Author Archives: Wanyi Wong

Embodied Learning

Embodied Learning, to learn math and science through movement and senses throughout the body, a very unique way of learning through the creation of a connection between the mental mind and physical body to aid learning. I guess in some ways, we don’t even realise that we are already doing some form of embodied learning without realising it. Like counting down a mental list, and your fingers start to gesture.  It’s also a great constructivist approach to learning.  From the readings, I agree with the authors that there is an importance in cognitive learning as well that we need to explore.

I think for technology to work it’s way into embodied learning, we would need to implement more physical input components in the applications we use for learning. For example:  using a floor mat that has build in sensors to detect inputs. Back in 4th year of my undergrad, my team and I created a soundscape installation as our final project, that allowed users to move around in the space and manipulate music in the space. Their speed and movements, would adjust the music’s tempo and rhythm while certain movements would manipulate the volume. The installation didn’t have specific instructions though, so users would learn as they went. It wasn’t an easy project and required a lot of programming as expected whenever programmers try to take physical inputs and translate that into data to produce something else. This type of embodied learning technology would seem like a small group or individual activity instead of a class size one.

So, for embodied learning to work with technology in math or science classrooms, I would assume that physical inputs would need to be programmed into the applications to respond in the certain ways. The successful-ness of these interactions seems more like a programming issue than whether the lesson was taught well and used effective learning approaches. Educational games occasionally found for Wii consoles get kids moving and learning at the same time. So  these new interactive learning applications definitely have potential, if researchers or programmers can find a way to bring them into the classroom.


Dede, C. (2000). Emerging influences of information technology on school curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 32(2), 281-303.

Winn, W. (2003). Learning in artificial environments: Embodiment, embeddedness, and dynamic adaptation. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, 1(1), 87-114. Full-text document retrieved on January 17, 2004, from:

Comparison & Synthesis

Sorry about the lateness, I’m out of town and have very spotty connections. But, here is my overall take of the TELEs.

Anchored Instruction and Jasper


LfU and MyWorld

T-GEM and Chemland

Learning Approach

Use meaningful approach towards learning by helping students make meaningful connections to difficult concepts.

Scaffold students through difficult concepts, with the help of media.


Inquiry based learning on web.

Builds knowledge through student- centred lessons.

Interactive learning


Learning for use, putting purpose for the learning by identifying the use of the content.

To motivate learning by identifying the use of the content in real world situations


TPCK lessons that Generate, Engage, Motivate

Lesson taught with the aid of simulators to digitally enhance learning.


Interactive Learning


From the different TELEs, we looked at, there were a few things that seems to have made up the basic recipe for successful TELEs. This list includes educators’ need to focus on creating lessons that are student-centered, have the option to be self-paced and allows for active learning through interactive interactions with the content through a technological component. Another key component noticed in the different frameworks, was also the critical thinking component in the approaches. The frameworks recognize the importance of students being intrinsically motivated through their own curiosity and skills, which fuels the learning process for each student.  

Technologies can help educators guide students in the right direction while not having to physically cater each lesson for each student. That said, I believe that technology can only enhance a lesson so much, but can not completely replace the teacher’s existence, and technologies will only enhance a lesson if it’s chosen correctly.



I don’t usually teach science, so am not quite sure how to state a known challenge of the students. I looked at the list of interactive simulations and picked a topic that I thought would be very useful in a classroom and build this short T-GEM lesson.

Topic: Solubility of Ionic Compounds

Generate – Create interest  in the topic by asking students open-ended questions to engage their thinking and learn more about how much the students already know about this topic.

  • What does soluble mean? Insoluble?
  • What are some things that are soluble/insoluble?

Evaluate – Learn from simulations, have students predict the solubility of elements from the periodic table, then have them try out the different combinations of elements on interactive simulation.


Salt and Solubility

I would even try bringing in some simple items found in the kitchen to have students test out solubility though hands-on research experiments.  Learn about how temperatures can affect solubility as well.

