At the time of writing this book, Pokémon Go is a hot trend. It is a free augmented reality app that uses location data from smartphones to encourage players to go out into the real world in search of virtual items or creatures. Teacher X realised that the majority of children in her class (aged 7–8) were playing this game either on their own phone or on a parent’s phone. So she decided to go with the children’s excitement and interest in the game to see how she could include it in her teaching to enhance learning. She didn’t want to actually play the game with the children as this would involve a number of challenges but she decided to capitalise on the Pokémon characters from the game. There are a huge variety of characters such as Zubat, Pidgey and Weedle and some of the characters are quite rare, such as Mew, which makes the hunt even more exciting! She had lots of photographs of some different characters from different local locations which would be familiar to the children and she used the interactive whiteboard to display these. The children then engaged in a variety of writing activities such as character descriptions, making up a new character with all of its descriptive data in a Pokédex (an information card including picture, name, height and weight), report writing on a local Pokéstop, narrative writing on an adventure to catch a Pokémon and instructional writing on how to capture a Pokémon with a Pokéball.
- It says in the case study ‘She didn’t want to actually play the game with the children as this would involve a number of challenges’. What would these challenges be for this age group and situation?
- How important would it be to keep parents informed of the activities based on Pokémon Go and why? How might the teacher go about doing this?
- Chapter 9, the Digital Child, discusses e-safety for children in a digital world. What are the challenges of this particular mobile game?
- What is your view on the teacher activity? Do you agree with using Pokémon Go in the classroom or should ‘Pokémania’ be kept out of the classroom? Why/why not?
- This case study presents some examples of using the game in terms of literacy. Discuss other ways that the game might be used to enhance learning in other curriculum areas.
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