Authentic Learning’s Helping Hand

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.


About jjanczak

A secondary social science teacher jumping into the world of education technology and trying to make classrooms centered around technology the rule, not the exception in the school systems.
This entry was posted in Teaching, technology and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Authentic Learning’s Helping Hand

  1. jerridkruse says:

    I think the reason the dialogue shift has happened is because for too long the focus has been on gadgets….”how do I use X in class” without any focus on how to use the technology to actually increase student learning. Simply using a tool doesn’t equal better learning. How the tool is used is important. For example: google is a great tool, but only provides access to info. Students must be engaged with how to make sense of, organize and use the information. Just saying “use google in the classroom” actually makes VERY little sense, but that is what the edtech rhetoric has been for quite some time. I am glad the focus is shifting and actually think we still have a ways to go.

  2. jjanczak says:

    I like the perspective you provided, and you are right…for far too long the focus has been only on tools and gadgets and not at all on learning, my concern is that we are getting too far away from the new tools, and just focusing on the learning with the tools we already have and ignoring the newer ones that are coming out.

    There is a lot of new stuff coming out and we must continue to keep the focus on learning while trying to incorporate the newer tools.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s