Hard to believe that Pokémon Go has been around almost a week and of course like anything new with mobile technology. We are seeing the pros and cons with the game in both daily life and in education. I usually like to focus on the pros and the many ways that the way Pokémon Go is showing us the future of mobile learning. After work today, I found myself with a half an hour to myself, so I went on a Pokémon walk to find new Pokémon and maybe even a few PokéStops along the way. I came to a regular one where I encountered several high school students that had placed a Lure on the PokéStop. For those who don’t know, a Lure can be placed on a PokéStop for a half an hour. It then has pedals and hearts fly around it and it attracts all Pokémon in the area from common to rare. During the Lure time, many groups get together to not only capture Pokémon and also do Gym Battles, but also start discussing and sharing. Something that Pokémon Go has done is create a wonderful social gathering ability and a few of the students knew me from the area. They stopped by and asked if I wanted to join and to see if I could help them and that’s when something pretty amazing happened.
The students wanted to make a spreadsheet on what Pokémon they caught, where, at one time and create a shared folder for their group so they could share safe spots in the area. Since there was so much crimes and other problems happening with thieves taking advantage of Pokémon Go. I asked them if they were using Gmail for their accounts, which they said they did and had made sure Pokémon Go wasn’t collecting their data. These were pretty smart kids. I then asked them about using Google Sheets and they looked at me that they didn’t know it could work that way. I asked them if they knew how to share a Google Sheet. They told me yes and I even asked if they knew how to embed a link. Which they were shocked to know they could. So, for about 20 minutes, using our mobile phones, I helped them set up a Google Spreadsheet and taken snap shots of the maps from their phones from the Pokémon captures so they could start using Google Slides for their pictures.
It didn’t take long before they had created their spreadsheets and linked their google slide share to the main sheet. I was loving it. After a few thank yous, I had to take off as I was expecting my family home soon and I had some dissertation edits to work on. I walked home with a smile on my face and also captured an Ivysaur on my way home. Howeve,r it was what I just witness. Here were students ranging from 15-17 and they were creating a Google Sheet on their travels. Using geography, times and even app smashing with Google Slides. I even heard one kid saying he hopes their social studies teacher does this in the fall. So, if you are a SS teacher, here is a great way to use Pokémon Go.
- I love them using the time stamps and locations in the Google Spreadsheet. Have students do a Pokémon Walk and record the information on a shared Google Sheet.
- After recording the data, have them do a Google Slides on what the Pokémon they captured and put in the place, what time and the type.
- Have students then do their own action figure on making their own Pokémon trainer. Have them enter the types they use, their starter Pokémon and where they are from and what are their dreams? Are they going to be a Pokémon Professor? A Pokémon Master? A Gym Leader? Plenty to do from this.
Something that also happened to me after I had to drop off my son’s friend at his mother’s job. I stopped by the local library, which was also a PokéStop for a quick check in and there were other adults and kids checking in. One of the librarians was also playing and she said it would be great if they could get Pokémon Go players to come in for special events. I asked her if she knew about the Lure feature and she said yes, but never tried it yet. I said, a friend of mine was thinking of using the Lure for School events and the plan was to put the Lure on the PokéStop about a half an hour before hand. She thought that would be great for when they do Story Time or Lego building time. You can read all about it from Art La Flamme’s Post. There have already been several businesses that have decided to use it for their locations as it brings more customers in. So, why not library events. Thank about doing a STEM workshop and you add a Lure to the PokéStop a half an hour before the event. Gives more awareness of the libraries actives since there is more foot traffic as a result of the Lure.
A friend of mine has a PokéStop about a block from their Little Free Library and by putting a Lure on the PokéStop there are more teens stopping by and getting a book from the LFL. Its a great way to use Pokémon Go for social studies and creating more awareness for library events. Give it a try, I put a Lure by a PokéStop today and so many teens and adults showed up and saw a LFL just a few feet away and said: “Hey, check this out.”