Fun ideas testing new stuff

Pokemon Go @ School

If you work in a school, you are going to have to deal with the fact that students (and teachers) are going to play this during class time. I know some of you’ve built great digital citizenship at your schools and have guidelines in place like: games allowed during break only etc… but this is going to push all the boundaries you have in place.

Get behind it or on top of it, you can not ignore it.


It’s only just been released, it hits the sweet point of everyone under 25 and the gamers/geeks above that. It’s family friendly and firmly rooted in our pop culture. This will be somewhat of a storm in a teacup when you return to school after these holidays, it will eventually die back down in popularity but there will remain a large portion of users that are dedicated. So take the initiative and set the expectations your school or classroom has about Pokemon Go. I hope you get behind it because there are some great opportunities for learning and some very cool things you could do.

Below we’ll look at what you need to be aware of and share some ideas of what you can take advantage of too. You can check their support page for most FAQs about the app and if you still have a question just ask it in our comments section.


Start now

Simply put, decide which side of the fence you sit on and get into it, either Gotta catch ’em all or No pokemon for you. Once you’ve made that decision you need to decide how you’re going to respond, then you’re going to need to send some emails.

Gotta Catch ’Em All

  • Post to Facebook the pokemon seen at your school
  • Introduce the gym or pokespot and the significance of the artwork/landmark
    • Let them know the school will be running events around Pokemon Go
  • Run weekly competitions
    • Biggest catch
    • Most number of specific type of Pokemon
    • Most number of Eggs hatched in a week
  • Check the Learning Opportunities section below and share some ideas with relevant staff

No Pokemon For You

  • Send your staff an email reminding them about your schools policy for games and the use of devices on school grounds
    • If you don’t have a policy for that, consider this an appropriate time to make one
  • Alert them to Pokemon Go and the expected usage at school and ask them to be vigilant in maintaining the school policy
  • If you have a welcome back assembly or morning news, put a piece in about Pokemon Go
    • “I’ve had a much more active term break thanks to Pokemon Go, but I would take this opportunity to ask you all to leave our wild pokemon in peace during school hours and I invite you to battle at the [insert local gym location] gym after school.”



There will be injuries to people and damage to devices, the game is played in an app via interacting with real physical locations. Make sure your schools policy about damage to personal devices is up to date/exists and be mindful that there are going to be a few injuries from people not being mindful.

Ensure any physical dangers are clearly signed and take the time to inspect the area before students return. Just imagine what damage a blindfolded person would do to themselves in that area, an impromptu rope fence could save a bunch of drama.



PokestopYour school will either have a “Pokestop” on it, or very very close to it, so about 25m around it will become a congregation point.

Pokestops are real artworks or landmarks, in the app you can interact with them to randomly generate items you need to catch pokemon. There is a cool down period of 5 minutes after each interaction. You can also install lure modules into the pokestop that increase the number of pokemon in the immediate area.

There is a lot about community and communication in this game, it is mostly a single player affair even with the Gym component it doesn’t really require a great deal of team work. It does encourage a “look at what I’ve got” sort of thing though and mostly (thanks to the Pokemon series) this is taken as “Well done!” sort of approach, Ash and Pikachu would be disappointed in unfriendly behaviour. Also nobody wants to be thought of as being bad to their pokemon, even Team Rocket (the antagonists) are the most naive of evil characters.

This means that these points of congregation are going to be lively but in general very positive.

Gotta Catch ’Em All

  • Put out signage advertising known pokemon that can be caught
    • Provide seating or umbrellas/shelter
  • Add Lure modules at specific break times you advertise to students

No Pokemon For You

  • Station a duty roster to the position
  • Signage reminding of the school policy and consequences



GymIf your school has a Gym (in Pokemon Go) on or near it then things are a little different,  it will be a congregation point.

Gyms are real artworks or landmarks, in the app you can interact with them to battle other teams. There are three teams Yellow Blue & Red, any current resident team colours will be added to the Gym image.

Though still mostly positive and also the only teamwork reliant aspect of Pokemon Go, Gym battles are inherently team versus team. There will be some banter and interaction between rival teams but like everything in Pokemon, most people aren’t going to be huge jerks about it.

Gyms are owned by a team until all the stationed pokemon are defeated and another team takes up residence, rinse wash repeat.

Gotta Catch ’Em All

  • Arrange a battle royal
    • Prize is announcing the winner in the newsletter/website
  • Recognition of the top pokemon trainer at the gym at specific time of the week

No Pokemon For You

  • Same as for the Pokespot
  • Monitor for Gym ownership change
    • this would be a bit hypocritical though



Be aware Pokemon Go is GPS based and you must be in proximity to the landmark to interact with it. If you have one onsite, the general public will loiter around it at some point, especially if a Lure module is used.


Learning Opportunities


The combination of Combat Power (CP) and Hit Points (HP) that are increased through power ups and evolution currently hasn’t had it’s algorithm released. Nobody really knows but there are some likely variables (like the level of the player themselves).

