March 08, 2013
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
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
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).