Monthly Archives: August 2017

An argument against Globe as anchored instruction

I would like to disagree with the statement that Globe is an example of anchored instruction. If you look at the definition of anchored instruction superficially, one would have to agree that Globe qualifies. However, I believe that on a deeper level Globe does not embody all of the qualities of anchored instruction that the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (CGTV) had in mind when they created the Jasper series.

Anchored instruction is where “instruction is situated in engaging, problem-rich environments that allow sustained exploration by students and teachers” (CGTV, 1992, p. 65). Based on this description, Globe certainly seems to meet the requirements. It provides a very engaging, problem-rich environment, and due to its many facets (atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, pedosphere), sustained exploration can be attained. In addition, Globe provides an environment that allows communication between experts, students and teachers from diverse backgrounds, and this helps to build collective understanding. This is another important feature of anchored instruction.

Where Globe seems to diverge from anchored instruction is apparent when looking at the goals that CGTV had in mind when creating the Jasper series. CGTV’s aim was to help students learn to become independent thinkers and learners. They wanted students to learn to identify and define issues and problems on their own, in a generative fashion (CGTV, 1992). I would argue that students who participate in Globe, do not achieve this goal. The main activities in Globe centre around collection of data by students using a prescribed protocol that has been established by Globe researchers. This prescribed protocol is necessary to ensure that data collected by students is reliable and can be used by Globe researchers. I also took a look at some learning activities that students can perform. These documents provide teachers with a guide on how to introduce certain topics, gives step by step instructions on how to conduct the lesson, and possible ways to assess students on these activities. There seems to be a great deal of scaffolding in comparison to the Jasper series, which may hinder the notion of generative learning.

Overall, I believe that Globe is a very engaging community and does bring environmental science research close to home for students. I think that it is a very innovative endeavour and certainly has a place in STEM education. However, I cannot agree that it falls within the realm of anchored instruction.

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

Authentic Learning Experiences with Virtual Field Trips and Interactive Virtual Expeditions

There are abundant opportunities to embed networked communities in STEM education. Especially, both virtual field trips (VFTs) and interactive virtual expeditions (IVEs) offer authentic learning opportunities for students in the classroom. Both technologies are valuable in terms of providing students with real-life experience and engaging learning process. Niemitz et al (2008) reported that “the use of interactive virtual expeditions in classroom learning environments can theoretically be an effective means of engaging learners in understanding science as an inquiry process, infusing current research and relevant science into the classroom, and positively affecting learner attitudes towards science as a process and a career (p. 562).”

In addition to authentic learning experiences,  virtual field trips and IVEs can take students to locations that are too far away to travel to or too expensive to visit. Virtual field trips can take a student back in time, into outer space, or into the microscopic world, all of which are tours regular physical field trips cannot offer.

The availability of these technologies enables educators to design experiences that some students would otherwise not have access. In so doing, these technologies enhance and extend student learning. For example, having students visit the North Pole via live animal cams or explore volcano sites through Volcano World enables students to experience these natural phenomena and animals in ways they would otherwise be difficult. This brings the student learning process to life. The process can further be enhanced when educators incorporate interactions with networked communities as part of these virtual experiences.

The research has found that students should be able to acquire the same cognitive and qualitative gains if a virtual field trip is planned and conducted in the same meticulous fashion as a real-life field trip. The researchers also reported that virtual field trips can enhance learning (Cox & Su, 2004) and provide a supplement to actual field trips (Spicer & Stratford, 2001).  VFTs can still “offer valuable tools for instructional augmentation and enrichment of actual field trips” (Klemm & Tuthill, 2002, p. 464).   As such, VFTs should not be seen as a replacement for real-world field trips but rather as a supplement to them when real life travel is possible.  

I believe that the success of virtual trips and expeditions depends on the level preparation for the learning experience and the quality of student engagement while on the trip. The trip should be followed by a carefully planned reflection to enhance the learning process (Cox & Su, 2004, p. 120).


Cox, E.S., & Su, T. (2004). Integrating student learning with practitioner experiences via virtual field trips. Journal of Educational Media, 29(2), 113-123.

Niemitz, M., Slough, S., Peart, L., Klaus, A., Leckie, R. M., & St John, K. (2008). Interactive virtual expeditions as a learning tool: The School of Rock Expedition case study. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 17(4), 561-580.

