Explore Everything with Pokemon GO!

Welcome to 'Explore Everything with Pokémon GO'! The launch of Pokemon Go this past week has heralded a gaming experience unlike any I have ever witnessed. Even Minecraft, with its near ubiquitous take up by gamers world wide and continued massive interest in educational spaces and for YouTuber's everywhere, did not have the immediate social impact that Pokemon Go has engaged since its launch. Every day as I leave my house I see huddles of people gathering near PokePoints and Gyms with their iPhones raised and their fingers busy catching and battling Pokemon all across the city. I've never struck up such immediate conversations with random individuals on the street who all had the telling look of another Pokemon Go player. Even though we are less than a week into the game, it seems certain that this game is a phenomenon that is going to be growing and reaching spheres of impact in ways that we perhaps can't yet foresee. But in the meantime, I am having an amazing time playing the game, walking around the city with my daughter as we explore all sorts of new avenues and points of interest in order to catch all the Pokemon.

I have developed an iTunes U course (LINK) as a resource for families to use with their children, or for young people to enjoy on an individual basis. It follows Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences to align learning experiences across a varied range of modes, from verbal and interpersonal activities through to musical and moral reasoning. Most all the learning experiences in the course use Tag Journal as the primary tool for maintaining a journal of activities and reflections. I recommend downloading and reading through the Apple Education resource 'Tag Journal Lesson Ideas' to become more acquainted with all the features of the app before engaging fully in the learning experiences described across this course. As well, for detailed information on how to play Pokemon Go, I recommend you check out the ever growing mountain of resources contained in the Pokemon Go Wiki: https://pkmngowiki.com

I intend to expand the range of learning activities in this course for the purpose of exploring the games potentials for classroom implementation, which many of the learning experiences in the course are already heading towards in their current form. If you are a teacher already using Pokemon Go in the classroom, make contact with me so we can chat ideas - you can always find me on Twitter at @wrenasmir

For now, have fun with these learning experiences, watch where you are walking, and keep your eye on the ball as you've #GottaCatchEmAll :)

 Group selfie with a bunch of random players on the streets of Cairns, Queensland on the night of Pokemon GO launch.

Group selfie with a bunch of random players on the streets of Cairns, Queensland on the night of Pokemon GO launch.

Howard Gardner's theory of Multiple Intelligences has been chosen to differentiate and address the ten learning experiences across this iTunes U course for the purpose of providing a broad and varied activities related to Pokemon Go as possible. Gardner's original theory of Multiple Intelligences listed eight categories  - Bodily-Kinesthetic, Interpersonal, Verbal-Linguistic, Logical-Mathematical, Naturalistic, Intrapersonal, Visual-Spatial and Musical. He later pondered Moral and Existential categories as pertaining to the Multiple Intelligences framework, although were never actually added to the mix. In this course, I include them as part of the Multiple Intelligence framework as I believe they are critical to inclusion for the purpose of considering the nature of the Pokemon Go game and the manner in which it can contribute to our positions as local citizens. You can read more about Gardner's Multiple Intelligences at the following website: http://infed.org/mobi/howard-gardner-multiple-intelligences-and-education/

 


 

Bodily-Kinesthetic

Walking Journal

The most impressive feature surely of Pokemon GO is how much it motivates us to get outside and explore the world around us. Going for a walk is an activity that for many has inspired them to think differently about the world - the author W. G. Sebald wrote 'The Rings of Saturn', a walking journal of the area of Suffolk in England where he looks around the landscape and conjures historical stories out of the paths he treads, and the author Will Self frequently writes about the thoughts and feelings that cities create in him, a phenomenon he refers to as psychogeography. With Pokemon GO, you have a chance to walk around cities and natural areas and create your own understanding of the places through which you wander. The first thing that will help you to make sense of the area in which you're travelling is to keep a walking journal in which you create a map of where you walk and note your thoughts on the walks that you take. 

In this learning experience, you will create a map that will keep track of where you walk, and you will be able to date and annotate your thoughts about the walks.

 

Introduce the Topic

Become familiar with ideas about walking around cities and natural areas. 

 

Build Understanding

Use an app like MapMyWalk to record where you walk when you leave the house to play Pokemon Go. Turning on MapMyWalk will plot your journey on a map that you can look back on later to see where you have walked. You will also be able to use the Map feature in Pokemon Go when you select a Pokemon you have caught to see exactly where they were caught on your journey (see image below). 

