SCVNGR is the type of app that highlights the power of being mobile.  The main goal of SCVNGR is going places, doing challenges, and earning points.  You can do other people’s challenges or create your own.  The heart of the program is connecting the challenge to a physical place that then turns into a social experience.  The website also allows you to create Treks.  Treks are a collection of challenges that can take place at one site or cover different places to travel to.

SCVNGR has done a great job in the design of their app.  Every challenge has the same four parts to it: Check-in, Social Check-in, Say something, and Snap a picture. When a place has been tagged in a challenge, every player has these options.  The fun comes in the unique challenge you create at that location.  There are two ways to create a challenge.  The first is by gaining enough points at that location and unlocking the bonus Create a challenge option.  The second is to make an account on SCVNGR’s website and build challenges or treks through the site.  You get four challenges with your account; you can email SCVNGR to ask for more challenges.  There is also a reward option you can unlock by contacting SCVNGR (click here for more info).

Why I like it:

It is fun.  It represents how mobile technology can be used to create a social and engaging experience.  Each Challenge or Trek has an activity feed that allows you to see how you stack up with other players. I used SCVNGR as the backbone of my Creative Apps workshop.  I built a Trek that introduced SCVNGR and then used it to enhance the workshop.

The first part of the Trek was a photo challenge.  The participants had to find a specific plant.  I uploaded my picture of the plant, and they had to take their own picture once they found it.  Next, I had two trivia questions they had to answer by asking specific colleagues during breaks in the workshop.  If you were wondering, no, their answers were not on the activity feed, just their points.  I then incorporated three discussion questions around other parts of the workshop.  These challenges were added to the four template aspects mentioned above.

One aspect I enjoyed was adding media to the challenges.  You can add movie files, pictures, or audio to your challenges to create even more personal touches.  I filmed the instructions for one of the challenges and attached them to the game.

Use in the classroom:

I think this app has great potential for schools. Below are some ideas.

Create Treks for athletic teams, band concerts, or the speech team.  Time is not a factor for SCVNGR, so a Trek can be active for as long as you want.  For example, to get fans to follow your team, create a season Trek that has each game as a challenge.

Create a reading Trek for a semester.  The location would be the classroom, but each book can have its own challenge.

Visit historical sites, or set up a Trek before a field trip allowing you to ask trivia questions, gather photos, and just create a more engaging trip.

Collect samples of plants for science class.

SCVNGR is one of those apps that reveals the power mobile technology has to enhance our everyday life, let alone what it can do for the classroom.  I think you will find SCVNGR to be a great resource. Share your SCVNGR successes with me via Twitter (jdog90).

In case you are ever in Kearney, NE, and enjoy coffee, I have a Trek, “Better Latte Than Never” you might enjoy.

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