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Emerging Technologies Support Authentic Learning

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Dmitriy Shelepin
Emerging Technologies Support Authentic Learning

According to Veletsianos (2010, p. 17) emerging technologies are the “…tools, technologies, innovations, and advancements utilized in diverse educational settings to serve varied education-related purposes” (as cited in Bozalek, Gachago, Alexander, Watters, Wood, Ivala, & Herrington, 2013, p. 629).  These tools aim to help students acquire relevant competencies for a workplace setting (Bozalek et al., 2013). One example of an emerging technology is the CertCentral.com platform for online courses. This learning management system can help educators better meet their higher education and continuing education goals by enabling students easy access to imperative multimedia teaching materials.  Recent research outlines the ways in which emerging technologies support authentic learning.

What is authentic learning?

According to Herrington and Oliver (2000) authentic learning is a nine-element, pedagogical model that can help better prepare students to be competent in a workplace setting.  These nine elements include:

1) authentic context

2) authentic task

3) access to expert thinking and modelling of processes

4) access to multiple roles and perspectives of concept

5) access to collaboration to help construct knowledge

6) access to reflect on new knowledge to form abstract conceptualizations

7) ability to articulate growing understanding

8) access to supportive coach to guide learning

9) access to authentic assessment to test newfound

(Bozalek et al., 2013).

How do emerging technologies support authentic learning?

Bozalek et al. (2013) studied the impact of emerging technologies on authentic learning in South African higher education institutions.  The following information reflects Bozalek et al. (2013) findings.

1)    Emerging technologies support an authentic context.

2)    Emerging technologies support authentic tasks.

  • This means that emerging technologies can present complex and comprehensive problem-based activities for students to work on over an extended period of time.
  • These authentic tasks promote problem-solving strategies that can be applied to the real world.  

3)    Emerging technologies support coaching and scaffolding.

4)    Emerging technologies provide learners the opportunity to examine a topic in multiple roles and from different perspectives.

  • Emerging technologies provide a platform that can present information in a variety of mediums.  A topic can be explained through videos and images that reflect one concept from different perspectives.  This allows students to engage with material in a variety of roles and gain exposure to a variety of perspectives.   

5)    The greater the use of emerging technologies, the greater degree of authentic learning that occurs, and vice versa.

(Bozalek et al., 2013).

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