Apply Learning

Use an app like Tag Journal to record your walking journeys. You can take screenshots of your recorded walks in MapMyWalk and import them into a note Tag Journal, then giving you the opportunity to add your thoughts to that walk after. 

You can use an app like Shape Lab to create your own map of the area in which you walked. It allows you to create geometric shapes on a surface that can be used to create a simple map of the region in which you use Pokemon Go. The map you create in Shape Lab can then be saved and imported into Tag Journal to be part of your walking notes there.

Check out the Welcome to my Neighbourhood learning activity in the 'Tag Journal Lesson Ideas' book by Apple, available free in iBooks. 

Footstep icon by Lukas M. Pogoda.

Pokemon Go icon by Mateus Leal.

From The Noun Project.


Interpersonal

On the evening of the launch of Pokemon Go, I was absolutely amazed at the number of people out on the streets looking for Pokemon, tracking down PokeStops and battling at Gyms. In the days since, I have met people every day on the street who I have been able to strike up a conversation with and talk about the game. The real world social aspect of Pokemon Go is unlike anything I have ever experienced with a video game. 

In this learning experience, you will organise to get together with friends who are playing Pokemon Go in order to explore together and keep a photo journal of selfies with other trainers you meet along the way. 

 

Introduce the Topic

Check out this news article on a Pokemon Go Walk that was organised in Sydney that thousands of people turned up for: http://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/pokemon-go-launched-in-australia-and-sydney-gamers-are-everywhere-20160710-gq2e1v.html

As well, this Facebook page that was used to organise the walk: https://www.facebook.com/events/205243773206046/?active_tab=posts

 

Build Understanding

Think about how you would like to organise a walk with friends. Will you do it with a small group of friends by messaging them directly, or do you want to organise a bigger group to attend, perhaps using your social media to do so? Think about where you want to explore, how long you want the walk to go for, and any resources you'll need (good shoes, bottle of water and sun safe clothing, extra battery charge for your iPhone). It might be handy to create an itinerary of resources you'll need and a list of who is invited in an entry in Tag Journal

 

Apply Learning

Get together with your Pokemon Go walking party and start playing. If you meet other Pokemon Go players out and about (often near PokeStops and Gyms), think about striking up a conversation with them and ask them how they're going with their game - what Pokemon they've found in the area, any tips they've learned. Considering asking them if they'd like to take a selfie to record all the Go players met on the way - you could add this selfie to your notes in Tag Journal.

 

Chat icon by NAS.

Pokemon Go icon by Mateus Leal.

From the Noun Project.


Verbal-Linguistic

A Pokemon Professor is considered an expert on Pokemon in their local area, able to tell you all about the characteristics and evolutions of the Pokemon you might come across, as well as the tips and tricks for catching Pokemon. They are always conducting new research to further their understanding of all things Pokemon related.

 Copyright 'The Pokémon Company International', 2016

Copyright 'The Pokémon Company International', 2016

In this learning activity, you will pretend you are a professor giving a talk at the next Pokemon research forum. You could discuss the type of Pokemon found most readily in your local neighbourhood, the skills involved in catching Pokemon, your personal tips and tricks, and so on.

 

Introduce the Topic

Listen to how Professor Willow talks in Pokemon Go and consider the sort of tone does he use in his voice and the sort of things he talks about. Read up on the core values of the Pokemon Professor Program to get a sense of what sort of person a Pokemon Professor should try to be and the things that are important to them. 

 

Build Understanding

Write down ideas for a speech you are going to give to others at a Pokemon research forum. In this particular forum, you have been allotted five minutes to present your topic. Use Tag Journal to draft and then write your speech. Read this article by Scholastic on speech writing for tips to help you with yours: http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/speech/tips.htm

 

Apply Learning

You could deliver you speech in front of the camera in iMovie, recording yourself deliver the speech and providing you the opportunity to add images, video recordings and sound to your presentation to help explain your points. Alternatively, you could use Explain Everything to record your presentation and add imagery that could be annotated while you're delivering your speech. Have a look at both iMovie and Explain Everything to see which one is right for your talk.

