Local Schools Deal With “Pokémon Go” In The Classrooms

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- The popular app "Pokémon Go" was released this summer and all of a sudden people everywhere were walking around looking for virtual Pokémon characters. In case you didn't know,"Pokémon Go" is a very popular app where players physically walk around the real world and look for virtual Pokémon characters to capture on their phones.

However, school is underway now and local teachers are concerned that students will become distracted while playing it.

Since classes started in the middle of August, the principal of Ramsey Junior High in Fort Smith said that so far they haven't seen many students playing the game in the hallways and doesn't think it will become a major problem overall. "It's really no different than walking down the hallway with your cell phone texting somebody," said Principal of Ramsey Junior High, Amy Manley.

The school keeps their passing periods short; students only have four minutes to get to their next class. As a result, there's not much time for students to play.

Teachers have been trying to think of unique ways to incorporate "Pokémon Go" into their lesson plans. School officials believe if teachers added this popular app to their curriculum, could really spark their students interests.

Teachers said there are several ways they can use the game in the classroom. "Even though it's a game, teachers can use the information that is part of the app for graphics," said Julie Cobb, Technology Integration Specialist. Cobb also said that teachers can help students learn about data by using the game to help teach lessons in statistics. In addition, Cobb added that "Pokemon Go" could be good for helping students write creative and unique writing prompts by helping them think outside the box.

"If students use it educationally we're all for it," said Manley.

The cell phone policy at Fort Smith Public Schools states that no cell phones are allowed in the classroom. Cell phones are only allowed during passing periods and lunch.