Disrupt Reality Augment Reality Minecraft

Augmented Reality could DISRUPT Reality

Disrupt the traditional reality of schools and education by augmenting it.

Technology use in education can certainly speed up our use of paper. However, that use maintains things as they are. Why are we “inventing new gadgets to teach the same old stuff in a thinly disguised version of the same old way”? (Seymour Papert, 1972).

To disrupt the norm, we should try to urge the conversation about schools and computers in a new direction. Let’s talk about how to get students to learn together with computers and technology, not isolated individually in a corner at a computer terminal. Let’s talk about the unknown possibilities of creating new unknown ideas and projects. And let’s talk about Seymour Papert!

Papert’s work traces the ideas of Dewey, Montessori, and Piaget to his ideas about a method to teach students how to think and build with computers. His suggestions go far beyond a simple computer lab or a computer in every classroom. Seymour Papert urges us to integrate computer science into the entire curriculum.

What happens when we make room for student control of the artifacts they produce and the topics they study? Classrooms can change. Schools can change.

Disrupt reality: We can aim at something other than test scores and grade point averages.

Experimental programs where students use computers in new exploratory ways have grown to become curricular models. In the past three decades, Seymour Papert helped push at the edges of what tradition expects. The students in his pilot programs often surpassed the test performance of those students who completed the traditional course without technology.

So what are we waiting for?

Let’s consider what might come next. Join me in considering a radical leap to three-dimensional virtual learning environments (3DVLE) in the classroom. And for school use, let’s also consider more than individual virtual reality goggles.

The unknown landscape resides somewhere where students together explore a multi-user augmented reality space. This will allow for offline and online interactions to happen in tandem. With augmented reality, 3DVLE classroom spaces can remain markedly human and preserve the intangible qualities of working together.

Bryan Sanders
English Teacher & Creative EdTech Collaborator
I am a National Board Certified Teacher in the high school English classroom, which I see as an open space to integrate all content areas. I am not a ‘test answers at the back of the book’ teacher. I work to engage in authentic dialogue and inquiry with students about texts, and I help them to develop critical and questioning minds. I have 20 years of experience teaching and plan to continue.

Technology and the arts have a central place in my classroom and approach. Microsoft selected me as a 2018 Global Minecraft Mentor. I create a space for students to work with (not at) computers to create meaningful, well-written content that is also aesthetically pleasing and artistically cohesive. I believe that we have not yet fully harnessed the power and potential of computers. To this end, I have embarked upon my doctoral degree in Educational Leadership for Social Justice with a focus on Educational Technology.

You can count me among the innovators, the intellectuals, and the seekers. I work for social justice through education. I am currently researching and developing educational-use software to disrupt traditional K20 schooling practices.