 

Scroll icon by No More Heroes.

Pokemon GO icon by Mateus Leal.

From the Noun Project.


Logical-Mathematical

One of the most valuable strategies in playing Pokemon Go is understanding how many Pokemon you need to catch in order to strategically evolve Pokemon you own so as to get more powerful Pokemon for gym battles. Each Pokemon you catch gives you 'candies' for that particular breed of Pokemon, and you can use those candies to evolve your Pokemon when you have enough of them. It is hence valuable to understand how you are travelling with regards to your Pokemon evolutions for maximum progress and enjoyment in the game. 

In this learning activity you will keep an evolution journal with a focus on calculating the number of Pokemon you need to obtain evolutions. 

 

Introduce the Topic

Research the evolution needs of the Pokemon you have caught by checking out the number of candies you have for a Pokemon and what the number is for the candies you need to evolve that Pokemon. See the image below for the relevant area to look for, and read this article by Forbes to learn more about this process and strategy: http://www.forbes.com/sites/davidthier/2016/07/09/level-up-how-to-train-and-evolve-your-pokemon-in-pokemon-go/

 

Build Understanding

Start a section in your Pokemon journal using Tag Journal and start to record the Pokemon you have that you are eager to evolve - start with your top six, the six that you would use in a Gym battle. Then, record the number of candy you have for each of the Pokemon, the number of candy you get when you catch one of those Pokemon in the wild (different Pokemon give you different amounts of candy), and hence how many you will need to catch in order to evolve those Pokemon. 

 

Apply Learning

Are you able to generate formulas to calculate how many Pokemon you need for evolution? For example, a Magikarp requires 400 Magikarp candy to evolve, and you receive three Magikarp candy each time you catch a Magikarp. You already have already caught two Magikarp, so how many more do you need to catch before you have 400 Magikarp candy for an evolution? Draft formulas in your journal, or use an app like Math Shake to help calculate some of these problems.

 

Calculator icon by Vicons Design.

Pokemon GO icon by Mateus Leal.

From the Noun Project.


Naturalistic

Pokemon can be found in many different habitats - grassland, desert, water areas, rock environments, even volcanoes apparently! Understanding the habitats that your Pokemon live in provide you with better strategic considerations when you visit these environments in your local area. Even a built up urban area has connections with natural habitats that many Pokemon call home. 

In this learning activity you will research habitats that relate to where Pokemon can be found in your local area, as well as learning how to observe in a natural habitat and sketch the living creatures that you find there.

 

Introduce the Topic

The Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre in Sydney have produced many fantastic multi-touch books available free on the iBooks Store. One of these books is titled 'Habitat' - read this book in relation to the habitats in your local area and consider the living creatures that are found there and how they interact with their environment. As well, you could subscribe to the free 'Biology: Life on Earth' iTunes U course by E. O. Wilson to further investigate the creatures and environments that you are finding in the habitats that relate to your Pokemon Go travels. 

 

Build Understanding

When you spend time in a natural habitat, do not just pass through without giving consideration to what is around you - instead, walk slowly or stand still for a moment, look and listen to all that is around you, and train yourself to observe the environment you're part of. Part of being a good Pokemon trainer is being a talented observer, able to spot Pokemon and PokeSpots quickly and to respond accordingly. So too does being an observer in habitats require practice and training in order to be aware of what is around you. 

 

Apply Learning

When you have spotted a living creature in the habitat you're walking through, make a quick illustration of it using an app such as Procreate to Tayasui Sketches. Try as well using the app Amaziograph and its mirror feature in order to create symmetrical drawings of creatures - particularly useful for when you're wanting to create a top down view of an insect, for example. 

Leaf icon by Arthur Shlain.

Pokemon GO icon by Mateus Leal.

From the Noun Project.


Intrapersonal

As a Pokemon trainer you can experience a range of emotions across your day - excitement at finding a new Pokemon, frustration at losing a Gym Battle, weariness from walking all day, contentedness to just sit back and reflect on what a good time you've had exploring the world and training new Pokemon. It is good to be reflective about these feelings and to consider the strategies you can use to settle yourself and gain control of your emotions, particularly if you start to lose control. There is a program called the 'Zones of Regulation' that uses four colours - blue, green, yellow and red - to identify four emotional zones - under the weather / sad, happy / calm, excited / stressed, and out of control / angry. 

