The Pokémon Go Effect: How Augmented Reality Could Reshape Classrooms Via Better Education Apps
During the summer months, children across the nation could be observed exploring various locations, such as neighborhoods, beaches, and malls, all in search of Pokémon. This was made possible by an application that integrates virtual reality with the real world. Through Pokémon Go, players were able to view maps of their surroundings on their mobile devices, with virtual characters placed over the actual environment. These characters could be captured and used to interact with other players in the game.
Instead of staying indoors and playing video games, children were motivated to step outside and wander around, discovering new areas they may not have otherwise visited. As they traversed between the real world and the Pokémon world, they engaged in an active and immersive experience.
Tim Hudson, the vice president of DreamBox Learning, believes that the high level of involvement encouraged by augmented reality can be effectively utilized in educational media. He refers to the DreamBox app, a ten-year-old program that incorporates characters and missions into math assignments, providing students with a captivating learning experience.
According to Hudson, Pokémon Go is captivating due to unexpected surprises and the thrill of collecting characters. Similarly, in DreamBox, students progress through math tasks as they follow their own unique path. Additionally, the ability to select and customize characters in the app, as well as send them on missions, holds great potential.
Mark Cheben, the global marketing manager at EON Reality, supports the idea of personal paths in education. He states that augmented reality reinforces key concepts by allowing students to visualize their learning, leading to a deeper understanding. By gamifying the learning process, augmented reality empowers students to independently seek information and make choices along the way.
Cheben also highlights the impact of Pokémon on augmented reality, making it more accessible and user-friendly for the average person. Augmented reality is no longer confined to technical or niche devices like Google Glass. Simply overlaying virtual objects onto the real world can create engaging and useful experiences that aid in information retention.
While EON Reality focuses on science, DreamBox specializes in math education. Hudson acknowledges that students often feel that math is imposed upon them, as they are simply answering questions without fully understanding why. In DreamBox, students are encouraged to think independently and find their own solution path, providing a hands-on learning approach.
Moving forward, Hudson hopes that classrooms can implement the student engagement seen in Pokémon Go as a foundation for cultivating even greater enthusiasm for learning. He suggests exploring the design and motivational aspects of the game to enhance the learning experience in the classroom.
Hudson concludes by stating that Pokémon Go is not the ultimate solution for college and career readiness, but he encourages educators to consider how its design and motivational elements can be employed in the classroom.