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How to integrate Foursquare into the classroom

How to integrate Foursquare into the classroom

Author: Hasan Siddiqui

The objective of this packet is to provide an understanding of different ways to implement location based mobile applications in the classroom. This packet will focus on tutorials and example uses of  FourSquare.

I'm sure many of us have our iPhones, Android phones, or Windows Mobile phones that we use every day for calls,texts,emails,news,etc. The smartphone market has seen rapid growth in the past few years; smartphone usage has grown from 2% of cellphone users to 35% of users in 5 short years. Now our phones can pretty much do anything we need them to do, from:

brewing our coffee in the morning

to helping us sleep at night.


But is there a place for mobile software (phones or tablets) in helping to enhance the education process? There are some very good applications out there that take advantage of mobile technology and provide a good teaching tool. The scope of different types of applications is so big, that in this packet we will focus on location based applications and their use in the classroom.

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How to use Foursquare in the classroom

Foursqare is a location based social network service that launced in 2007 that allows users to share their locations, activities, and companions at different times and places. This is accomplished through "checking in" or posting your current location. This opens a variety of new ways to get students more involved in lessons. Here a few example uses of Foursquare.

  • Meetings- This application can be used as an attendence check on meetings outside of the classroom. An educator can check to see if group meetings are being attended by all members of the group if there are several groups.
  • Point system- Student can earn points based off of how often they check in at certain locations. An educator can track how often students check in at the lab or at study sessions.
  • Field Trips- Using the "list" feature, educators can create a list of places to visit in a certain area. They can include information and trvia about each of the different places.
  • Extracurricular Participation- Educators can use foursquare to encourage attendence of beneficial events. These can be events such as seminars or athletic events.
  • School's History- An educator can use this application to encourage students to check out the different historical sites of a univeristy or school.

Of course these are not all the uses. The possabilities are vast and do not neccesarily have to follow any of the mentioned examples. offers a list of over 30 example uses of this application.

Foursquare tutorial

A brief tutorial on how to use Foursquare on the Android™ operating system.