A week after the TESOL convention in Portland, I am still trying to unpack all the information I tried to absorb and one of the pieces I rediscovered today is SCVNGR, which came up in one of the many sessions I attended. Now this is going to be a bit of an adventure for us, because as awesome as this app sounded to me, I do not have a device that will run it, so you will just have to try it out and I will work on bringing an additional piece of technology into my life.
Here is what I know. SCVNGR, pronounced “scavenger,” is a free app for iPhones and Android phones (and tablets?) that taps into the GPS function and allows users to create and play scavenger hunts.
The site has some great videos to make this clearer and the possibilities for teaching and learning are very exciting. Imagine being able to create a scavenger hunt of your community or campus where students have small tasks to complete at various locations. If you have a statue with a plaque, students could be directed to that location and required to read the plaque to find the answer to a specific question. If your goal is just to get students out in the community, require students to submit picture evidence of themselves in various locations.
This seems like a very interactive way to get students to practice their English language skills while using their mobile devices. Teachers are finding more and more creative ways to actually encourage, rather than discourage, the use of mobile devices in the classroom. If you are looking to make the switch, try SCVNGR and let us know how it worked for you!