What does Pokemon Go teach me about pedagogy

When I was in primary school, a Japanese animated series named “Pokemon”  caught everyone’s eyes. We wish someday we can have our own pokemon. Thanks to Pokemon go, our dream finally came true. It’s no wonder that Pokemon Go is the most hottest game in the world and millions of people (of course me included) crazy about it.

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Pokemon is not only about catch pikachu or other pokemons, it’s a good example of teaching environment.

Why is Pokemon Go so popular?

  • Explore. Actually, there is no guideline in Pokemon Go. No one teach you how to play this game, they only give you some hints. What you can do in Pokemon Go is involve and get your first hand experience and you will learn from your experience. Pokemon Go is all about adventure. You never know what will happen in the next corner, may be a pokemon you never caught, may be a pokemon with high combating power, maybe a pokemon you don’t like. If you want catch a new type pokemon, you may even need to explore to other places you never went to before. However, I love this adventure, I love the happiness when I encounter something new. I love the process when I explore.
  • Cooperation and Competition. In Pokemon Go, if you achieve level 5, you can choose a team to join, whether red, yellow or blue. There are several Gyms around you, you can combat with other teams to occupy the gym. If you succeed, you team color the your pokemon will appear in the gym and people will see it from a far distance. The combating process needs the cooperation of team members and you should be strategic in deciding which pokemon to use. In addition, even if you successfully occupy the gym, you can use your pokemon to help your own team build the combat power in this gym and lessen the possibility to be beaten by others. I think Pokemon Go provide a good mechanism full of incentives and risks, which makes us enjoy the cooperation and competition in this process.
  • Communication. In my own experience, you may not achieve great success without communicate with others. Since there’s no guideline in Pokemon Go, all you have is the experience from you and others. We all now, the sample size of one person is too limited, you won’t have the energy or time to explore all and identify all the possibilities. With the help of  others, you can enlarge the sample size and easily get the information. Based on the information, you can find some spots where rare pokemon may appear. You can also get strategies in the game. What’s more, in pokemon’s world, items may exhibit positive externalities (A jargon in economics, describes something one does that create a positive influence for others). For instance, if you use lure module in one spot, other nearby players will all benefit from it. With communication, you can know this information and share benefit with others.
  • Decide your own goal. There is no general “success” rule in Pokemon Go. Some people are fans of pikachu, so they may want catch as many pikachu as possible. Some people love combating, so they want conquer as many gyms as possible. Some people may enjoy collection, so they want collect as many types as possible. In this world, all the thing is your call and you can decide all by your personality and interest.
  • Effort based. Although luck may play some role in Pokemon Go, but generally, Pokemon Go is effort based. If you explore more, you have a highly chance to get more pokemons and you can see your progress day by day.
  • Interactive and technology. Technology make Pokemon Go possible and let pokemons enter our world. Pokemon is no longer something in imagination, it’s the cute babies live in your phone and may “interact” with you in the real life.


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What we can learn from Pokemon?

  • Education can be a journey with exploration. All the students have the creativity and have the learning experience, they just need some hints help them go through. As a teacher, we need find the way which can lead student’s passion and help them feel the beauty of the materials. We are not the people who teach them knowledge, we are the people who lead them explore the world.
  • We can design some interesting and helpful mechanism that contains both cooperation and completion. This mechanism stimulates students’ enthusiasm and make them feel accomplishment.
  • Help students communicate. Communication is always a good way of learning. Sometimes, you may feel lonely when you study alone. Study teams may help digest knowledge, and you may get a good friendship at end.
  • Don’t push students, let them decide what’s their interest and how can they achieve it. As a teacher, you just provide a healthy environment, but they are the owner of their life.
  • Incorporate technology. Nowadays, cool technology always catch people’s eyes. If we can incorporate cool and interactive technology-based teaching in our class, it would be more interesting.
  • Grow with students together. Like you grow with your Pokemon.

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Reposted with permission from weizhe11

Who am I…?

Have you ever had a tough time in classes when you want to say something and the moment is suddenly gone?

Have you ever thought so deeply about the answer to a question that by the time you reach a thoughtful conclusion it is too late?

Have you ever raised your hand in class and slowly lowered it because the professor did not notice or you decided to not say what you had to say anymore?

Well…that is me for sure! I am an Introvert!


