I think it is extremely important that teachers find ways to connect with what students know and have interest in, so that we can leverage their prior-knowledge and interests for an improved learning experience. I am currently teaching an App Development unit in my Year 9 IT class. I was explaining to students last week what they were required to do in their Design stage task. Some students were getting confused so I quickly made a connection to what we were doing (designing an app to help the community) to the new Pokemon GO game app.
What an excellent way to grab your students’ attention! Use what they know, what they enjoy and are interested in and you’ve got them hooked! Plus, I could tell that many of my students were impressed that I was playing Pokemon GO myself and so that has led to more conversations which obviously builds on our teacher-student relationships.
To further support my students’ learning, I add more content, tasks and videos to my private teaching website. I have been taking photos of my Pokemon GO gaming so that I can continue to use this as an example. Here are copies of some parts of my teaching website for the Design stage of their app development (click on an image to open the slideshow):