Modify – After trying elements out in the simulation, I would suggest that the students bring in safe items from home to test out their solubility, and experiment on how they can change the solubility if possible based on what they’ve learned.



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

Khan, S. (2011). New Pedagogies on Teaching Science with Computer Simulations. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 20(3), 215-232. Retrieved from


Intrinsic motivations

  • In what ways would you teach an LfU-based activity to explore a concept in math or science? Draw on LfU and My World scholarship to support your pedagogical directions. Given its social and cognitive affordances, extend the discussion by describing how the activity and roles of the teacher and students are aligned with LfU principles.

My World seems like a very useful tool to teach geography using technology in a classroom.  Similarly, Google Earth shows to have similar potentials as well. Both great tools to use when teaching LfU based activities. It is very easy to see how these tools would be effective in math or science lessons. I, myself, used Google Earth in ESL to teach a bit of geography as well before. It gives students a chance to “see” the world without having to actually physically go to the place. Especially useful, when I was teaching students about the Wonders of the World,  Google Earth gave me a chance to show students real-life up to date photos in 2D and 3D of the great wonders which was better than regular photos, searchable online. I also used such tools to demonstrate the concept of distance to my ESL students before, when introducing countries to them, and where their country is located.  To visually show them the relative distance. These tools serve the function of motivating and engaging students to learn from their own curiosity.

If I was to apply similar Learning for Use activities in math or science, I would likely use the tools as a database of current information that students can gather from to produce results. It seems like using such tools, serves the purpose of data analysing more than presenting a concept, to be a tool to help students make connections more than anything else.  As Edelson stated “The LfU approach recognizes that for robust learning to occurthe learner must be motivated to learn the specific content or skills at hand based on a recognition of the usefulness of that content beyond the learning environment” (Edelson, 2014).  

My science LfU lesson could possibly look at using the data provided by these tools to make comparisons to present a concept. For example, the size of a country in landmass,  population,  and location. Explore why certain areas on the globe would be more ideal for agriculture, and some not. Why population varies greatly between big cities?  Have the students pick countries of their own interest to answer their own questions. My lesson would likely be climate/science related but would probably connect with socials studies as well. Teachers in the lesson would most likely be the facilitators or be a researcher like the students as well.


Bodzin, A. M., Anastasio, D., & Kulo, V. (2014). Designing Google Earth activities for learning Earth and environmental science. In Teaching science and investigating environmental issues with geospatial technology (pp. 213-232). Springer Netherlands.

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.

ISS Project

I chose to explore and customize the “Orbital Motion and the International Space Station” project on WISE as it was an interesting topic to me at the time of selection. I modified the project from the original version, by updating the information and adding some updates about some topics previously brought up about the ISS’s deorbit plan. As the lesson was already well thought up, so I actually didn’t have much to add and probably wouldn’t need to either if I used it myself. My adjustments during use would most likely be in the presentation part of the lesson as the project is created to be used more for individual learning, and I think I would like to use it as a group as well for certain tasks so that group learning can occur.

If I was to use this project for my class,  I would most likely incorporate the lesson with some math and PE to make it an integrated lesson as well. The project has content that can be used for Math lesson as students can learn how to do some calculations after learning the projectile concepts, though it might be more physics related. But the lesson can definitely involve some outdoor, PE component as students can experiment on projectile science with various objects as well to build better understanding. But ultimately, the students would all go back to the online environment to do each section and submit their results there for assessment.

Solution to Literacy related Math Difficulties?

  • How does this technology support learning and conversely how might it confound learning? What suggestions do you have for how the Jasper materials or other digital video might be utilized in your context (include suggestions for activities that do not involve the videos)? What research supports your suggestions? How might the video and/or the activities be augmented for children with learning issues in math? How have or can the contemporary digital technologies and/or their websites also support these suggestions for children with learning issues (eg. Prodigy, Desmos, King of Math, Math Bingo, Reflex Math, or others).

