Authentic Learning

The definition I agree with is Trotter’s (1998) definition in Kozma’s (2003) book that describes technology as ”tools in service of richer curricula, enhanced pedagogies, more effective organization structures, stronger links between schools and society, and the empowerment of disenfranchised learners (Kozma, 2003). It aligns with my teaching philosophy around technology integration in classrooms.

Technology has the ability to enrich the learning outcomes of students because it allows students to connect their knowledge with society given the learning opportunities technology provides. For instance, the Internet can show students current innovations in society that can empower them to be a part of the constantly changing world around them. Furthermore, for teachers, technology opens up new ways to introduce learning concepts and offers teachers different perspectives, making them reflect on their teaching philosophies and styles.  

An ideal pedagogical design of a technology-enhanced learning experience for science or math education should address how concepts are applicable to real life situations. For instance, how is algebra used practically in life? Also, how was the scientific method used in the process of creating a computer? As a class, students will work collaboratively in these environments to generate answers to these questions and be able to apply what they have learned to real scenarios in society and the world. Connecting the relevance  and applicability to the knowledge will build students’ empowerment because the learning process is authentic.


Kozma, R. (2003). Technology, innovation, and educational change: A global perspective, (A report of the Second Information Technology in Education Study, Module 2). Eugene, OR: International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement, ISTE Publications.



  1. Hello Gloria,

    Your ideas on connecting technology enhanced learning look they will be particularly validated by the next topic (anchored instruction) which looks like it is largely about just this. I am curious to see how this may be similar/different from the cognitive apprenticeship model, another type of “authentic” learning, that I have encountered in previous courses.

    – Dan

    1. Hi Dan, I didn’t realize the term “authentic learning” would be found in our later lessons! I feel like my interpretation design TELE is similar in the sense of connecting learning concepts to their applicable counterparts rather than teaching only concepts without relating to how they are used in real life.

  2. HI Gloria,
    I appreciate how well you linked the idea of society and empowerment. As I mentioned in a previous post I am currently reading Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change the World by Tony Wagner (2012), the section I read last night really fit well into the concepts you highlighted. My take away from what I just read is that so many of the “true” young innovators, those who love learning, trying new things and expanding their understanding of new concepts are not necessarily the ones looking to be the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerbergs. Many of the students in the most innovative programs are passionate about their work and how they can make life better for others. The students Wagner (2012) highlights in one chapter are designing prosthetics, working in Tanzania, creating 3D games for first responders so they can evaluate and make decisions as their surrounding change, one student is a shoe designer who has turned down working for major corporations to design his own eco-friendly shoe that is not only affordable but he donates much of his profits to buy his own product for homeless people.
    While I understand these are not the norm it does provide a glimmer of hope that if we as educators nurture in our students problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration and digital citizenship as well as provide the opportunities for them to construct their own knowledge, try and fail, and try again we can create a generation of students who think of how they can make a positive impact on society.

    1. Hi Catherine. Your post reminds me of a recent realization I had that many of the jobs available for the next generation are probably not in existence yet. That is, technology is constantly leading to the creation of new jobs and extinction of some old ones. This calls for the importance of educators to focus on teaching the skills needed for all types of jobs such as problem solving and critical thinking.

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