Pokemon Go

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Executive Summary
We downloaded Pokeomon Go to see what all the fuss was about and were intrigued when our experiences as a family matched the game creators aims. Technology delivering on what it set out to do isn’t something that happens every day in education.

Equally, when was the last time that a product launched that so much was written about the game? The amount that’s been written about Pokemon Go in the last 6 weeks has been astounding. We are sure there are a lot of EdTech companies who would love to have this kind of exposure when their product or service was launched.

We decided to explore the game by curating and listening to what educators were saying about Pokemon Go.  When reviewing these articles in relation to Digital Citizenship we organized the data under the following headings: The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship, The way ideas get adopted and The Technology Adoption Cycle, we consider the cost of Free EdTech before exploring the views of K12 educators and college staff before exploring some of the articles with safety advice, advice for parents, the health benefits and the social impact of the game.

For any educators who are already exploring the game we have some Subject Related Ideas. This is something that our friends at the ISTE Games and Simulations PLN added to with some fantastic content regarding how educators can take advantage of all the Pokemon Go buzz

We take a look at the background of the company that created Pokemon Go, and hopefully provide the basis of a social studies lesson by asking have things changed all that much between the 1850’s, Niantic CEO’s childhood days and today.

We also hope that there is a digital literacy lesson here and highlight the need for critical thinking when reading new articles.

The Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship
Through our amazing PLN Eugenia Tamez provided some ideas around how she is using Pokemon Go to explore the nine elements of Digital Citizenship. This then led to DigCit Kids Ambassador, Curran Dee, coming up with a Pokemon themed poster.

Going on a Pokehunt (1)

Pokestops… And a Lot of Pokeballs
There has been a good deal written about people going off the beaten track in their attempts to “Catch em all” leading some news providers and commentators to speculate about the dangers of the game. We attempt to unravel the facts from fiction by detailing the criteria for Pokestops, the creators views on safety and education, examples where pokestops have been removed and that businesses can now request to be a Pokestop. We also consider whether schools should be Pokestops 

Technology Adoption Cycle
Given the number of sales calls educators get, the number of exhibitors at education events and all the requests EdTech companies put in to ask for testimonials etc, then comparing with Pokemon Go rolling out overnight. We felt this was something worth exploring!

We offer some explanations for Pokemon Go impressive adoption and demonstrates how this overnight success has been years in the planning. These are ideas that DigCit Leaders could perhaps use with colleagues in their advocacy work encouraging colleagues to become connected educators.

Tech Adoption Cycle

Free EdTech
Pokemon Go may not have had such a rapid level of uptake if it wasn’t free. This is a commercial game which is making $1.6 million a day in the US through in-app purchases and may be promoting businesses in the near future. We highlight some stories regarding the games’ commercial interests to help educators weigh up the implications of the free game.

Educators Views
We highlight the merits of the ideas from the “The Technology Cycle” section by looking at some of the articles that educators have written about Pokemon Go which detail why some educators are either fans, ambivalent about, or are detractors of the game in education.

We hope that this section adds value to the Technology Adoption Cycle section and the importance of identifying the proponents and early users and giving them the space to discuss new ideas.

Crossing the Chasm

College Views
For all that has been written about Pokemon Go in education most schools have been off since the game came out and the one education institution that has had experience of students playing the game is Universities, where the experience has been overwhelmingly positive. We look at universities early experiences of the game.


DigCit PLN Pokemon Go Safety Advice
We look at some of the safety advice that universities, police departments, educators and parents have produced to help people stay safe when playing Pokemon Go. We also look at some of the health benefits of playing the game and highlight stories that detail the social impact of Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go Homework Challenge & Subject Related Ideas
For those who are at schools who are already embracing the game we share some ideas that educators have come up with about how Pokemon Go could be used in different subjects. For educators who are not able to explore the learning potential during the school day, check out the Homework Challenge

ISTE Games and Simulations Network
The Games PLN looks at a whole range of topics like game based learning, augmented reality, gaming and transferrable skills, other AR games, Metagame book club and #Pokeblitz.

ISTE DigCit PLN Pokemon Go – Back to School Advice Resources

Digital Citizenship Institute Website
Tech Stories Website
Full Report (PDF)
Declara Pokemon Go Collections
DigCit PLN Pokemon Go Pinterest Board



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