In this learning activity you will refer to these Zones and identify the sort of Pokemon that you feel best reflect the emotional conditions of these zones. As well, identify the strategies you can use to take control of these emotional zones if you start to leave the Green zone and begin losing some control. 

 

Introduce the Topic

Read through some of the resources and ideas on the Zones of Regulation website, and subscribe to our free 'Explore your Emotions, Inside and Out' iTunes U course to learn more about understanding your emotional zones. As well, this LinkedIn article I wrote on the topic provides some further ideas and activities relating to the Zones of Regulation: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/explore-your-emotions-inside-out-craig-smith

 

Build Understanding

Using an app like Paper, create four pages and draw a circle in the middle of each page - one page with a blue circle, another with a green circle, another with a yellow, and a final one with a red. Now, around those circles, draw and write the names of Pokemon that you feel relate closely to that emotional zone. For example, Pikachu and Charmander are pretty settled, happy Pokemon who would relate closely to the Green Zone. Pokemon like Slowpoke and Psyduck might be more towards the Blue Zone, while an angry and often out-of-control Pokemon like Charizard might resemble more of the Red Zone.

 

Apply Learning

Make notes in your Tag Journal relating to personal strategies you can use when you are feeling like you are starting to lose emotional control. Consider some of the reasons you might start to lose control - frustration at missing a rare Pokemon, losing a gym battle you thought you should be able to win, running out of Pokeballs just as a legendary Pokemon appears. When you are able to anticipate some of the things that might cause you to lose control, you will be able to think of strategies to help you when you're in those situations. Consider using an app like Mood Meter to help with strategies that you can then write into your Tag Journal. 

 

Thinking icon by Gregor Črešnar.

Pokemon GO icon by Mateus Leal. 

From the Noun Project.


Visual-Spatial

The in-game camera that Pokemon Go provides is fantastic for getting some interesting, action-packed and sometimes very funny shots of your Pokemon adventures. When the game goes into AR mode as you begin to catch a Pokemon it gives the option down the bottom right of the screen to take a photo. When you take a photo, it saves it into Photos on your iPhone. It's like Nature Photography 3.0! 

In this learning activity you will take photos in-game with Pokemon Go, then add them to your Tag Journal and, using the location marker in Tag Journal, create a photo map of the areas in which you snapped your camera on the Pokemon you've caught. 

 

Introduce the Topic

Research nature photography in order to understand interesting ways of framing animals in picture, and different areas in which to compose your photos. Free books on the iBooks Store such as 'Nature' by Gregg Mojika are a good start, and there are many good websites that offer examples in this area too. One of the challenging parts of Pokemon photography is you aren't always in control of where you will find and photograph a Pokemon, but with a bit of strategic positioning and timing you will be able to create some very interesting shots.

 

Build Understanding

Take as many photos of Pokemon on your adventures as possible. For a bit of a challenge, consider trying to photograph Pokemon in relation to each of the components of this photo challenge:

  • Photograph your Pokemon near something bright red
  • Photograph your Pokemon near the letter W
  • Photograph your Pokemon near a highly reflective surface
  • Photograph your Pokemon with water beneath its body
  • Photograph your Pokemon standing on a seat
  • Photograph your Pokemon sitting on a friends shoulder
  • Photograph your Pokemon looking at a real world animal
  • Photograph your Pokemon in the rain (be careful of your iPhone!)

 

Apply Learning

Import your photos into your Tag Journal. Your Tag Journal can automatically tag the location you took the photograph, building up a photomap then of the locations in which you captured the shots. Consider creating your own photomap, by taking a screenshot of the area you've been travelling in Apple Maps, and then placing your photographs on top of the areas in which you took them. An app like Explain Everything would work really well for this. 

 

Camera icon by Ashwin Dinesh.

Pokemon GO icon by Mateus Leal.

From the Noun Project.


Musical

Music and sound plays an important role in Pokemon Go - the way the rhythm and melody changes when a Pokemon appears in view, the call of a Pokemon that you hear to alert you that you need to get your Pokeballs ready. When you're out and about in the world, sound can play an important part in distinguishing the sort of environments you're in, and the sort of living creatures you might find there.

