TELEs – The Key Takeaways

Overall, the four TELEs that we’ve explored over the past several weeks have highlighted aspects of my own practice that could be deepened and strengthened to enhance student learning experiences. While some of my own pedagogical beliefs are very similar in nature to the foundational principles espoused by these technology-enhanced learning environments, I envision my learnings in this course as expanding my own repertoire of strategies, tools and approaches to student learning in Math and Science. If we design tasks and opportunities that are structured in a format that integrates appropriate levels of challenge within a reasonable time frame, our students are afforded opportunities to participate in rich learning experiences that significantly deepen scientific and mathematical concepts and content. The significance of developing learning experiences that are personally meaningful and engaging will serve to further promote the application of knowledge and skills beyond the context of the specific learning task, and enhance the importance of life long skills for learning.

Our students construct their skills, knowledge and perspectives according to the variety of different levels of exposure to learning experiences and opportunities that they’ve encountered through school and in their everyday lives. As Edelson (2001) notes, every individual’s knowledge structures reflect their own unique experiences, which in turn plays a crucial role in their learning. Perspectives on real world learning should allow for students to start from their own context and preconceptions, and then move into new areas of learning that bridge gaps in their understanding and ultimately expand on their worldview. As part of their practice and engagement in Math and Science, students should be repeatedly returning to their own, original ideas in order to continually revise and modify them. Through the implementation of technology enhanced learning environments, students will be afforded opportunities to apply knowledge and skills beyond the confines of a lecture, a textbook, or a classroom ultimately makes the content more motivating, engaging and relevant over the long term. As a fundamental component of TELEs, student knowledge and understanding must be incrementally constructed from experience and communication, as it cannot be transmitted directly from one individual to another.

I’ve created a visual that offers a summary and synthesis of some of the key concepts and ideas from the four foundational TELEs that we’ve explored over the past few weeks: TELE Takeaways



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.

Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1992b). The Jasper series as an example of anchored instruction: Theory, program, description, and assessment data. Educational Psychologist, 27(3), 291-315.

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.

Furtak, E. M. (2006). The problem with answers: An exploration of guided scientific inquiry teaching. Science Education, 90(3), 453-467.

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

Khan, S. (2010). New pedagogies for teaching with computer simulations. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 20(3), 215-232.

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






  1. Hi Allen,

    Great visual! I think that your takeaway visual provides a great summary of the 4 TELE’s we have explored throughout module B. In particular I agree with your point 7, in that the importance of visual thinking is so important for student success as highlighted through the TGEM model. Students at times do not know where they are going in their learning journey, and by providing a visual breakdown of what they are exploring helps to create a clearer path, or more importantly an opportunity to stop and ask questions based on their own personal joruney through the process. As you say,” The significance of developing learning experiences that are personally meaningful and engaging will serve to further promote the application of knowledge and skills beyond the context of the specific learning task, and enhance the importance of life long skills for learning.” This is especially true as students begin to play with technology, and form lasting memories of these engaging learning opportunities which will hopefully stretch time and space. I wonder how important documentation is in the stage of learning, if students are responsible for capturing these learning engagements/visual thinking routines as a part of reflection, if this would help to extend their memories and understanding. I often look back to my own work, as a way of consolidating information! Thanks again for your great visual takeaway.


    1. Hi Cristina,

      Thanks for your feedback and reply. I also look back at my own work, typically taken using old-school note taking strategies, when I’m reflecting and consolidating my learning. When students document their learning, this can take place through a variety of different methods, using different tools and formats. I know that many of my Grade 5 students find that video provides a powerful means of collecting and compiling their thoughts and their learning in ways that are readily accessible to them as needed. This allows for an immediate capture of their understanding without the need for a written product as part of their reflection.

  2. Hi Allen

    I like the fact that you brought up the issue of teacher’s “own pedagogical beliefs”. This is very similar to the discussion we have been having about students beliefs on a science concept. I see this in my own day-to-day work life in the high school online school I work at. I see first-time teachers with their own pedagogical beliefs on how online should be taught — they soon realize it is a different beast.

    I wonder with teacher autonomy in BC — how to change to teacher’s old pedagogical beliefs? I know a few that need to change — just do not know how to politely tell them that they need to change 🙂

    A good next step might be to put on your graphic — the order of importance — if there is one.


  3. Awesome visual! I agree with you surrounding teachers “pedagogical beliefs”, especially how it ties in with technology integration. Some teachers include it naturally, providing deep-learning experience that support student learning, however some teachers use it for different reasons. I wonder about the teachers who use it strictly to enhance their content delivery, rather than for student-centered learning. I think documentation of learning is so important! I’ve seen firsthand how students can look through their digital portfolio and see the growth they’ve made and the goals they’ve met. I also think it supports reflection as students have a chance to contrast, compare, and share about their learning experience and where they would like to take their learning in the future. Thanks for the post.

    1. Hi Christopher and Danielle,

      Thanks for your comments. I think that our own pedagogical beliefs are really at the core of who we are as teachers, and how we approach the challenge of meeting the needs of our students. While it’s true that we have all worked with colleagues that require some “help” in viewing and embracing the need to change, part of our work here as MET students is to be able to provide support and guidance to colleagues who are seeking new approaches and challenges (including those who may not even be aware that they’re seeking this themselves). I feel that if educators can see the benefit, or the purpose, behind undertaking a change or a new challenge, they are far more willing and enthusiastic in approaching aspects of education that may be new or unfamiliar to them. Isn’t this a similar approach that we’d follow with our own students?

      Christopher – as to the order of importance in my TELE summary, I’m not sure that I can provide a qualitative assessment, or ranking, there. It seems to me that might be too subjective for the purposes of the discussion.

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