Spicer, J. I., & Stratford, J. (2001). Student perceptions of a virtual field trip to replace a real field trip.  Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 17(4), 345-354.

Tuthill, G., & Klemm, E. B. (2002). Virtual field trips: Alternatives to actual field trips. International Journal of Instructional Media, 29(4), 453-468.



The many quality digital resources were very engaging to explore this week. By connecting student learning to real-world authentic learning environments these networked communities increase engagement and make learning purposeful.

Depending on how educators structure learning, I tend to agree that Globe represents an example of Anchored Instruction. Provided that students actively engage the experience through open-ended problem-solving with the goal of constructing assessible knowledge that can be applied when required.

According to the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, Anchored Instruction is “situated in engaging, problem rich environments that allow sustained exploration by students and teachers” (1992a). Its design immerses students in “meaningful problems for students to solve that capture the intricacies of real-world mathematical problem solving” (Vye et al., 1997). Students experience problems as practitioners in real-life contexts encounter them. They work collaboratively with peers and socially construct knowledge through experience and argumentation. An anchored instruction “activity supports learning opportunities that relate to and extend thinking to other content areas” (Fried, 2005).

GLOBE anchors instruction within the real-world scientific data represented on the website and even involves students in the collection of data for use in actual scientific studies. GLOBE is organized into several separate “investigations,” each focused on a different aspect of the environment (Howland, 2002). The networked community goes beyond the capabilities of the Jasper Project, but both provide an engaging digital context for students to explore through independent investigations and open-ended problem-solving. It facilitates the creation of a shared experience for learners which is then utilized for deeper knowledge construction. Students learn within wide collaborative communities, including Globe scientists, and engage interdisciplinary issues “not just as learners but as scientists themselves” (Penuel, 2004). It facilitates clear connections between math and science topics. Unlike the Japer Series, GLOBE does not contain as an explicit “story, adventure, or situation that includes a problem or issue to be resolved and that is of interest to the students” (Fried, 2005). However, I believe that the experience itself could be framed in a similar way.

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.

Fried, A., Zannini, K., Wheeler, D., Lee, Y., & Cortez, a. J. (2005). Theory Name: Anchored Instruction. Retrieved from Suny Cortland:

Howland and Becker (2002). GLOBE: The Science behind Launching an International Environmental Education Program. Journal of Science Education and Technology, Vol. 11, No. 3 (Sep., 2002), pp. 199-210

Penuel, W.R., & Means, B. (2004). Implementation variation and fidelity in an inquiry science program: Analysis of GLOBE data reporting patterns. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(3), 294-315.

Vye, Nancy J.; Goldman, Susan R.; Voss, James F.; Hmelo, Cindy; Williams, Susan (1997). Complex mathematical problem solving by individuals and dyads. Cognition and Instruction, 15(4), 435-450.

Start with Why: The importance of choice


  • How is knowledge relevant to math or science constructed? How is it possibly generated in these networked communities? Provide examples to illustrate your points.


Intrigued by the article entitled “Mathematics in the streets and in schools” by Carraher, Carraher, & Schliemann this week, I couldn’t help but think about some of my previous math students and their infamous question, “Why do we need to know this?” Often the first question to come out of a burgeoning teenager is the inquiry into why a particular subject matter is relevant to their lives. This article revealed that students in Brazil were able to come up with their own strategies in computational thinking when they had no choice but to do so, in order to succeed in their family business.

According to Carraher, “Context-embedded problems were much more easily solved than ones without a context” (1985). When students learn a concept within the correct context, they become engaged and motivated to understand, construct knowledge, and are willing to extend problem solving strategies to tasks they are invested in. This was something I found to be true while leading students through the culminating project of the Exhibition in the PYP. Here students, working collaboratively together in small groups of 3 or 4, spend time exploring a particular subject area that they are personally interested and invested in. For example, one group of students looked into the effects of ocean acidification on marine life in the Pacific Ocean. This is often a topic geared toward senior high school students or university students, but for my Grade 5 students the why was already understood, it was exploring the causes and their role in making a difference that mattered most.

