Teachers talking about Authentic Contexts
Discovering local contexts
Listen to Ruth Davey from Lincoln High School sharing how she discovers local authentic contexts.
There are many potential authentic contexts that might emerge in your school. A walk-through will help you find them. Other teachers can be useful end-users. Developing school resources that will be used for a purpose may be a genuinely authentic context.
Advice for teachers starting out with Authentic Contexts
Watch Craig from Mount Aspiring College share his experience about how teachers should prepare for using authentic contexts. He says teachers should have some kind of 'answer' ready when using authentic contexts. Your confidence and forethought about the expected skills and knowledge needed - and that the question is actually solvable will transfer over to your learners. You can't go into authentic contexts blind
Increasing engagement with authentic contexts
Watch Steve from Burnside High School sharing how authentic contexts motivate and engage learners. He says using an inquiry - started with, for example, a provocative question - can scaffold learners to develop their own authentic contexts. Choosing the question carefully can make the variety of projects that result, manageable for learners.
Collaborating in authentic contexts
Steve from Burnside High School talks about collaborating in authentic contexts. He thinks learners will work best in groups. Authentic contexts provide great opportunities for learners to adopt specific roles (programming, artwork, game design) and experience successful collaboration. Trust is an essential part of collaboration and needs to be fostered.
Authentic contexts as an opportunity for future focussed education
Megan Wilson from Motueka Technology Education Centre (MoTEC) talks about the importance of authentic contexts as a way for students to have agency, and feel in control of their future.
Authentic contexts and student motivation
Jo Cault from MoTEC discusses why it's important to involve students in the process of settling on an authentic context. They may not engage with a context that has been imposed on them.
Technology in an authentic context
Garrett Young from MoTEC describes how an authentic learning context helps with student engagement. He also shares how he initially found it challenging and why.
Working with Authentic Contexts
Watch Craig Jefferies explain how he uses authentic contexts to motivate and enable learners to solve problems in their local environment and community. Digital outcomes developed include:
- electronic sensors and environmental data monitoring
- programs for invoicing and materials purchasing
- promotional and show-casing web sites
Authentic contexts enable learners to relate to and identify with social and community relations.
At NCEA Level 1 we have used authentic contexts that are environmental and community based for example:
- working with a local vineyard to develop programs for invoicing and materials purchasing, websites for show casing, electronic sensors to monitor weather and soil conditions
- monitoring local environmental conditions in a local lake subject to storm water run-off including remote sensoring of sediment levels. Stakeholders included local swimmers and environmental engineers
If it is not possible to take learners to the context (for example because of large numbers), try and bring the context to the learners by using authentic stakeholders.
How do learners respond to authentic contexts?
Watch Craig describe how learners respond to authentic contexts and what teachers can do to support them. Learners initially respond slowly to authentic contexts. Teachers need a suitable response to use - if needed - for an authentic context. Authentic contexts have a lot of unknowns that need working through. Once familiar with an authentic context, learners begin to work more independently and know what to do.