Students use technology tools to link learning activities to the world beyond the instructional setting rather than working on decontextualized assignments.
The Authentic characteristic involves using technology to link learning activities to the world beyond the instructional setting. This characteristic focuses on the extent to which technology is used to place learning into a meaningful context, increase its relevance to the learner, and tap into students’ intrinsic motivation.
This page provides greater detail about the Authentic learning characteristic of the Technology Integration Matrix. To see the entire matrix or to locate other characteristics, return to the Matrix. Descriptors for typical teacher activity, student activity, and instructional settings for Authentic learning are provided below, along with links to all of the Authentic learning video lesson pages and additional resources.
Authentic Learning Descriptors for Each of the Five Levels
Technology use unrelated to the world outside of the instructional setting
Students use technology to complete assigned activities that are generally unrelated to the world beyond the instructional setting.
The teacher assigns work based on a predetermined curriculum unrelated to the students or issues beyond the instructional setting.
Available resources, chosen by the teacher, are predominately textbook or textbook-like sources, whether digital or print. They are generally used without making connections to a real-world context or to the students personal lives.
Guided use in activities with some meaningful context
Students have opportunities to apply technology tools to some content-specific activities that are related to the students or issues beyond the instructional setting.
The teacher directs students in the conventional use of technology tools for learning activities that are sometimes related to the students or to issues beyond the instructional setting.
Available resources, chosen by the teacher, may be predominately textbook or textbook-like sources, whether digital or print, and students may have guided access to primary source materials and selected information, data, and source materials beyond the instructional setting.
Independent use in activities connected to students’ lives; some student choice and exploration
Students begin to use technology tools on their own in activities that have meaning beyond the instructional setting.
The teacher creates instruction that purposefully integrates technology tools and provides access to information on community and world issues. The teacher directs the choice of technology tools but students use the tools on their own, and may begin to explore other capabilities of the tools.
The setting allows for guided student access to a limited range of information, data, and source materials beyond the instructional setting.
Choice of tools and regular use in meaningful activities
Students select appropriate technology tools to complete activities that have a meaningful context beyond the instructional setting. Students regularly use technology tools, and are comfortable in choosing and using the tools in the most meaningful way for each activity.
The teacher encourages students to use technology tools to make connections to the world outside of the instructional setting, and to their lives and interests. The teacher provides a learning context in which students regularly use technology tools and have the freedom to choose the tools that, for each student, best match the task.
The setting provides a variety of technology tools and ongoing, independent access to a broad range of information, data, and source materials beyond the instructional setting. This access facilitates student pursuit of individual interests and emerging topics.
Innovative use for higher-order learning activities connected to the world beyond the instructional setting
Students explore and extend the use of technology tools to participate in higher-order learning activities that have meaning in the world beyond the instructional setting. Students regularly engage in activities that may not be possible without the use of technology.
The teacher encourages innovative use of technology tools in higher-order learning activities that support connections to the lives of the students and the world beyond the instructional setting.
The setting provides ongoing, independent access to a broad range of information, data, and source materials beyond the instructional setting. Robust, simultaneous access to a variety of technology tools allows all students to engage directly with others who may be in different locations and may represent different experiences, cultures, and points of view.
Students are more likely to be interested in what they are learning, more motivated to learn new concepts and skills, and better prepared to succeed in college, careers, and adulthood if what they are learning mirrors real-life contexts, equips them with practical and useful skills, and addresses topics that are relevant and…. (Continue reading)