5 Ways in Which Pokemon Go Exemplifies 21st Century Learning

With all the recent news coverage about Pokemon Go, and because I am really impressed with the way libraries are responding to this trend (librarians rock!), I thought I’d take the opportunity to discuss how Pokemon Go can be seen as an exemplar of 21st century learning.

What makes Pokemon Go a valuable 21st century learning tool? Here are 5 ways.

  1. It’s a fun way to practice critical thinking and problem solving skills. Pokemon Go requires strategic thinking, and strategic thinking is central to successful problem solving.
  2. It’s collaborative. 21st century learning is all about collaboration, and Pokemon Go fosters a sense of teamwork, something so important to the collaborative process.
  3. It requires information literacy skills. Finding, evaluating, and synthesizing information coming from both the virtual and physical world is information literacy in practice.
  4. It promotes spatial thinking skills. With the explosion and increasing ubiquity of GIS technology, spatial thinking is an essential skill for 21st century learning. And spatial thinking is an important skill in STEM education.
  5. It’s an avenue to digital citizenship. Digital literacy, digital access, digital commerce (pokecoins), digital etiquette (and real world etiquette), and digital security (personal information) are just some of the elements that must be practiced or addressed during Pokemon Go play.

What makes Pokemon Go different from many other games is its transmediality. The physical world and virtual world truly collide in this transmedia game adventure. And because Pokemon Go is part of a much larger (and long-lived) transmedia franchise, librarians can take advantage of its many media platforms (graphic novels, videos, video games)  to promote multimodal literacy.

Pay attention librarians! Pokemon Go is not just a trendy new game. It also represents an advancement in the growth of this phenomenon we call transmedia storytelling. With transmedia storytelling, we are entering a new era of literacy, where the idea of reading is changing altogether to encompass reading in multiple modalities (multimodal literacy) in order to gain the full story.

 

 

Highlights from EdMedia 2016

Instead of attending the ALA conference this year, I chose to attend (and present at) the EdMedia conference that met in Vancouver, BC last week. EdMedia is sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). This is a conference worth going to for any academic librarian involved with embedded librarianship or instructional design and technology.

In this post, I will highlight some of the things I learned that are of particular importance to academic librarians:

On open education from keynote speaker, Laura Czerniewicz, Centre for Higher Education Development (CHED), South Africa:
  • Open education is always culturally and historically situated
  • Openness not always seen as a way to democratize knowledge (e.g., colonialism used openness to take aboriginal knowledge)
  • Inequitable access to technology infrastructure still a problem
  • Analog can be more open than digital, copyright a BIG issue
  • Click here to access the presentation slides
Jenni Parker from Murdoch University, Australia presented her research on an Authentic Online Community of Learning Framework for Higher Education, a must read for embedded and instructional design librarians

Keynote speaker, Saul Carliner from Concordia University, Canada presented Revolution or Evolution? Lessons from Nearly a Half Century of Computers and Learning

  • Much of the ed tech we use is evolutionary, new tools–same uses
  • Revolutionary tools change the way we teach, and two such tools are Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (yes!!)
    • These might be boring tools in the world of ed tech today, but much of what we do has evolved from these tools (e.g., word processing -> blogs; presentation slide structure serves as the foundation of much of e-learning today)