When realities collide

By Frank Masel

Time and time again we look at the world through different lenses. As teachers, we get a first hand vision of what the values are, considering our daily interaction with our students. As adults of a certain age, we remember a world when we didn’t have technology attached to us at every waking moment.  With the introduction of technology into our lives, we have, for the most part, been able to separate our virtual presence from our physical.  Online is online and real life is real life, if you will.  

As I look at teenagers today, GenZ or the iGeneration, I wonder if they see their Instagram presence separate from their “real” life while they eat dinner with their friends and family.  Or, is their virtual presence and their physical presence one in the same? Are they able to seperate the kodak moments shared on their social media feeds with the day-to-day monotony?

Triángulo Apreciado plays on this ever changing, (technological) world. 
The second conexión introduces a topic that allows teenagers a chance to see if they separate “realities” or “mix” them.  Using Pokemon Go, that highly addictive game that allows you to “catch” Pokemon all around the world using your phone’s camera and the app, as a vehicle to think about blended realities, we wonder if students are fully aware of the appropriate etiquette while being digital in a day-to-day setting.  Is there an appropriate etiquette?  What is it?  These are questions students are pushed to explore and define as they work through a concept that can be quite confusing for a digital native. 

In the book, the students need to look at some images taken from an authentic news report about the virtual game and how it is changing the society we live in.  After discussion, they watch the clip a couple of times. It is cool to see how a game got everyone around the world so hooked! In the third step, the students are provided with some themes of discussion related to the topic, and finally they have to debate how far technology is taking us from our reality—is it too far?

The fact is that Pokemon Go may have already had its moment in the spotlight—maybe it is a done deal, but Harry Potter Wizards Unite has just started to take off.  And, given the popularity of these games that merge reality and virtual reality, there will probably be plenty more games like it.  Using Triángulo Apreciado, your students can define, create, or even become aware of rules to navigate through colliding worlds.  

Frank Masel’s study of World Language education includes a B.A. in Spanish with a French Minor from Berea College, and a M.A. in Teaching with a Concentration in Spanish Language from Eastern Kentucky University. His classroom experiences include teaching Spanish 1, 3 and AP® levels in Kentucky and Maryland, teaching English at a bilingual elementary school in Spain, and instructing college students as a professor. Masel currently teaches a variety of levels of Spanish and French at the Community College of Balitmore County just outside of Baltimore, Maryland.  Outside of the classroom, Masel is an exam consultant for the AP® Spanish Language and Culture exam with the College Board. 

Masel has contributed his teaching experiences to the author team for the Wayside Publishing title, Triángulo APreciado 6.ª with Cecilia HerreraLouis Baskinger, and John McMullan.

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