In this learning activity we will be learning how to listen to the sounds of the environments we're in, and how to create a sound collage from these sources using GarageBand

 

Introduce the Topic

Go for a walk to one of the habitats in which you find Pokemon. Find a quiet place,  sit down and close your eyes. Listen to the sounds around you, and try to identify as many of them as you can. Try to identify different species of animal you might hear, or the tones and rhythms of different constructed sounds in the environment. Are there regular patterns that you can hear, or random aural artefacts without semblance of order?

 

Build Understanding

Using an app like Paper, draw a circle in the middle of the page to represent your position. Now, identify all the sounds you've been listening for, and draw them on the page in relation to where you are sitting. When you draw the source of the sound, also draw next to it a graphic notation representation of what the sound is doing - what sort of pattern, what sort of shape is it like? See the example below for ideas on this. 

 

Apply Learning

Using GarageBand, you could start to record some of the sounds you are hearing. You could use an additional microphone, such as the iXY by Rodes that plugs into your iPad or iPhone, or you can simply use the microphone in the iPad. Experiment with recording and layering sounds in GarageBand in order to create soundscapes that recreate a sense of actually being amid the environment you've been exploring for Pokemon in. 

 

Sound icon by Nimal Raj.

Pokemon GO icon by Mateus Leal.

From the Noun Project.


Moral

I've been astounded at all the art works, murals, historic objects and sites of note in my local area that Pokemon Go has introduced me to. I've always enjoyed walking and photographing my local area, but it's quite incredible how much I missed that Pokemon Go has informed me about. Part of being a good citizen is in knowing your local area and understanding its historical and political climate. In this learning experience, we are focused on the moral realm of intelligence. 

The goal of this learning experience is to learn more about your local area by researching the locations you come across, and sharing this understanding with others through a blog or other sharing tool.

 

Introduce the Topic

As you walk around your area finding Pokemon, take note of the points of significance the pop up as PokeStops - the historic sculptures, the local businesses, the art works. Take a visit to your local bookstore or the library and have a look in the local history section to see if there are any resources that share the history of your region, such as the Hidden Hamilton book above that goes into the history of my area. 

 

Build Understanding

As you locate PokeStops, record in your Tag Journal the point of interest by describing the landmark or building. Take a photograph to add to your Tag Journal as well. Make a point of researching this point of interest and recording your research alongside the photograph and description in your Tag Journal.

 

Apply Learning

When you have finished researching a few local points of interest, consider starting a blog to post your findings. It might be of significant interest to others in your area, or to others far away, to learn more about your area and what you are finding out. Including a few of your Pokemon photos in the mix would be a fun activity as well, to blend the new and the old as a living portrait of your area. 

 

Love Walk icon by Iconathon.

Pokemon GO icon by Mateus Leal.

From the Noun Project.


Existential

A game is a funny thing in the way it virtualises our experiences in a way that we can turn on and then turn off and step back from. It renders the game as an artificial space that separates it from the big Real of our normal existence. One of the ways we can apply this same virtualisation to our normal existence, to step back from the big Real, is to engage in philosophical consideration, to question the rules, the boundaries, the meaning behind our existence.

In this learning activity we are going to philosophically consider Pokemon Go and the universe of Pokemon in order to better understand it and our relationship to it. 

Introduce the Topic

Consider what Pokemon Go is about - walking around, catching Pokemon, having Pokemon battle each other - what are your feelings on this? Put yourself in the shoes of the Pokemon, consider their natural instincts and their relationship with their trainers. As you are wandering around playing the game, give room to some of these existential thoughts. 

 

Build Understanding

Maintain a reflective diary in your Tag Journal on your thoughts as you walk around playing the game. What are some other questions you might consider in relation to the game and the world of Pokemon? For example, what do you think of your role in helping Pokemon to evolve and to get stronger? Write down as many questions as you can, and then leave them in your mind to gradually consider later.

 

Apply Learning

Incorporate your philosophical considerations into your playing of the game and reflect upon whether any of your Pokemon considerations have an impact on other parts of your life and how you live, such as your treatment of animals or your personal goals and self image. Read 'Pikachu and Nietzsche' for more philosophical points here to consider. 

 

Thinking icon by Michael V. Suriano.

Pokemon GO icon by Mateus Leal.

From the Noun Project.