Anchored instruction provides instruction that aid in learning by presenting problems that students can relate to or be engaged in through meaningful content like stories or short scenarios. While reading and watching the videos, I actually started to think back on the “Bill Nye: The Science Guy” videos from when I was young, and thought back to how he used to present information in visually rich and meaning context that was easy to “absorb”, though he never really gave us questions/problems to solve, he would post questions that needed answers and would then answer them himself to us(the audience).  Anchored instruction seems quite similar to problem-based learning or inquiry-based learning pedagogies to me. The use of technology in such a learning environment seems to direct “imagination” in some sense by NOT having students imagine the problem.  By presenting problems in a story or scenario that students can understand showing the why, when and how,  then asking students to come up with a solution, this method seems more focused and I can understand why it works.  I have seen many grade school students who struggle with math problems simply because they have trouble understanding the context, and so have trouble “picturing the problem”. Students often read the word problems multiple times but have trouble understanding what the question is asking, and I have seen this occur in students who are Native English speakers or in ELL.  As it’s the form of instruction that works,  even if videos like the Jasper series aren’t used,  activities like hands-on presentations would likely yield similar results.

This instruction method also aids in the development of crucial critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as pointed out in the readings as well, that developers incorporated that into the Jasper series and would have learning goals that “emphasize the importance of helping students -all students- learn to become independent thinkers “. This form of instruction can likely also support children with math learning difficulties as it aids in the presentation of conceptual knowledge in math. Hasselbring(2005) mentioned that students with math difficulties often struggle to make connections in the problems, and would often solve problems from procedural knowledge. Anchored instruction might be able to help them see the connection needed. Math Videos like the ones on Brainpop can likely do the same, though a subscription is needed.



Hasselbring, T. S., Lott, A. C., & Zydney, J. M. (2005). Technology-supported math instruction for students with disabilities: Two decades of research and development. Retrieved December, 12, 2005. Chicago

THE JASPER EXPERIMENT: USING VIDEO TO FURNISH REAL-WORLD PROBLEM-SOLVING CONTEXTS: The Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt University. (1993). The Arithmetic Teacher, 40(8), 474-478. Retrieved from
Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1992). The Jasper Experiment: An Exploration of Issues in Learning and Instructional Design. Educational Technology Research and Development, 40(1), 65-80. Retrieved from



My overall understanding about TPACK and PCK is about finding the balance.

Whether it’s finding the balance point between Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Knowledge, or PCK with Technological Knowledge. PCK refers to the finding the best method to teach the content in a way that enhances students’ learning and integrating technology into this creates TPACK.  Like many others also pointed out when using TPACK, innovative teaching methods, keeping current is very important. Using technology effectively in the classroom by knowing which technologies to use for what content can support learning.

I came across this video that explains these models very well.

My take on TELE classrooms

From my TELE teaching experience thus far, though it was in second language acquisition, I found that my students really learned a lot from interactive lessons that corresponded with their textbooks. The interactive lessons had digital response cues and textbook work that allowed them to follow along, regardless of whether they were learning individually or as a group/class. Second Language Learning is already really hard, but the most successful lesson pedagogies I found and used were usually related to the practicality of the topics and their presentation. Students learned and retained more from practical useful topics, and topics they could relate to in their own lives.  I would define technologies in TELE’s to be the means to make the connection that isn’t easily achievable in a learning environment. For example, showing a video of a scenario instead of explaining it then asking students to imagine, or getting people to come re-enact the scenario each time.

I think designers of learning experiences often aims to create experiences with technologies that are most popular because then the users would need less “learning time” for the technology and would be able to “dive” into the content quicker.   That’s probably why many learning experiences uses social media applications as a tool for interaction. So if I was to apply what I’ve learned to my own TELE math or science classroom, I would probably choose to use technology(like a computer) to run simulations for science experiments, if materials aren’t readily available. Or use the technology as an access point to math manipulatives that the classroom lacks.