Exploratorium defines itself as “The Exploratorium isn’t just a museum; it’s an ongoing exploration of science, art and human perception—a vast collection of online experiences that feed your curiosity.” This exciting resource provides both teachers and students with the opportunity to access videos, information, and experts with the touch of a button. According to Yoon et al., AR is defined as “virtual objects in the real environment, alignment of real and virtual objects with each other, and their interaction in real time.” AR provides those interested with the access to information that may otherwise be limited due to cost or distance. Yoon et al, note that specific scaffolding helps to enhance learning such as collaboration, prompts, collective cognitive responsibility. Fascinating to me was the point in the article that the observed students failed to read the instructions on the task card, something I have noticed occur in my own classroom. This made me realize the importance of TELEs such as Jasper, where instructions are part of the video.

However, it wasn’t until Hsi’s article that I really began to change my thinking about the importance of information technologies for informal learning. Hsi describes the advantages of information technologies in museums and out-of-school settings by explaining that the learner holds the power in their quest to understand what is important to them. With RSS tools, for example, students can tweet or email interesting facts or ideas to shared communities to continue the conversation with peers. Even more exciting is that the learner can begin to collect data as part of a team, aiding researchers from universities. Hsi sums it up best by saying, “As more IT becomes widely available, research and development will need to view IT not only as a tool for productivity and training in formal settings, but also as a context for designing meaningful informal learning experiences: creating interactions, online social spaces, media-rich representations, interest-driven activities, and communities for learning as bridges to formal schooling and to personal interests and everyday hobbies.” With sites such as Exploratorium, students don’t whine about why they are learning a particular context because they are in the driver’s seat when it comes to learning. Students are constructing knowledge because they were given choice, which is just differentiated learning at its best!



Carraher, T. N., Carraher, D. W., & Schliemann, A. D. (1985). Mathematics in the streets and in schools. British journal of developmental psychology, 3(1), 21-29.

Hsi, S. (2008). Information technologies for informal learning in museums and out-of-school settings. International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education, 20(9), 891-899.

Yoon, S. A., Elinich, K., Wang, J., Steinmeier, C., & Tucker, S. (2012). Using augmented reality and knowledge-building scaffolds to improve learning in a science museum. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(4), 519-541.

How knowledge relevant to Math is constructed

  • How is knowledge relevant to math or science constructed? How is it possibly generated in these networked communities? Provide examples to illustrate your points.

Lampert (1990) provided an illuminating account of how she conducted her lesson on exponents to a grade 5 class in order to change the meaning of knowing, and learning Mathematics in her classroom to adhere much more closely to how Mathematicians would argue, and establish Mathematical facts. I believe that her method more closely resembles how knowledge in math is constructed.

Lampert argues that there is a sharp contrast between Mathematical practice and how the subject is perceived in popular culture and in the classroom. In the scientific community, Mathematical ideas are often questioned, with the assumptions frequently evaluated and foundations tested, and as such the subject is open to discussion and the possibility of uncertainty. This is in contrast to how mathematics is discussed in the classroom, as the teacher, and the textbook is believed to hold all the facts and are rarely questioned. It was also believed that the concept of “proof” and the challenging of assumptions are rarely brought into classroom practice.

Below are some of the practices that Lampert used in her class:

  1. In starting a new unit, Lampert gave students wide open problems that encouraged participation, and discussion. For example, students were asked to find a way to determine the last digit in the expressions 6^4 and 7^4 without multiplying.  Problems like these could be solve through a variety of strategies, and was open to student hypothesis and discussion. Lampert was not only looking for the strategy to solve the problem, but also the actual solution. This trains students in the act of forming hypotheses, and discussing their ideas. I also believe that this closely resembles how Mathematical knowledge is created: Mathematicians observe a problem in the real world, and conjectures are made about how to determine the solution to the problem.
  2. Lampert wrote down student solutions on the board, along with their names. When students asserted that certain answers needed to be removed from the board because they were incorrect, the students were asked to provide reasoning as to why the answer is incorrect, and why the person who gave the answer thought the way they did. I thought this practice resembled academic discourse, as Mathematical proofs are often placed in the public eye, argued, and agreed upon before acceptance as fact.
  3. Lampert followed, and engaged in the mathematical argument with the students in order to show students what it means to know Mathematics. Lampert made explicit the knowledge that she carried with her, and how she used that knowledge to carry an argument about the legitimacy of their proofs. The analogy Lampert used was one of navigating “cross country mathematics”. The teacher uses their knowledge to move along the path traveled by students on the mathematical terrain, and to help students move along. Instead of directing students along a carefully laid out path, Lampert suggests that teachers should show what it means to have mathematical expertise, and that it is more than being able to navigate down a straight and clean path, but rather the ability to navigate through sometimes rugged terrain.

