Authentic Learning Using an Online Auction Site

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The Internet, particularly with the advent of Web 2.0 technologies, presents a specific learning context unlike any previously available to us. As the number of people using the Internet continues to increase (1,244,449,601 reported users worldwide as at 30 September 2007 (Internet World Stats)) consideration must be given to the ways in which everyday users of the Internet engage with this tool and how these activities can be harnessed to create authentic learning activities for school-aged students. From a situated cognition perspective, authentic learning which is mediated by socially valued tools (in this case the Internet) is essential to assist students in becoming active participants in society and to develop the skills and attributes relevant to the society in which the learner, and their learning, exists (Brown, Collins & Duguid, 1989). The question now is how best to integrate the authentic use of the Internet within a pedagogically sound learning program.

Research evidence suggests that in school education the Internet is still primarily limited to traditional research activities and is poorly integrated into the teaching and learning process (Madden, Nunes, Ford, McPherson & Miller, 2003; Tondeur, van Braak & Valcke, 2006). The problem, as Yelland (2006) identifies, is that educators are trying to integrate technology into existing curricula that were created in a non-computer age. This paper explores the development of various learning programs which utilise a well-established online auctioning site (eBay) to promote cross-curricula learning for primary and secondary learners in the fields of mathematics, English, legal studies, creative arts, history and media studies. In doing so, the paper also explore the associated benefits and problems of using non-static content in teaching and learning activities.

Brown, J. S., Collins, A. & Duguid, P. (1989). Situated Cognition and the Culture of Learning. Educational Researcher . 18(1) pp. 32-42

Madden, A. D., Nunes, M. B., Ford, N. J., McPherson, M. & Miller, D. (2003). A new generation gap: the consequences of increasingly early ICT first contact. 2nd International Conference on Multimedia ICT's in Education. Badajoz. pp. 6-16.

Mini Watts Marketing Group. (2007). Internet World Stats: Usage and Population Statistics. http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm Accessed 3 January 2007.

Tondeur, J., van braak, J. & Valcke, M. (2007). Towards a typology of computer use in primary education. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 23 pp. 197-206.

Yelland, N. (2006). Children of the new Millennium: Using Information and Communication Technologies for Playing and Learning in the Information Age. International Journal of Learning: Volume II . pp. 1603-1618.


Keywords: Internet, Authentic Learning, School Education
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy; Student Learning, Learner Experiences, Learner Diversity
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: eBay: An Authentic Learning Object


Dr. Kirsty Young

Lecturer, Faculty of Education
Sydney, NSW, Australia


Ref: L08P0444