EDDL 5151 Blog Post 1

As a Grade 8 middle school teacher, in a rapidly expanding suburb of metro Vancouver, in a retrofitted high school in its first year, the themes are growth and change. Inevitably, the demand for near instantaneous adaptability comes rushing through systemic cracks in waves of despair. Yet those threatening waters can be harnessed by nimble educators and adventurous students. The energy and vitality that can seem so overwhelming, is also exciting, and animating. The trick then, is to keep your head above water, and enjoy the ride.

Technological innovation, perhaps the greatest disruptor of formalized education is constantly moving forward and presenting new opportunities and pitfalls for teachers and students. As a lifetime tech aficionado, I find this exciting and frustrating. Exciting because there are a great many new and exciting technologies to explore, particularly in the realm of “A.R.”, Augmented Reality. Frustrating, because I so often find myself running up against technological and bureaucratic barriers. Technological, in that the devices provided to students by school districts are generally two or three generations behind the current hardware iterations. Bureaucratic, in that trying to get any individual application permitted / supported can take months, if not years.

Perhaps the one saving grace is that the vast majority of my students have personal technology, most often smartphones, that have hardware that is up to the challenge. Of course, the ubiquity of smartphones in the classroom comes with its own set of caveats. Of course, in light of the current pandemic and the resulting educational upheavals, smartphones have often been a saving grace; in our district, the ability for students to install the Teams app on their phones. I suppose the question I’m gravitating towards is, what role should augmented reality, play in the contemporary classroom?

This is a very broad question, and so I imagine I will have to narrow it down as I move forward, however it does give me a starting point as I begin to explore the literature, and ideas that come to the forefront as I engage with classmates.

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