Networked communities help generate mathematical knowledge by allowing information to be collected from a large population at once. One feature of the GLOBE library for example, is for students to contribute data to scientific studies (Penuel, 2004). Numerical data can be collected from a variety of sources, and analysed for patterns and possible relationships. I believe networked communities are a big frontier in mathematics. Many self driving car trials and experiments for example, is a result of data collected by a a large fleet of semi-autonomous vehicles.

Lampert, M. (1990). When the problem is not the question and the solution is not the answer: Mathematical knowing and teaching. American educational research journal27(1), 29-63.

Penuel, W. R., & Means, B. (2004). Implementation variation and fidelity in an inquiry science program: Analysis of GLOBE data reporting patterns. Journal of Research in Science Teaching41(3), 294-315.

Contribute to the Greater Good – Business Education

Providing our students with the expertise to critically sort through the enormous amount of information that is available to them is one of the most important skills we, as educators, can help them develop.  With the rapid developments we have seen in technology over the past two decades, our students have the opportunity to engage in the curriculum and interact with environments that otherwise would have been very difficult to do.  Driver et. al. (1994) reiterate a commonly accepted principle that knowledge must be constructed by the learner and not simply transmitted; what we define as constructivism.  In this module we are introduced to the concept of knowledge diffusion and how students can work together to collectively create learning experiences and construct knowledge.

Veletsianos & Kleanthous (2009) explore the idea of adventure learning and define it as “an approach to the design of online and hybrid education that provides students with opportunities to explore real-world issues through authentic learning experiences within collaborative learning environments” (para. 7).  The authors found that in order to fully understand such complex learning environments, more research is required in empirically grounding both the process of learning and the means to support that process.  Although this is a math and science based class, as a business education teacher, I see enormous potential with this technology.  In order to bring authenticity to my lessons, I attempt to discuss business cases of companies that students are interested in and may think they know a lot about; exploring these same companies using the foundations of business education theory helps them construct knowledge in deeper ways.  Using technologies such as Google Expeditions to virtually tour an Amazon distribution centre or to be able to experience different corporate office environments to understand how business is done differently in other countries can be invaluable experiences to my students (last I checked, Google Expeditions doesn’t offer corporate tours).

In my Financial Accounting 12 class I tasked my students with creating a lesson that would serve as a study tool to others in the course.  There are no business prerequisites for this course and so students arrive with a varied level of understanding and previous knowledge.  The purpose of the assignment was to help those with no experience with accounting to understand a basic level so as to have as many students on the same page as possible.  Those students who had taken Accounting 11 were tasked with more complex issues while those who had no accounting experience were given more basic principles to explain.  In hindsight, I wish I had created an online database of these lessons so future students could access and learn as well.

Do you think this contribution of knowledge is similar to the data collection and collaboration we saw in tools such as Globe?


Driver, R., Asoko, H., Leach, J., & Mortimer, E. (10/01/1994). Educational researcher: Constructing scientific knowledge in the classroom American Educational Research Association. doi:10.2307/1176933

Veletsianos, G., & Kleanthous, I. (2009). A review of adventure learning.International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(6) Retrieved from

Yoon, S. A., Elinich, K., Wang, J., Steinmeier, C., & Tucker, S. (2012). Using augmented reality and knowledge-building scaffolds to improve learning in a science museum. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(4), 519-541

Embedded Networks: The International Boiling Point Project

“Speculate on how such networked communities could be embedded in the design of authentic learning experiences in a math or science classroom setting or at home. Elaborate with an illustrative example of an activity, taking care to consider the off-line activities as well.”

I chose to explore GLOBE as an example of networked communities. It is a fascinating and extensive resource and instantly called to mind a very similar networked learning project that I would like to share: The International Boiling Point Project.  Every year, schools from across the globe collaborate to answer the simple question—what factors control how water boils? Each school team contributes their results to a common data base. From a teaching perspective, this allows students to explore the effects of altitude, local air pressure, water types, and methodology in a way that would not be possible in isolation. The magic of this experiment touches on two main issues from this lesson:

1) Students socially construct knowledge
2) Communities of knowledge have normative practices

