Is Pikachu the next enlightening educator to get off the hook? Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? But according to some educators, this is true and opens up new doors for the future of learning.
They will make the effort to find out who Squirtle is, but they will not get off. The augmented reality game has become the hottest pastime for students today. Niantic Labs, the creator of Pokemon Go who had earlier collaborated with Google to create an educational app called ‘Field Trip’, has managed to make all us couch potatoes playing a game outside walking around, breathing fresh air, and some much needed exercise. It would not be an understatement to say that it has become a phenomenon.
Even Minecraft, the game played by so many players world wide and widely appreciated by many educators across the world, did not have the immediate social impact that Pokemon Go has had since its launch. Since, so many students are engrossed in their phones playing this game, many educators have made a case for using it instead of fighting it.
Craig Smith, an aspect practice specialist at Autism Spectrum Australia, thinks that students can gain more from the game than just the enjoyment of playing it. According to him, the game should be used on a small-scale by parents and students. Meanwhile, many educators across the world are trying to figure out its potential to be used in classrooms by teachers as a legitimate educational technology just like Minecraft.
Based on Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences (Categories: Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Verbal-Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Naturalistic, Intrapersonal, Visual-Spatial and Musical), Smith has listed 10 different ways on his blog in which Pokemon Go can tailor the educational experiences and expand the social skills of students with autism. These ways are equally applicable to any student though, with or without autism. He says that it gives students the chance to learn these things.
- Bodily-Kinesthetic: Explore the world around them. Then create one’s own understanding of the local places and finally, write about their experiences using apps like MapMyWalk, Shape Lab and Tag Journal
- Interpersonal: Socially engage with people. Pokemon Go is especially beneficial because it can become the social tool for those who are on the autism spectrum.
- Verbal-Linguistic: Become a Pokemon Professor, conduct new research about Pokemon related things, and give you the expert opinion about the characteristics and evolution of different Pokemons as well as tips and tricks to catch them.
- Logical-Mathematical: Use logical and mathematical skills to calculate the number of Pokemon required to obtain evolution so that they have more powerful Pokemon for gym battles.
- Naturalistic: Understand the habitats that a Pokemon lives in.
- Intrapersonal: Experience a range of emotions like excitement, frustration, weariness (from walking all day), and contentment. Then they can use the Zones of Regulation website to gradually learn to control these emotions to stay happy/calm.
- Visual-Spatial: Get interesting shots of Pokemon adventures and learn interesting ways of animal photography and framing through strategic positioning and timing.
- Musical: Learn how sound plays an important part in distinguishing the type of environment they are in and the type of living creatures that might be found there.
He also says that Pokemon Go can help educate students about Moral and Existential Intelligence too.
With librarian guides for Pokemon Go, guides for parents to learn to play it with their kids, an iTunes course for students to learn while playing Pokemon Go, and blog posts like ’14 Reasons Why Pokemon Go Is The Future Of Learning’, we can safely say that its implications for education are worth a thought. Isn’t it? Please tell us about your views on this. 🙂
Also, keep your eye on the Pokeball because you’ve #GottaCatchEmAll 🙂
[Originally published on July 13, 2016]