TELE compare and contrast

After reading through the 4 different TELEs, a reoccurring theme is the flavor of constructivism that was apparent throughout. The principle of constructivism suggests that learners build knowledge through the continual modification of knowledge structure, modification that can be made after observing new information presented. For example, the WISE activities asks students to develop their own questions (visit their current knowledge on the topic), and afterwards presents to them new information that would allow students to better develop a cohesive account of different scientific phenomenon. The generate, evaluate, and modify (GEM) cycles can easily be seen as a remix of this concept. LFU presents a different take on knowledge acquisition in that it also focuses on how the knowledge is to be utilized as well, and it places an importance on how the knowledge is constructed, and applied.

The differences between the different TELE lies in the technology that is utilized and the different affordances offered by each. The examples of anchored instruction seen from the Jasper research involved the use of videos, which is a more antiquated use of technology, but allows for students to generate their own problems and sub problems to solve. The WISE activities were presented as information modules that students can walk through, and were more accessible to students at an earlier age. Other applications seen through the module such as MyworldGIS, and Chemland appealled to older high school audiences, but each allow different ways for students to access information and view the problem, or scientific phenomenon described in each activity or module. Overall, each study regarding the use of technology in the class suggested greater motivation, engagement, and student directed control over learning.

After module B, I am motivated to incorporate a higher number of technology based learning activities to help students teach math, but at the same time, I am now in greater awe of the amount of work that is needed to find, and/or to create the resources necessary to do so. I am more inclined to present students with basic information through direct instruction, and for them to build on top of the information through the use of technology to modify the knowledge that I have given to them.  As for the challenge I know face, I am aware of a number of learning tools exist today for mathematics (Desmos learning activities, Geogebra, Geometer’s sketchpad, just to name a few), learning how to use these different tools to teach effectively (the TPCK needed) is quite a monumental task. This challenge calls for new modes of collaboration demanded of teachers, in that teachers may not only need to share teaching ideas and activities, but they may have to work together to build them if they never existed before.

Anchored Instruction
Theory Learning goals
-Anchoring, or situating instruction in meaningful, problem solving context


-Use of video technology allow students to freely access information in a problem posed to them

-Create an active learning environment


-Students learn to generate their own problems, and sub-problems to solve


-recalling and finding information in a story motivates students to engage in group work


-connect to other parts of curriculum such as literature, history, and biology

SKI and Wise
Theory Learning goals
-Web based learning activities create flexibly adaptive material to promote inquiry based learning.


-Students build knowledge through developing their own questions (inquiry) and scaffolds their knowledge through new information presented to them in learning activities

-inquiry projects help students develop cohesive, coherent, and thoughtful account of scientific phenomenon


-instruction pattern elicit student ideas, adds normative ideas, and supports process of combining, sorting, organizing, creating, and reflecting to improve understanding

Theory Learning goals
-Knowledge construction is a goal directed process that is guided by a combination of conscious and unconscious understanding goals


-The circumstances in which knowledge is constructed and subsequently used determine its accessibility for future use


-Knowledge must be constructed in a form that supports use before it can be applied

-Overcome the “inert knowledge” problem (information that cannot be called upon when it is useful)


-Motivate students to acquire new knowledge and to be curious


-Incremental knowledge construction through observations of phenomenon or communication with others


-Knowledge refinement and reinforcement through knowledge application

Theory Learning goals
-Generate, evaluate, modify with the use of computer simulations help students test their theories and modify existing knowledge -Use technology to allow students to generate initial relationship between experimental variables.


-Allow students to test assumptions.


-Allow students to manipulate variables and to observe its effect



  1. Hello Gary,

    I like that you recognize that theory and practice are two different animals, especially when it comes to math. I am currently teaching summer school Math 10 and I find it very hard to apply a TELE framework to this 5 week, compressed schedule, prescribed curriculum. TGEM is out, Jasper and WISE don’t fit any of the units, and LfU should be rebranded Learning for Surviving! In general, I find that our readings/posts about TELE have been pretty exclusively directed at Science courses. I’m not sure K-12 math curriculum in its current form can honestly motivate a student with enough “authentic” problems to form a course of study.


    1. I think it would be very hard to incorporate any sort of technology based approach in a 5 week summer course for any subject as the inquiry nature behind the activities require time and space for students to explore, make mistakes, and revise their thoughts. You probably are stuck with direct instruction under such a compressed timeline. Anchored instruction, and the concepts behind WISE and TGEM can be seen in various Desmos activities found at In fact, many activities offered by Desmos are WISE type activities for Math.

  2. Hello Gary,
    Great post and I like how you identify the need for collaboration. Unlike in previous generations I think it is unrealistic to think we can master technology, there will always be something new and better and I think you have identified one of the keys to succeeding which is creating a truly collaborative culture in our schools. I know in elementary this is not something that happens as people get busy with their classroom and suddenly a year has passed.

    To Michael, I wonder if we were all teaching from one of these TELE models from Kindergarten until you get the students in Grade 10 if it would make it more possible to achieve in Grade 10. What I mean is if students had the ability to apply the skills, see how they build from year to year and be more active in their constructing of knowledge would it make it possible at the higher grades? Is the fact that the knowledge is so disconnected to “real world” part of the problem?

    1. Collaboration time between colleagues is something that I think is lacking in schools in the public domain. In order to make some of the sweeping changes needed to incorporate technology and to explore a new mode of learning, teachers need to be away from the job for significant periods to both learn, and discuss research findings. To make all of this happen, the ministry of education will need to invest more money into pro-d, or allow greater provisions and incentives for teachers to want to make this happen. Quite honestly the best time to do that would be the summer. As a teacher, would you want to be paid to do pro-d in July or August? I would, but I don’t think that will ever happen.

  3. Hi Gary

    I agree with you that integrating technology is a challenge in schools. As you mentioned, there are many educational technologies out there to support teaching, and the more technologies are coming out every day. It has become already overwhelming to learn new technologies. Integrating educational technologies in classrooms requires great collaboration among teachers. In software engineering world, one engineer is not responsible for one feature (could compare to a lesson) development anymore. It requires a group of developers to complete the task because of the complexity of current technology. Perhaps, BC school districts should utilize more educational technologists to help teachers build technology enhanced lessons.


    1. Hiring education technologists might not be a scalable option at the high school level because teachers in different subject areas require very different technological tools. The technology needed by a Social Studies teacher is very different from that of a Chemistry teacher, and so on, and it would be difficult for any single individual to be proficient in working with all of these technologies. (hard to find, or develop a person with the necessary TPCK) The most realistic solution, cost wise, and you can argue also for practicality purposes, is if every school department had a teacher (or 2) who is passionate about technology take charge of leading pro-d sessions and developing activities on the side. Student peer tutors can also be leveraged to create these activities.

      1. I agree with you Gary that having a passionate tech teacher is the most realistic approach in getting teachers on board with incorporating technology. It is more of a step by step process, and I have always found it beneficial to get my feet wet with new technology when I’ve had an expert show me what it is, why I should use it with the kids (pedagogically speaking), and how to use it. Both elementary and high school teachers could benefit from regular pro-d opportunities to learn and play around with technology. Regular exposure and practice can help a teacher feel more and more at ease in incorporating TELEs into the classroom, even if it starts as a piece by piece implementation.

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