poké Balls in its direction.
The very nature of the game drives one of its healthier aspects—Pokémon Go inadvertently prompts kids around the world to venture off of the couch and into the great outdoors. Sure, their primary motivation might be to encounter the likes of Charmeleon, Pikachu, and Jigglypuff, but at the same time, players are getting exercise and experiencing the wonders of Mother Nature—blue skies, sunshine, fresh air, and vitamin D.
Most teachers welcome technology in the classroom and incorporate educational apps into daily lesson plans. Yet, even with mobile devices in the classroom, educators are asking how they might leverage Pokémon Go to enhance student learning. Here are a just few ideas that might help transform your students’ cool games into learning-focused school games.
According to Sensor Tower data, Pokémon Go had a record-setting 7.2 million downloads during its first week of release,* providing a great deal of opportunity for teachers who are pro-Pokémon to include a dose of educational technology into their curriculum by gamifying their classroom.
If technology-based teaching strategies don’t come easy for you, there are some great programs available to help strengthen your skills. Walden University's online degree programs for educators allow you to earn your degree in a way that fits your life and schedule. An accredited online institution, Walden offers education degree programs which include bachelor’s, master’s and post-master’s, doctoral, certificate, and teacher licensure and endorsement programs.
*Fortune, Pokémon Go Shatters Apple App Store Record by Jonathan Vanian, on the Internet at http://fortune.com/2016/07/22/pokemon-go-apple-app-store/.
Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.