When students first post their data, there is invariable confusion. Do we use Celsius, Kelvin, or Fahrenheit? Why did that group not include altitude data? That group has a boiling point of over 100! The networking requires that students agree on normative language and practices in a very real way. By interacting with and critiquing other groups, they are forced to look more carefully at their own practice in way that is difficult to motivate in a normal “lab” activity. The paper by Driver et al. speaks to the importance of providing these social constructions in the classroom:

“Science classrooms are being recognized as forming communities that are characterized by distinct discursive practices…researchers are experimenting with ways of organizing classrooms so as to reflect particular forms of collaborative enquiry that can support students in gradually mastering some of the norms and practices that are deemed to be characteristic of scientific communities” (Driver, 1994, p. 9)

One thing I have noticed in these collaborations is that some students who are very active in informal learning environments do not contribute when in the formal learning environment. It’s almost as though they feel that since it is “official” it is not safe to contribute. How do we encourage meaningful participation in a formal learning environment?  Also, Driver (1994) suggests that communities of practice have very specific language and symbols.  Is combining subjects in a STEM environment problematic in this regard?  That is, does mixing the symbols and practices of mathematics, science, and technology come with problems?

Driver, R., Asoko, H., Leach, J., Scott, P., & Mortimer, E. (1994). Constructing scientific knowledge in the classroom. Educational researcher, 23(7), 5-12.
Means, B. & Coleman, E. (2000). Technology supports for student participation in science investigations. In M.J. Jacobson & R. B. Kozma (Eds.), Innovations in science and mathematics education: Advanced designs for technologies of learning (pp. 287-320). New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.

Peneul, W.R., & Means, B. (2004). Implementation variation and fidelity in an inquiry science program: Analysis of GLOBE data reporting patterns. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 41(3), 294-315.

A communal effort for knowledge construction

How is knowledge relevant to math or science constructed? How is it possibly generated in these networked communities?


According to Rosalind Driver, “The objects of science are not the phenomena of nature but constructs that are advanced by the scientific community to interpret nature.”

Knowledge relevant to science and math is constructed as part of socially accepted ideas that have permeated and prevailed into scientific communities through symbolic representation of empirical research. The role of the teachers, therefore, is to initiate students into the scientific ways of knowing (Driver et al., 1994), by introducing them to scientific concepts, as well as intervening and negotiating their conceptual understanding. Educators are mediators that guide students in differentiating between the everyday world of perceived science and the accepted world of science developed by the scientific community, as emphasized by Driver.

With the advances in science informational technologies (IT) provide, scientific and mathematical knowledge construction is heavily influenced by social processes and context. Carraher’s study of ‘Mathematics in the Streets and in Schools’ compared computational strategy effectiveness, given a context (such as completing transactions in the streets of Brazil) to routine learned computations strategies in school, without context. The study found that the knowledge construction was more powerful and effective if it was learned within a context, making fewer computational mistakes since the learning was being meaningfully applied for that student (Carraher et al., 1985). This implies that learning using an IT context needs to include opportunities for students to make meaning for themselves of the scientific knowledge they are delving into. As educators wanting to use networked communities such as Exploratorium and Virtual Field Trips like Discovery Ed, we need to negotiate differences between common sense science and the scientific symbolic representations of actual science.

Digital Libraries and Museums can offer excellent scientific reasoning opportunities for students to engage in. Interactive installations and activities allow for physical observations of scientific phenomena for students, while enhancing the scientific community of young learners by enabling choice and interest through a variety of topics (Hsi, S., 2008). These virtual museums can allow for students to access true scientific material from remote areas, rather than relying on student collected empirical data to make informed scientific research. In my own practice, I have found citizen science projects, such as, to be effective ways to engage young learners in scientific discovery and dataset research and interpretation. The distributed data collection using IT allows for a broadening of the scientific community that can enhance interest and learning far greater than what was available to the average student in the past.

However, as Spicer points out, there is still no truly effective replacement for real field trips and scientific knowledge building through hands-on and socially constructed learning opportunities. Staff and student interaction during real field trips facilitates deeper “emergent” issues through discussions that allows for more profound learning to occur (Spicer et al., 2001). Therefore, with any IT enhanced science or math engagement opportunity, the learning should be enhanced not replaced with virtual learning environments. Virtual field trips, for examples, should be used as a ‘before and after’ routine that can further a student’s thinking towards a particular scientific principle, rather than relying solely on the guided or open tours available through a virtual museum’s website.

Carraher, T. N., Carraher, D. W., & Schliemann, A. D. (1985). Mathematics in the streets and in schools. British journal of developmental psychology, 3(1), 21-29.

