Blended learning and new technologies: Authentic learning using powerful cognitive tools
Herrington, J. (2009) Blended learning and new technologies: Authentic learning using powerful cognitive tools. In: International Conference on ICT in Teaching and Learning: Blending technologies and Teaching Practice, 6 - 8 July 2009, The Open University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
The increased availability and diversity of mobile and web-based technologies in education has created many opportunities for teachers and learners to engage in authentic and innovative learning environments. The potential of these technologies is particularly strong when they are used within a blended learning context. However, the opportunity is often lost, with many teachers reverting to conventional methods of teaching that fail to adapt to the possibilities for learning that these new technologies present. Perhaps the most powerful mode of blended learning is where technologies are used as tools for participation—learning with technologies rather than from them.
This presentation will put the case that online and mobile technologies afford the design and creation of truly innovative authentic learning designs. The theoretical foundations of this approach are strong, and they will be explored. Authentic tasks and activities will be demonstrated as a means to organise learning topics where students can engage with technologies in innovative and effective ways. The strategies will draw on principles of authentic learning, and will be illustrated with examples and activities from blended learning contexts. Finally, the case will be made for a more comprehensive approach to investigating the effectiveness of authentic learning designs through design-based research.
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