Sometimes I struggle with whether or not to bring EVERY pop culture tidbit into the classroom. I mean….don’t students secretly think it’s a hoax to trick them into learning….?
Then I kick myself because what really makes an engaging teacher is the ability to connect classroom learning and life beyond the school walls. Why should it be so different “inside” school? Plus, what’s the harm in staying young at heart by playing games?
Enter Pokemon GO!
I’m a huge fan of teaching life lessons alongside of “school subjects.” It’s like the double whammy of instructional glory. That is exactly why you should use Pokemon GO to teach digital citizenship.
According to ITSE, there are 9 Essential Elements of Digital Citizenship. Parents and teachers alike should look for meaningful ways to discuss with children (the sooner the better) how to protect themselves and their personal information online.
Want some conversation starters to discuss digital citizenship within the lens of Pokemon GO?
Here are 5 questions to ask your kids (your biological kids and the kids you share the school year with) who are playing Pokemon GO!
What is your favorite Pokemon you’ve caught? Do you remember where you captured it?
Get them talking! Have them do some additional research using the Internet on their favorite Pokemon and report back to you. It’s never too early to hone digital research skills.
How do you think Pokemon GO works?
Talk about location tracking and geo-spacial mapping….and the importance of maps and privacy issues surrounding being tracked.
What are some precautions you should take when playing Pokemon GO?
Hopefully, their responses will come up with pedestrian safety (i.e.paying attention to where you walk) and something related to “stranger danger.” You can even squeeze in a conversation about wearing sunscreen.
Can you explain to me how to play Pokemon GO?
Being able to explain complicated processes is a skill that will serve children well in their future. It shows they understand how to describe a digital process using their own words.
How many eggs have you hatched?
This will give you an idea of how much exercise they’ve had in search of new Pokemon.
BONUS: reiterate the rules for making in app purchases. Part of being a digital citizen is understanding digital commerce. I don’t know about you but I won’t be doing any Pokemon shopping and my kid won’t be either. There’s no need to purchase any Poke Coins….get your walk on and reap the rewards of walking to the nearest Poke-stop!
Below are some of my favorite educational resources featuring Pokemon GO:
So, you don’t want to use Pokemon GO to teach digital citizenship? OK! You should still teach digital citizenship. To make it easier, check out one of my all time favorite websites, Common Sense Media, who has a fantastic unit on Digital citizenship…for free!
In full disclosure, I’m on level 13 with about 5,000XP points away from level 14. My husband is about 10,000 ahead of me….although I’m not sure how since I have a Poke-stop at my work. By the way, visiting that Poke-stop has helped me to reach my goal of 10,000 steps a day (on most days). SCORE!
So, what ways are you planning on incorporating Pokemon GO into your school day? I’d love to hear about it!