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Creating an Authentic Purposeful Learning Environment: Integrating Technology into the Common Core

We’ve been discussing how you can make steps to be a connected teacher and create a connected classroom, but once you’ve taken the steps to bring technology into your classroom, how do you create technology-rich lessons while still making it work with Common Core standards?

That’s where APLE comes in. What is APLE and how will it help integrate technology into your Common Core units? It’s an Authentic Purposeful Learning Environment. Using this process creates a streamlined, effective way to create units that are:

  • are authentically engaging and relevant for your students
  • include the purposeful use of technology to transform learning
  • require your students to experience the process of creating something
  • lead to student success through a logical structure for product creation

Taking this one step further, you can then use our APLE unit planner to make sure that you’re teaching to Common Core standards and incorporating technology in an authentic purposeful learning environment. We’ve taken best practices from a selection of well-established unit planning models and embedded opportunities to develop and plan authentic and purposeful use of technology.

The key to success using the APLE unit planner is to mentally toss out whatever you’ve done before and start from scratch. Forget about your curriculum documents and resources, start with just the end goal: what you want students to know and be able to do, and develop from there. The idea behind this is to give you the freedom to reimagine the unit completely differently than you may have taught it before.

In fact, using this process, you might find yourself doing very little direct instruction, and instead providing experiences for students to engage with the content through different media, and then demonstrating their learning through an authentic project.

We recommend starting with a unit that hasn’t been working well in the past (if you have units where students are loving their learning, demonstrating solid understanding and creating great finished work, why change those?) Pick one that has been challenging – either you don’t like how it works, or your students consistently struggle with the content, or it’s just time to change something up. This will also help you open your mind to new possibilities, and teaching differently than you might have before.

 

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