  • As a class, work out the highest CP and HP of a Pidgey
  • Provide a graph of the increase of CP and HP
    • Starting level Pidgey of 10 CP
    • Ensure the player level is no higher than 10
  • Estimate an equation that is likely to produce this outcome


    • Split into 3 groups
    • Triplicate the above exercise
      • Are the results consistent
      • What are the possible variables causing differences
    • Test estimated equation against similar and different pokemon

This can go on and on and we haven’t even reached “What effect does Evolution have on CP & HP?”, “Is there a consistent algorithm for all pokemon or just for types or not at all?” and “What is the cheapest way to max out an evolved Pokemon using stardust?”

Plus almost every pokemon has a different weight and height from each other that may or may not be related to the initial CP the pokemon had when captured, can it proven there is a pattern and can it be reverse engineered to show what initial Pidgey capture a Pidgeotto with CP 199, HP 44, Weight 1.29kg, Height 0.93m?



There is so much you could look into and do with this that you could throw a pokeball and you’ll hit on something great. For those of you that have a rigid teaching plan in place, you could incorporate this by  getting students to submit there top 5 pokemon and their stats into a spreadsheet and then use that spreadsheet data instead of your carefully prepared donald duck and mickey mouse data.


Have a look at the Pokedex in the app – the descriptions are great and there are some very nice and simple explanations. Not to mention you can actually make them evolve which leads to some great conversations about what features remained and in what ways they improved, remember they live to battle other pokemon (battles end in a KO, not death). Also remember that pokemon are more often found where they would naturally occur, such Magicarp mostly being found near water.

  • Find 3 animals with a similar adaptation as a Nidoran pokemon
  • List 3 ways Spearow changes when it evolves into Fearow and describe likely factors that make this a positive adaptation (exclude battling as factor)


Also remember that pokemon are more often found where they would naturally occur, such Magicarp mostly being found near water, so there a few environment things you can tie into.

Tell us

There are so many ways to make Pokemon Go a really positive engagement at your school and we really look forward to hearing ideas and experiences of what the pioneering teachers out there come up with. Please let us know and share any of your ideas in the comments.

Apple how to ideas testing new stuff

Accessing iBooks from online

Just a proof of concept that uploading an iBook for parents at schools can happen as easily as a Parent iBook proof of concept download link.

How to get it working in WP

So you’re going to need to add a MIME type to your WordPress if you want to download iBooks from it =)

Go find a plugin

I’m not going to tell you to jump in and modify your function or phpconfigs – go find a plugin. I use Manage Upload Types v1.2  by Jeremy Madea you can get it by visiting the Manage Upload Type plugin site.

Once you have a MIME type configuration tool you will need to add the following type:

ibooks        application/x-ibooks+zip

It only took a little googling to find This solved my question Re: Ibooks – download website link not working on the Apple Support forums. So full kudos to v76yo who already did the hard work for us.

how to ideas Jump Old Posts testing new stuff

Drop in Jump page

While we are building the how-to on creating website layout for education we recognise that some of you out there need a solution for now. So with that in mind we have knocked up a quick Jump page that can be used to navigate between your disparate systems.

Fair warning: this solution is for those of you happy to play with HTML


Corpus Jump page

How do I make it work?

All you need to do is dump the unzipped contents of the download into the root HTML file of your site and then adjust the links and pics. The CSS will make sure the site is responsive and looks good on any device. It is licensed under Creative Commons 3.0 so feel free to modify, adapt and share it however you like.


Tips to tweak it

The images for the links are 640×360 (16:9 ratio) so they should look great even on a fullscreen 27″ iMac – looks sweet on an iPad too. BTW its also pretty small @388Kb!


Making icons look pretty

We will cover how to make sweet touch icons later but for now you might like this little helper to convert your logo image into every kind of webclip icon you’ll need with correct names including the favicon.

Webclip icons


Download it

We used the Corpus Christi College intranet as content for the template to show the site as a working demo.

Drop in Jump page

Apple how to Old Posts testing new stuff

iTunes U – Course image title bar colour

How obscure can those little finishing touches be?

Currently we’re doing a set of Course Images for an iTunes U course so we can get a College wide branding.

We wanted to now how to get the title of the course label across the bottom to be the colour we wanted. We could tell that it was automatically grabbed from the image and after some emails back and forth to Apple we found out that there is a specific pixel that is used to select the colour.

So we could brand each area with their colours and still have a nice constant look and feel we decided to try it out. Unfortunately  we had a bit of a communication break down and add to that nowhere on the net we could find the answer we just went off and trial by error found the right one. Thats when realised that engineers count different to us.


what I’d google search for this article: iTunes U course image title bar colour  how to set or change



Use the pixel as shown below 5 in and 5 up from the bottom left (starting on the first pixel as 0)


everyone else

Use the 6th pixel in from the left and 6th pixel from the bottom (starting on the first pixel as 1)


Its not really that confusing when you look at the picture:

iTunes U course title bar colour pice



The image has to be 600*600px…

yes we know that it says “or larger”, we tried uploading a 1200*1200px image on our first few times and it didn’t work. We adjusted the image size to 600px and it went up first shot.

We’ve been discussing if we should make an app for creating the cover images and setting the title bar colour if you’re interested just leave a comment  and we’ll let everyone know what happens.