And quite frankly I am completely satisfied with it. I believe that it is a part of my true authentic self. Yes! I know you all are getting ready to write your blogs about your authentic teaching self. For the past few weeks spending time with you all in class has been a fantastic experience for me.

As I read your blogs every week, I observe that you are making the connections, that you are trying, that you are putting forth your ideas for us related to the information we present for your perusal. And even though in the moment it may be confusing, disorganized or elusive, you are sharing your thoughts about the concepts presented and I enjoy reading your thoughts SO much. But, something is missing…

Last Spring, when I took GEDI, something was missing for me too till I got to the post about MY true authentic teaching self…you know what it was? My voice…because


Yes they do…and yet, I realized while I wrote this post last year that my voice and being able to communicate my ideas IN CLASS was super important. Not only for the benefit of my professor or my participation but because I needed to hear my voice in the classroom in order to find and be my true authentic self. Some of you may be inspired by my post, some intimidated and some not find it useful…but I know one thing – I want to hear your voice. I want you to speak up, I want you to raise your hand and keep it raised till you are called upon to speak.

You know who you are –


Let us hear you speak!


“Help Me Grok it and I’ll Help You Make it Real” / Filtering Forward the High Value Trails

Grok Hybrids?

Wednesday’s webinar and twitter chat with Hypothes.is founders Jon Udell and Jeremy Dean — masterfully MC’d by OpenLearning17′Gardner Campbell — gave me so much food for thought.  We are starting to use Hypothes.is in the graduate pedagogy class I teach and we read “Working Openly on the Web” (7 Ways to Think like a Web) during the first week of class. So getting to listen to these three in action was a huge treat.

Our jumping off point  was Vannevar Bush’s “As We May Think,” published in the Atlantic in 1945 as the imperative to leverage the technological innovations of wartime to more peaceful purposes seemed especially compelling.  Bush’s vision of the memex – a computerized combination of note cards, annotations and information sources that could extend the reach (capacity) of any one learner by integrating that individual’s knowledge with the sources that informed it in a durable medium that could then be used and developed by others — underpins web annotation projects such as Hypothes.is. It also supports networked learning frameworks that facilitate collaborative learning, knowledge production and reflection.

As a historian, I’ve been intrigued by Hypothes.is since it first came to my attention last year. Historians are trained to think about how knowledge is produced and organized as an essential element of the research process: What was the author of this essay, article, book trying to say? Why was this archive created? Why are the records organized the way they are? Why did they keep what they kept? What are the assumptions behind the Dewey decimal or LOC cataloguing systems? In what context was this book, manuscript, court record, ship’s manifest created?)

Once you have a handle on those questions you need to figure out how to find where the resources you want to consult are and how to get to them. There is a dialogic process to this that involves reading, searching, thinking, taking notes, making lists, thinking, reading more, going back to your bibliography, supplementing it with new things you find, reading those things, taking more notes, thinking, going back to the older notes, etc…..I realize as I’m typing that this I might be describing a pretty generic research practice for many fields….

Anyway, at some point in there, I think two conceptual maps of a project emerge that overlay each other. The first is defined by types of sources — not so much a list, like a bibliography — but more like a grid of different kinds of evidence with points of overlap as well as nodes of distinction and empty spaces that still need to be filled in. The empty spaces let you know what you need to keep looking for and what silences your work might have to address. The points of overlap provide nuance, depth and corroboration, and the points of distinction raise new questions, redirect the inquiry or foreground a significant problem that might not have been evident when considering one source in isolation.

The second structure comprises the notes and annotations that are attached to those sources but also connected to each other (in your head or on a piece of paper or in your word processor) by the interpretation you are developing about the evidence. I see Hypothes.is as a medium through which those annotations can be assembled AND shared, which is just mind-blowingly wonderful.  (Hypothes.is annotations for “As We May Think” are here.) While the analog or un-networked digital version of note taking certainly allows for all kinds of remixing and re-purposing, with Hypothes.is the annotations can themselves become nodes on or elements of a new kind of crowd / collaborative / collective “source” – a distributed conversation about a particular web page. We’re used to thinking about different kinds of sources: primary, secondary, web-based, archival, print, biographical, testimonial, etc.. Maybe a set of Hypothes.is annotations on a particular article would be a Web 3.0 source? A networked source? A memex-cubed source?

