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Education, I choose you!

Classroom Tips, General Info July 15th 2016

Pokémon Go” is taking the World by storm and with it, our lives, fast! Since being launched, budding Pokémon trainers are able to catch the “monsters” whilst they are out and about. The rise in value of Nintendo’s shares recently shows how popular the app has been and it is rare not to see a group of people with their phones out (including most of my colleagues) scouting out and about for any Pokémon. I have even found myself buzzing like a child when Dan found a “Zubat” on our lunch break- it is all very exciting, almost like being in the cartoon yourself!

In addition to allowing us all to embrace a childhood dream, there are also educational benefits that can be gained from this amazing app, especially for our younger generation! The number of children using their own smartphones is increasing rapidly, given the advancements in technology. Therefore the amount of app users is on the rise, especially for the Pokémon Go app! We will ignore the fact that I am 28 and probably get more excited than a 12 year old!

“In my perfect World, learning at school would look like Pokémon Go. It would be active, it would allow people of all ages to come together to solve problems, it would be engaging, it would be fun and people would feel good about what they learn and accomplish”

By using the app as an educational tool, one of the main benefits that has been found is an ability to use it to keep pupils “active”. There is an increase in motivation to be outside, “hunting”, a bit like going on a little adventure. The movement achieved by using this as an excuse to walk about will be healthy for them. It is a great way to ensure that they get plenty of fresh air, which, in turn, will also help their concentration levels.

Why not make use of historic places and local landmarks? Being a History and English graduate, I am biased to History being one of the most important lessons in school. The app will allow you to combine local history and natural surroundings together. It will also keep pupils engaged during a school trip and you learn more in lessons when you are having fun! Fusing modern technology with our heritage is a powerful tool for the modern times that we live in.

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Writing skills can be improved through the use of the app. Why not arrange for a class project where you ask your pupils to write about their Pokémon findings? Or what they would like to catch next? It will be these types of stories that will improve their creative writing skills. Giving them a topic that they will be happier to write about, their passion will show through their writing, thus improving their grade levels. My English projects were always the best when I was able to write about something that I was interested in. It created an element of “fun” when writing about that particular topic.

Socially the app can be used effectively, too. This is a game that can be used together, amongst a group of friends. Social skills between young pupils can improve and advance by playing together, strengthening friendships. It has also been seen as a great tool towards helping autistic pupils. There is a lot of fun chasing and coming across Pokémon (trust me) and this app gives everyone a reason to talk to each other more.

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With “Pokéstops and lures” it is also becoming easier to make new friends. You are able to compare findings with others and hunting together for new ones. What better conversation to have with your Poké-friends than the excitement of finding a Mewtwo or a Articuno?! This would obviously all take place on the playground or outside of class hours… Wouldn’t want to have a disruptive class for the sake of a Pikachu!

There will no doubt, be other benefits that will arise over the next few months I am sure. What better way to educate our younger generation than through the latest trend, using technology that is continuously evolving?! Now, excuse me, my phone is buzzing and I can see some “rustling leaves” on the screen… I gotta catch ‘em all!

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