Sometimes I am in class and the battle begins at 7:27 in the morning. My students do not want to get up out of their seats to scan the daily AR triggers that I have placed in the front of the classroom. I get comments like “I hate this,” “why do we have to do this” and “why can’t you just tell us what to do?”
I laugh because whenever I present at conferences to other educators I get comments such as “your students must love your class” or “your students must be super engaged from the minute they walk in the door.”
There are challenges that come with teaching high school and my students do have many days when they wish to disengage.
However, I CANNOT ALLOW THIS — it would be irresponsible of me!!!
They do not mean that they hate AR, they actually really like AR. What they know is that in my class they cannot hide behind worksheets, busy work, or mind-numbing tasks.
When one student said “I hate that we have to do this,” my response was “you hate that you have to think deeply?” The student gave me a knowing smile.
The AR triggers in my classroom never scan to work that is simple and the kids know that. They know that the minute they get up out of their seats and scan the daily AR trigger in LAYAR they will be forced to wrestle with content, sometimes they will be even be in a state of cognitive dissonance(to quote my man Vygotsky)! They know that if they cut and paste something from wikipedia and do not elaborate upon it in their own words that they will get called out on it.
What I am doing with the infusion of the AR in my classroom culture is daring my students to think, to learn, to create their own content. Once we are fifteen minutes into each period every student has scanned the trigger and created a screencast based on the AR prompt and sent me self-authored content that has made their own thinking visible.
When I coax, nag, and demand that they get up out of their seats each day at the start of class — despite how much they protest — what I am really saying is “I DARE YOU TO LEARN!!”