Two points in the wide-ranging Twitter chat especially resonated with me. We had been talking about how Hypothes.is helped realize Bush’s vision of “associative trails” and I asked if Jon and Jeremy saw those trails as supplements to or replacements for conventional taxonomies. Jon thought they were complementary, and Jeremy cautioned that the annotations alone might not constitute “trails” — they needed to be connected or flagged somehow, perhaps by a tag. (I like  the metaphor of trail blazes.)




So, annotations become associative trails when they are marked out by tags or blazes — or any durable and accessible symbolic representation of the cognitive framework that helps you knit meaning into the tapestry (or navigate the cacophony?) of information about the world. And those trails serve as jet-packed complement to the conventional taxonomies for organizing knowledge. YES!!!!!

But how to get to the trails you really want or need? I’m imagining a future when a good chunk of the web has been trailed by Hypothes.is. And I’m imagining that all trails will not be created equal.  I won’t be able to read it all, and I don’t want to fall down a rabbit hole without some warning, so how am I going to know where the good stuff is? How will the high value trails get  filtered forward?

And here came the second nugget moment: Jon Udell responded to a query about this by saying “Help me grok it and I’ll help you make it real.”

Oh wow.

I’m pretty  sure I haven’t groked* it myself.  But here goes:

As teachers we spend a lot of time helping students learn how to find, sort through and evaluate resources. (Crane Librarian has spoken to the challenges of doing that in the library.) And as researchers our own successes (and failures) in finding the sources and communities we need depend largely on a somewhat ineffable combination of content expertise / experience, and skill — the “scaffolding” we’re always talking about providing and developing for learners. In this sense, I do feel like I have groked the research process. But the prospect of having something so powerful and potentially overwhelming as a Hypothes.ized web makes me think I’ll need to develop another kind of sensibility and that the trails and webs marked out by Hypothes.is will need some kind of context sensitive markers to help direct individual users where they want to go.  At the most basic level this would be a system whereby spam and trolls (they are, I fear inevitable) could be marginalized. But even more valuable would be a marker that would flag certain kinds of annotations — and the connections between them — and also allow for the dynamic process of ongoing annotation. What would that look like? I don’t know yet. But it would be cool. And I think it’s worth thinking about. I know I’m hoping for something that would make the web more akin to Doug Dorst’s and J. J. Abram’s book S. and would not like to see a set of user-conditioned algorithms  turn Hypothes.is into a colonial outpost of my Facebook feed.  It also seems that the conceptualization behind sites like Jon Stewart’s Open Note Database project could be really helpful. I’m just not sure how.

So there you go. Not at all groked, I’m afraid. But maybe glimpsed as a desirable future? Thanks for encouraging me to think about this. I will continue to do so.

*my working understanding of “grok” falls closer to the flower child sense of mastery that is so intuitive it feels innate than the techie understanding of internalizing a concept so completely it feels like second nature. But grok is also the only Martian word I know, so that might be an issue.

Too Big to Know: Monday Morning Live Tweet Class with David Weinberger

Too Big To Know

Greetings Open Learners!

We have a late-breaking, serendipitous opportunity tomorrow morning to talk about David Weinberger’s book, Too Big To Know on Twitter. Weinberger, a philosopher and technologist who writes about the effects of the internet on human relationships, is currently a senior researcher at Harvard’s  Berkman Center. In light of current discussions about the nature of facts and their alternatives, the book’s subtitle — “Rethinking Knowledge
Now that the Facts aren’t the Facts,
Experts are Everywhere, and
the Smartest Person in the Room
is the Room.”   — is especially compelling.

Dr. Weinberger will be Skyping into Tom Ewing‘s undergraduate course on Data in Social Context at Virginia Tech  to talk about Too Big To Know with Tom and his students.

I will be live tweeting the conversation tomorrow (Monday) from 10:10 to 11:00 am EST. If you’re familiar with the book or Weinberger’s work please join us. And if you aren’t please join us anyway!  You can follow along and send questions and thoughts to #Openlearning17 and #Faccollab.

Followers of #gedivt — I will try to flag you all as well, but the best bet would be to check #OpenLearning17

Twitter Handles: Data in Social Context: @DiSCVT ;David Weinberger: @dweinberger ; Tom Ewing: @EThomasEwing