Ideal TELE: Intellectual Sharing of Learning

David Jonassen’s description of technology as “cognitive affordances” resonated with me most as to how technology should be incorporated into the classroom design (Jonassen, 2000). A technology-enhanced learning environment should connect students in a way traditional classrooms would not be able to achieve, while allowing students to expand their understanding with technology rather than have their learning be dictated by it.

Designers of TELEs should be questioning how the technology that they seek to include can help create meaningful thinking for students, how it can be used as a “Mindtool” (Jonassen, 2000). Jonassen further argues that both teachers and computers are merely the avenue for which students can foster their learning. An ideal design of TELE would include tools at the student’s disposal for them to use to enhance their understanding as well as provide opportunities to share their learning with others. Similar to GLOBE (Butler & MacGregor, 2003), students should have a chance to connect with other like-minded individuals working on the same aspects of learning to build on one another. Therefore, a TELE design can enhance learning through problem-solving, creative collaboration and critical thinking.



Butler, D.M., MacGregor, I.D. (2003). GLOBE: Science and Education. Journal of Geoscience Education, 51(1), 9-20.

Jonassen, D. H. (2000). Computers as mindtools for schools: Engaging critical thinking. Prentice Hall. Retrieved from Google Scholar:


  1. Hi Jocelynn,

    Thank you for your post. I enjoyed how you used Jonassen’s “Mindtools” but included that the tools need to be “at their disposal”. Often times we see all sorts of fancy technology that students aren’t even about to use! Your inclusion of allowing students the opportunity to connect with others working on similar concepts is incredibly important. Often times these conversation with others are more important than the technology they are using.

    1. Thanks Natalie. The conversation piece is absolutely important. Particularly as students can become overwhelmed with new technology being implemented, they need support in making meaning out of the tool. Without meaning, its simply more clutter in their already very full toolbox of technology.

  2. Hello Jocelynn,

    I’m embarrassed to see that I wrote basically exactly the same thing as you to lead off. Sorry to subconsciously steal your words! The ideal that you shared about students connecting and sharing experiences and learning was a focus for my ETEC 510 design project. I currently use Google Classroom as a LMS, but there is not much of a sandbox for the students to play in. Seems that they all text or use facebook etc, but don’t use it as a common space for sharing because there is no requirement to meet as a classroom group. Slack may offer some promise, but I am still looking for a suitable asynchronous sharing environment for my students.


    1. Great minds think alike! I’ve heard of Edmodo being used as a Facebook equivalent in the classroom. I personally have never used it, but I have heard from other teachers that they like the familiarity Edmodo has with their students. It also provides them with a conversational aspect. Just like Facebook, it has both chat and group discussion pages. Another one you might want to consider is Today’s Meet. Its a neat site that acts as a conversational texting tool. While listening to a presentation or video, students can text their ideas to the group chat and build off one another’s ideas, without all the noise of a chatty classroom. It does require an essential agreement from the class ahead of time, agreeing on the code of conduct while texting. Otherwise, it is easy to get off topic.

  3. I like the fact that you brought up that we should be questioning what we are doing all the time.

    I wonder if we did not change our practices from the way we were taught in teacher college — what would happen?

    A good next step might be to explain which way(s) traditional classrooms would not be able to connect students vs technology enhanced classroom.


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