Visual Compare and Contrast of four environments on learning goals and theory:

My concept map of the four technology-enhanced learning environments, I have noticed that many ideas of the different environments overlapped. As can be seen, connections are made between some related concepts and ideas. I realize that there are more connections to be made, which is why I chose a concept map so that I can continuously add more connections in the future. After exploring these four design of technology-enhanced learning environments, it has inspired me with a diversity of ways of integrating learning in the math and sciences for my students. In particular, I have learned that the skills students acquire in the learning process are more important than the content. Some of these skills include inquiring, reflecting, creating, critiquing, problem solving, collaborating, evaluating, generating, among others. For instance, teaching math has always followed a strict curriculum of different separate units but is not taught in ways that are applicable to students. However, Anchored Instruction integrates math into meaningful case studies that allow students to make connections between the math concepts with real life applications. As well, the Scaffolded Knowledge Integration emphasizes the importance of peer-to-peer learning experiences in learning. Another example is Learning-for-Use, which introduces the critical idea of motivation in learning that leads to knowledge construction. Finally, T-GEM is the use of technology-enhanced methods to engage in the process of generating, evaluating and modifying relationships in knowledge. It has impacted how I will teach in my own teaching context (i.e. Grade 6s and 7s) because it seems that the teacher’s role is to facilitate and guide students’ learning rather than directly teach content and skills to them. Furthermore, teachers are encouraged to be participate as a shared learner in the process. This frees the teacher from being the sole source of knowledge and be more available to students observe students’ processes and performance of learning. Overall, learning about these different technology-enhanced learning environments has opened up a plethora of possibilities to teach all types of students in authentic, meaningful ways.

Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1992a). The Jasper experiment: An exploration of issues in learning and instructional design. Educational Technology, Research and Development, 40(1), 65-80.

Edelson, D.C. (2001). Learning-for-use: A framework for the design of technology-supported inquiry activities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching,38(3), 355-385.

Khan, S. (2007). Model-based inquiries in chemistry. Science Education, 91(6), 877-905.

Linn, M., Clark, D., & Slotta, J. (2003). Wise design for knowledge integration. Science Education, 87(4), 517-538.


  1. Thank you for your post. I wonder which of these technology enhanced learning environments you are most comfortable trying at this point in your teaching career/grade? I also wonder how you feel about the current supports in your school or school board that will allow teachers to feel competent in trying these methods? I also wonder how you view these in terms of constraints of time, which seems to be one of the issues that has arisen when considering these ways of teaching. T-Gem struck a chord with me because it seemed achievable in my grade 2 class. I could generate a discussion about a scienctific concept, provide them with ways to evaluate their ideas and then provide simulations to guide them towards better conceptual understandings. As I explored T-Gem as part of my discussion, I found many great sources online that I had been unaware of before, probably because I do not teach the science curriculum at this point, it is taught by a planning teacher in our school. I really found Khan Academy has some great simulations that could be used in primary grades.

    1. Hi Michelle,

      Anchored Instruction and Scaffolded Knowledge Integration are the two learning environments I feel is closest to my teaching philosophy because the role of the teacher is in a guiding role and it allows students to authentically explore their learning. I definitely feel that technology needs to be further integrated into classrooms in order for these learning environments to be successful. This could mean implementing Bring Your Own Device policies or having more versatile technology devices. As for time constraints, this will always be an issue no matter what type of learning environment, but I view that the process of learning is more important and that I feel that any one of these learning environments provide efficient learning opportunities.

  2. I too found a lot of conceptual overlap the more I dug into my understanding. In particular, Brown et. al’s situated cognition and cognitive apprenticeship work is cited in most, if not all, of the literature I consumed regarding these theories. I think we do need to really consider the apprenticeship model in education much more seriously. The old apprenticeship systems were designed to have students learn to solve managable problems using the tools of their discipline. This seems well aligned to curricular inquiry goals for most science programs.

  3. Hi Gloria!
    It was fun buzzing around your concept map and see the connections. Your comment about processes are more important than the content really resonated with me and I think it is an excellent point you’ve made. The goal of these models I believe was for us to see that utmost value in teaching the scientific process and not relegating it to lab days. Teaching students the skills to analyze, hypothesize, experiment, collect data, modify hypotheses are all important skills that goes beyond the content of one grade, class, unit, or lesson.

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi Gloria,

    Great work on your concept map! I love that you created a concept map so that you could continue to add more connections in the future – a wonderful way to expand on what we have learned in the last month! I tried to do a concept map as well, using the Cmap program, but it did not turn out as well as yours – in part probably because I am just learning the program. Allison suggested Mind Meister to me as well, so maybe I will give it a try next time.

    I agree with you that many of the concepts behind the four technology-enhanced learning environments that we explored overlap, and I feel that some of these models could be integrated to complement each other. What struck me most about your response was your point that, “In particular, I have learned that the skills students acquire in the learning process are more important than the content.” When I consider what learning or knowledge will truly be important in my students’ futures, as you point out, it is not the specific content, but the skills they acquire along the way. It is often difficult to explain to a student when exactly they will need to use an algebraic equation in their future; however, it is much easier to explain why they will need to be able to ask questions, analyze information, modify their original ideas, solve problems, collaborate with peers, and so on. As you have pointed out, each of the four technology-enhanced learning environments we explored have the potential to make connections for students between ‘real life’ and the classroom, as well as enhancing motivation and peer-to-peer learning experiences. These experiences will help students prepare for real life situations they may encounter in their futures, and for how they might tackle a future issue.

    A question I am left with is: as we continue to have prescribed learning outcomes, how do we establish inquiry-based learning environments for students for each concept within the time provided? While the curriculum in British Columbia has changed and is more open to interpretation from teachers, we do continue to have a significant amount of curriculum to cover in a relatively short amount of time. A struggle I continue to have is how to allot time effectively for each concept or project in an inquiry-based environment.

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