After attending severaly technology conferences recently, there seems to be a movement in Educational Technology circles to get away from the tools and gadgets of EdTech, and more focused on authentic learning. I say this as I read numerous blogs and tweets from respected people in the educational technology community.
Now I am all for authentic learning and I think that a lot of districts, mine included, do not focus on authentic learning enough. Part of the reason that exists is because districts do not provide enough guidance for teaching teachers how to foster and develop authentic learning…but that is for another blog post.
As we focus more on authentic learning, we must understand that these oft maligned “tools” of technology are often times the driving force in authentic learning. Tools like Wallwisher, VoiceThread, and Google Squared (if you haven’t seen this yet, check it out!) help foster the authentic learning environment in your classroom. The next step is students using cellphones in the classroom (see my post below) and while that is a tool, the possibilities of it being used for authentic learning are just starting to be discovered.
I appreciate and respect the movement of tech conferences going toward authentic learning…but please, let’s not forget the tools of technology that help drive students’ learning. As the tools develop, so do the opportunities for better learning for our students.