Driver, R., Asoko, H., Leach, J., Scott, P., & Mortimer, E. (1994). Constructing scientific knowledge in the classroom. Educational researcher, 23(7), 5-12.

Hsi, S. (2008). Information technologies for informal learning in museums and out-of-school settings. International handbook of information technology in primary and secondary education, 20(9), 891-899.

Spicer, J., & Stratford, J. (2001). Student perceptions of a virtual field trip to replace a real field trip. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 17, 345-354.

Zooniverse – a citizen science website

This site provides an opportunity for students to engage in Citizen Science. Like a virtual museum and research center combined, Zooniverse utilizes the power of Information Technologies with portable devices, such as ipads, smartphones or laptops, to create a science environment where students can take part in real scientific documentation and aid in the scientific research process. Students choose a project, anywhere from life sciences to space, and assist in the collection and interpretation of data sets. They can also take part in the important aspects of social negotiation and collaborative discussions through the ‘Let’s Talk’ forum. Its very easy to set up in a classroom and the site provides resources for teachers beginning a project for the first time.

Virtual Reality Alone is NOT Enough…

This week, I chose to focus my attention on the Carraher, Carraher & Schliemann (1985), Spicer & Stratford (2001), and Yoon, Elinich, Wang & Steinmeier (2012) articles.

When I started reading the Carraher et al (1985) article I wondered the relevance it would have to my Grade 1 students who come from a fairly privileged neighborhood. I quickly realized that the young children in the study who were able to determine the price of ten coconuts without the use of paper and pencil and little to no education were a great example of how to teach mathematics. More than ever, educators are starting to veer away from the traditional math worksheets and teach using a variety of hands-on activities with a wide variety of manipulatives. Had these Brazilian students been sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher speak at the front of a classroom about multiplication, would they have understood the concept as clearly? It is evident that hands-on, applicable learning is key in students understanding mathematic concepts as well as being able to apply them to different situations in their lives.

In the Spicer & Stratford (2001) article, they discussed a VR program called Tidepool and polled students on whether or not they believed VR programs such as this could replace actual field trips. In this particular VR program, students could copy and paste, add hyperlinks, pictures and text from the ‘field notebook’ to their own electronic notebook. This allowed students to gather information that they thought was most informative or valuable to them in an easy and accessible manner. This use of technology reminded me of how inquiry based learning can encourage deep and meaningful learning to occur as students are creating their own understandings based on the information that they deem to be useful. While the consensus of the study demonstrated that VR is not as immersive as actual field trips, it is clear that there is some merit to such experiences, especially when actual field trips are not possible. Utilizing programs like National Geographic’s live cams and Discovery Educations virtual field trips allows me to plan my science and mathematics program to ensure that my students are immersed in as much live content as possible. Being able to follow the life of a bald eagle and see its nesting patterns, etc. versus reading about it in a textbook or even on the web is not the same. Being able to view, in real time, live experiences through virtual realty programs is incredibly intriguing to students.

It is clear that with the inclusion of VR/AR activities, scaffolding and collaboration is key in the successful learning and understanding of students. As Yoon et al (2012) pointed out, “scaffolds would promote collaboration within the peer groups by encouraging students to discuss their observations and reflections of their experience”. This statement clearly demonstrates the importance of discussions when utilizing technology. Without collaborative discussions to outline what the students are examining through virtual realties, connections are not being made and the usefulness of these programs declines. Therefore, it is important for educators to purposefully utilize these programs in conjunction with collaborative activities for learning to occur.

All in all, after reading these article and taking time to explore the different websites/activities provided, it is clear that in order for such programs to be successful in the classroom, they must be utilized in conjunction with a clear plan outlined by the educator. Additional activities that delve into the deeper meaning of these programs and what is being viewed are necessary for deep learning to occur.



Carraher, T. N., Carraher, D. W., & Schliemann, A. D. (1985). Mathematics in the streets and in schools. British journal of developmental psychology, 3(1), 21-29.

Spicer, J., & Stratford, J. (2001). Student perceptions of a virtual field trip to replace a real field trip. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 17, 345-354.

Yoon, S. A., Elinich, K., Wang, J., Steinmeier, C., & Tucker, S. (2012). Using augmented reality and knowledge-building scaffolds to improve learning in a science museum. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, 7(4), 519-541.