Date of Award

8-21-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Department

College of Education

Abstract

This purpose of this dissertation in practice is to develop a learning/technology framework called the Authentic Learning with Technology Model, and six professional learning modules to help teachers design more authentic student learning tasks in their classrooms. Research shows that student academic performance increases when students are cognitively engaged in the classroom, which occurs when they experience challenging, authentic learning tasks. Learning frameworks, technology, and ongoing professional learning experiences can support teachers design authentic learning tasks when used effectively. Unfortunately, research demonstrates 1) schools rarely use consistent learning frameworks, 2) technology is limited to traditional teaching practices, and 3)professional learning is limited and ineffective.

The study population of interest is New York City public school K-12 classroom teachers, principals, and academic coaches. Participants experienced six in-session professional development modules accompanied by additional online support resources in an iTunes U course. Participants selected and redesigned examples of their own student learning tasks to increase the level of authenticity, in part by the use of technology. Tasks were collected to demonstrate levels of authenticity before and after the professional development. 12 out of 15 tasks(80%) increased authenticity from learning and technology perspectives, 2 out of 15 tasks (13%) stayed at the same level of authenticity, and 1 task (7%) decreased in authenticity.

Participants completed qualitative surveys to ascertain whether or not the professional development modules supported a shift in their thinking towards learning, technology, and authenticity of their tasks. A majority of participants found the ALTmodel effective in helping them rethink the extent to which their tasks engaged students in deeper cognition and effective technology use. Participants also felt the modules inspired them to change their short-term and long-term practice with respect to designing more authentic student learning experiences that effectively incorporate technology.

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