NEW YORK (Nov. 8, 2006)–A new study released today by Pokémon USA, Inc. indicates that both students and teachers found Pokémon Learning League to be an effective and engaging learning tool. Pokémon Learning League, www.PokemonLearningLeague.com, is a web-based educational suite of animated, interactive lessons in language arts, math, science, and life skills for grades 3-6. The study was conducted in fifth-grade classes in four diverse schools in four states to examine the program’s usefulness as a supplemental teaching resource and the learning outcomes produced through use of the program.
Today’s students have grown-up with technology, never having known the world without the power and fascination of the Internet. Accustomed to video games, instant messaging, and blogging, students need a classroom environment that incorporates technology in ways that are unique, stimulating and challenging. Results from the study, conducted by Heather Miller, Ed.M., show that Pokémon Learning League offers students a program of research-based curriculum lessons that garner a high level of interest and intrigue from the students. Miller stated in her concluding remarks, “Having Pokémon-related stories teach topics normally taught only in textbooks or worksheets was a thrilling prospect for most children in the pilot studies.”
Furthermore, the findings indicate that Pokémon Learning League was effective in helping students fully understand the academic concepts that were presented in the lessons. Pre-and post-lesson assessments illustrated significant gains in comprehension for all students. One student wrote that he liked the lesson on rock cycles because it was presented in an easy-to-understand way. The metaphor used to describe the rock cycle provided a vivid picture that the students could relate to and immediately grasp.
The researcher noted in her observations that the students’ enjoyment in learning was palpable during the lessons. The teachers also observed this enthusiasm for learning while students used Pokémon Learning League. Stephanie Pawlik, a fifth-grade teacher at Greenport Elementary School commented, “I was impressed with the storyline embedded in the content of the video. The children seemed genuinely interested in the story.” Students provided similar feedback for the math lesson on probability. Students who claimed prior to using Pokémon Learning League that they did not enjoy math found the probability lesson engaging and motivating, even expressing a desire to learn more.
Overall, students enjoyed the storylines and interactive challenges. Teachers welcomed the program’s utility as an introduction and review of curriculum topics that they are working on in class.
Miller outlined the educational and social value of Pokémon Learning League in the classroom:
–Strong visual representations of academic concepts helpful to students
–Natural style of character dialogue and collaboration with the Pokémon characters is appealing to students
–Adventurous story plots pull students into the curriculum content and sustain their interest
–Content is grade-level appropriate and adheres to the curriculum standards
–Spoken and written text helps reduce frustration and increase comprehension for struggling students
–Academic concepts closely align to the story plots and activities to provide a more pleasing and engaging lesson, e.g. in the story elements lesson, the characters must hike over a mountain to get to safety, and the mountain represents story structure.
The pilot program was conducted in four schools: Maria L. Baldwin School, Cambridge, Mass; Weston School, Manchester, N.H.; Sanford Elementary School, Moundsville, W.V.; and Greenport Elementary School, Greenport, N.Y. The schools represented a racially, ethnically, and socio-economically diverse student population. Students with a range of abilities and needs, including ELL and special education students, participated in the program.
Several research methods were used to qualitatively and quantitatively measure the effectiveness of Pokémon Learning League: in-person observations and interviews; teacher journals; pre- and post-topic assessments; second viewing of lessons; and teacher and student evaluations after each lesson and at the close of the program.
Pokémon used the results of the pilot program to improve the product and inform further product development to ensure Pokémon Learning League meets the needs of educators and students. In addition, product development was guided by a team of veteran educators with experience in teaching, instructional technology and the various content areas.
Pokémon Learning League is available to educators and students, as well as families, for a free trial through Dec. 31, 2006. Starting in Jan. 2007, a paid yearly subscription will be available for family, classroom, school and district rates.
For more information about the study, visit the About Us section at www.PokemonLearningLeague.com.
About Pokémon USA
Pokémon USA, Inc., a subsidiary of The Pokémon Company in Japan, manages the property outside of Asia and the Pokémon Trading Card Game outside of Japan. This includes licensing, marketing, an animated TV series, home entertainment, the official Pokémon website, and online retail center pokemoncenter.com. Celebrating its 10th worldwide anniversary in 2006, Pokémon was launched in Japan in 1996 for play on Nintendo’s Game Boy® and has since evolved into a global cultural phenomenon. Pokémon was introduced in North America in September 1998 and today is one of the most popular toy and entertainment properties in the world. For more information, visit pokemon.com.