Different Styles, Support, Uses

Sorry about the late post. It was a little hard for me to find a colleague to interview as I don’t currently work in a school nor with teachers who teach Math, Science or at all, and those I knew who did so aren’t in Canada. But I did manage to get some perspectives from tutors I work with on weekends. 

I looked at asking them what they thought about using technologies in Math and Science classrooms, for teaching, for pedagogies, and difficulties.

Interviewee Sam, is a Secondary school teacher, who teaches full time at an International School. She teaches  International Students from all over the world English, Math, Science, and Psychology.  Below is a short abstract of her answers for each of the concepts I focused on.


  • Do you use technology in your Math and Science classes?
  • How do you implement or integrate technology into your classroom?
  • What are some new technologies that you would like to start using in your science and math classroom?

Sam found that she used technology in Science class more than she would in Math. She uses technologies like Powerpoint, Videos, Digital Documents, Cameras, and overhead projectors in her classrooms. Very simple and easy to use technologies to simplify uses. However, if given a chance she wouldn’t mind trying any program that would help her demonstrate concepts, for example, the Smartboard.

Different styles

  • Do you think that the students do better with the technologies integrated into your lessons?

Sam agrees that technologies do help with learning. It gives the teacher a chance to try different teaching pedagogies and allows her to help students learning in various methods.


  • Does your administration support technology integration in your school? Do you feel you need to be an expert to integrate technology into the classroom?
  • What are your biggest concerns when using technologies in the classroom to teach Math or Science?

Tech Support is important and crucial to the success of the implementation into classrooms. However, to Sam, though she knows that her school supports the use of technologies, she often thinks it’s a bit over her head. Her greatest concern is her lack of knowledge of the technology and feels that only experts can integrate technologies into the classroom.


Starting them young

I watched the videos for a few of the case studies specifically 2, 3,  and 5. They gave me a glimpse of how far education has come over the years.  I noted down a few similarities and differences that teachers pointed out in one way or another from their experiences though the settings were different.

  • Teachers pointed out that the technologies integrated into their lessons helped greatly, aiding students with understanding content, and allowed teachers to get through materials faster without having to slow down or explain repeatedly.

This point seems quite important in my perspective as the curriculum covers a lot of material that can’t possibly be all taught without the school year unless teachers teach integrated lessons. The integrated lessons with the help of technology can present more content in a simpler method saving more time.

  • The students were often pushed further as they worked with the technology, pushing them to make more connections and face challenges, take ownership of what they were learning

Pushing them further by making them challenge themselves more creates for more opportunities of exploration in the subjects.

  • Teachers’ often acted as coaches and not information hubs, facilitating and setting goals instead of just regurgitating information to the students.
  • A lot of time and effort is needed to create a successful program.

Another common factor in these learning environments is the noticeable great amounts of time that teachers have put into making the lessons work well with technology. Often times, the teachers in the videos started out being the first in their schools to use such integrated teaching methods and have to learn and “teach” as they go. The educators also notices the decreasing need for students to ask teachers for answers and coaches students in the lessons instead of give straight answers.

  • The STEM learning environment creates an equal platform for all students in the classroom regardless of what background they came from.

As students now all come with different prior knowledge and different backgrounds, these STEM learning environments  due the integration of technology that most students in the classroom may not be familiar with, creates an equal learning environment for all students.

The biggest point I noticed with the videos is the mentions of how schools and school districts gain more technologies for classrooms every year, and the grades that are exposed to them are lowering every year. I understand that it’s to prep the students for future successes, but  I can’t help but wonder if is it really a good thing that the age of exposure keeps dropping?  It’s like how students now know how to find the definition for a word on google, but can’t use a dictionary. Or how a students needs to use their phone to figure our how many days it is till end of the month and when asked why they didn’t just do the math themselves, their reply was simply “Why do I need to do the math when an app/calculator can tell me on my phone”.  To have all these technological skills is great, but I can’t help but wonder what happens when all technologies stop working and humans have to use traditional “old-school” skills again.