TELE Synthesis: Moving forwards

Compare and contrast learning goals and theory of T-GEM and Chemland with:

Anchored Instruction and Jasper:

What I liked about Anchored Instruction is that it was “designed to overcome the problem of developing ‘inert knowledge’ – knowledge learned in school that cannot be retrieved when it is needed for another situation” (Zydney, Bathke & Hasselbring, 2014). I found Jasper to be outdated and not as relevant to today’s learners. With a facelift I think it could be beneficial to support problem solving and development of critical thinking skills and collaboration. Comparing T-GEM and Anchored Instruction, we can see theme of constructivism, providing authentic, deep learning, hands-on experiences. This is one of my favorite teaching approaches, as it helps students make connections outside of the classroom, and allows them to explore concepts, take risks, and develop problem-solving strategies (Hickey, D., Moore, A., & Pellegrin, J, (2001). I think that the Jasper project has the potential to support today’s learners.

SKI and WISE:

The SKI framework promotes knowledge integration by making thinking visible for students, making science accessible for students, and encouraging students to take ownership over their learning by inquiring about scientific concepts (Linn, Clark, and Slotta, 2003). T-GEM also promotes knowledge integration through its three steps: generate, evaluating, and modifying. Both WISE and T-GEM build on previous knowledge and scaffold the learner, accessing students background knowledge (Linn, Clark, and Slotta, 2002). Comparing WISE and T-GEM, we can see the benefit for teachers as students learning is made visible which supports formative assessment. Looking at the differences, SKI focuses on clearing up misconceptions, which is especially important for younger learners in the science field. SKI focuses on differentiated learning whereas T-GEM does not.

LfU and MyWorld:

Learning-for-Use model using MyWorld are more examples of students constructing their own knowledge through hands-on learning. These are examples of meaningful learning that are relatable outside of the classroom. Similarly to T-GEM it motivates learning by introducing and teaching learners how to observe and explore through direct experience, communicate and describe processes, and apply new knowledge through hands-on activities (Edelson, 2001). The goal of LfU is to incorporate real-world problems into learning activities so that the concepts are meaningful and students are able to connect what they have learned when it is relevant (Edelson, 2001). Differences between LfU and T-GEM is the use of technology, which is necessary for T-GEM. LfU is also situated learning.

Synthesis:

What I’ve learned through researching and exploring the technology-enhanced learning environments is that these approaches are effective ways of brining meaning to a big idea or curricular content. Cross-curricular, paired with technology, provides deep-learning where students are able to take risks, receive formative feedback and test their understandings. I have plans to use many of these methods next year with my class, especially My World and Jasper style problem solving experiences. When it comes to selecting technology for my classroom and learners, my students are at the center of my decision-making. All of the methods we looked at are based on constructivism, paired with collaboration, eliciting curiosity and student-centered inquiry. These methods provide opportunities for students to learn from each other in a project-based learning setting. All of the methods focus on inquiry, collaboration, and student-centered learning, which is the underlying theme in the new BC Curriculum (BC Ministry of Education, 2015).

Moving forward this summer, my plan is to design my new classroom to be a technology enhanced learning environment that provides space for collaboration, inquiry, and problem-based learning. I think I will be pulling from each of the methods presented as I find value for my students in all of the approaches. What I like about these approaches is the inclusion of reflection and helping make students learning visible, which supports student self-assessment.

References:

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. http://ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/login?url=http://dx.doi.org/

Linn, M., Clark, D., & Slotta, J. (2002). Wise design for knowledge integration. Science Education, 87(4), 517-538.

Zydney, Bathke & Hasselbring (2014) Finding the optimal guidance for enhancing anchored instruction, Interactive Learning Environments, 22:5, 668-683, DOI: 10.1080/10494820.2012.745436

5 comments

  1. I also agree Jasper is now dated by its multi media tools but by even todays standards few teachers use the basic content and knowledge delivery
    system that Jasper employs. Sites such as wix.com which is a website builder that uses drag and drop tools to build a totally interactive site is a concept that any teacher can grasp and would be a wonderful updated platform to deliver the same style of program that Jasper embodies. Within wix you can embed any type of tool you want which multiplies the possibilities of interactive content and simulations that we saw in Chemland and the WISE frameworks. I think the problem lies within our teacher training programs that still sit squarely outside digital literacy standards. Our young teachers may be savvy on social media platforms.However they have had no exposure to the vast array of technical tools that can be used to deliver knowledge and broaden our students understanding of how to use these tools to build their own creative endeavours.

    1. Hi Nathan,
      I haven’t looked into Wix so I will definitely check that out. What grade did you use Wix with? I completely agree with you regarding our pre-service teachers. A colleague and I were discussing this the last week of school. We felt that there should be more of an emphasis to prepare teacher for a technology enhanced learning environment and equip them with the tools they need. It’s a disservice because if teachers are placed at a school with a lack of technology leaders, they aren’t supported to their full potential, and I also feel its a disservice to our students. I am so appreciative of the administrator who took me under her wing and showed me how to use a majority of the tech I use today.

  2. Hi Danielle

    I like the fact that you found more recent research (Zydney, Bathke & Hasselbring, 2014). Even though this article was published in 2014 — the research may have been completed a few years before that.

    I wonder if your whole class will be a “technology enhanced learning environment”. Does everything need to be enhanced? What do you think in your courses does not need technology?

    A good next step might be to make a list of why a lesson needs to be enhanced with technology and what would be better without the technology.

    Christopher

  3. Hi Danielle

    I agree with your statement regarding how you choose technology for your classroom. I also firmly believe that learners must be the most important factor when teachers select technology. Many technologies can support constructivism. However, only teachers will know which one is appropriate for students in their classroom.

    YooYoung

  4. In response to, “I wonder if your whole class will be a “technology enhanced learning environment”. Does everything need to be enhanced? What do you think in your courses does not need technology?”

    I think that any learning opportunity that can be enhanced to strengthen understanding with technology should be considered. A technology enhanced learning environment includes iPads for inquiry, Osmos for phonics and math, spheros for math, etc. Having technology ready and available in the classroom, as well as the opportunity for students to use for their personal inquiry.
    Thank you for the suggestion, I do plan to take time this summer to see which big ideas and curricular competencies can be utilized with technology, also considering the many concepts and methods reviewed this semester.

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