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Learning by Walking - Pokémon Go and Mobile Technology in Formal Education
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Computer and System science. (Forum för digitalisering (FODI))
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5392-7198
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7140-8407
2017 (English)In: ICERI2017 Proceedings / [ed] L. Gómez Chova, A. López Martínez and I. Candel Torres, Valencia, Spain: The International Academy of Technology, Education and Development, 2017, Vol. 10, p. 1172-1179Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Peripatetic group learning has a long history that dates back to the walking sessions that Plato and Aristotle led in the Lyceum of Athens. Other teachers in ancient Greece also frequently used play and physical training didactically. Pokémon Go has a relatively short history (starting in the summer of 2016), but this location-based game had a faster global spread than anyone could have imagined. In the first week after its release, the game became the most downloaded app in history. In Pokémon Go, the players use real-world maps on which buildings, roads and water are correctly indicated. The game is played on mobile devices; the Pokémon figures pop up on maps and can be captured with virtual balls. To catch the Pokémon figures, players must physically move to the place where the figure is located; thus, unlike most other digital games, Pokémon Go involves outdoor activities such as long walks.

With its high degree of physical activity, Pokémon Go has attracted researchers’ attention for use as an exergame. Several researchers are also looking at Pokémon Go’s use as an augmented-reality game. In this study, the focus is on Pokémon Go’s use as a mobile-learning game and on the potential for outdoor activities in formal education. In this study, two primary school classes used the game for learning sessions in mathematics and social science. The aim of this study is to discuss students’ expressions regarding how a location-based game such as Pokémon Go could be used as a tool for outdoor activities in formal education.

Each primary school class was divided into groups of three to four students each for planned lessons that included walks. Each group had one or two smartphones to stimulate collaboration between students. The walks included PokéStops where teachers conducted planned sessions; later, the teachers followed up on the outdoor lessons within a traditional classroom setting. Data were gathered from group interviews with the students who participated in the outdoor sessions involving Pokémon Go. The collected data were then analysed and categorised via a thematic analysis.

The findings show that Pokémon Go can be seen as a learning-stimulating game that could augment traditional teaching sessions in formal education. Students reported that they enjoyed catching the Pokémon figures the most, but some students also mentioned that they appreciated the math assignments and liked learning about the statues that they passed during the walkings. The most positive findings were that there were concrete learning outcomes and that this mobile, game-based educational setting seemed to encourage students to engage in collaborative learning. However, Pokémon Go is not an all-encompassing solution for the ongoing digitalisation of primary school. The conclusion is rather that location-based games have the potential to vitalise formal education, provided that they are carefully integrated into the curriculum.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Valencia, Spain: The International Academy of Technology, Education and Development, 2017. Vol. 10, p. 1172-1179
Series
ICERI Proceedings, ISSN 2340-1095 ; 10
Keywords [en]
Game-based learning, location-based games, mobile learning, outdoor learning, peripatetic group learning, Pokémon Go
National Category
Didactics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-32104DOI: 10.21125/iceri.2017.0394ISI: 000429975301044ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-32104DiVA, id: diva2:1158380
Conference
10th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, Seville, Spain, NOV 16-18, 2017
Available from: 2017-11-20 Created: 2017-11-20 Last updated: 2018-05-30Bibliographically approved

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Mozelius, PeterEriksson Bergström, SofiaJaldemark, Jimmy
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