Category Archives: B. Design of TELEs

Desmos TELE – Graphs Galore

I have designed a series of activities for students exploring parameters of linear, quadratic, and cubic relations.  The student version can be accessed at and the teacher version (which can be cloned and edited) can be accessed at

My accompanying guide is attached to this post at the following hyperlink Ives 533 Final TELE Project

I would love to hear from anyone who has an opportunity to check it out or even try it.

Geography TELE

A few years ago I was searching for a new way to deliver the grade 7 geography curriculum. We had just received a class set of chrome books for the school and I thought I would combine geography and technology by creating a website the students could work through at their own pace. I included some mini lessons and specific tasks for them to complete. It was sort of a first attempt at the TELE if you will. I thought I would share it with you here. Feel free to check it out, use it or adapt it.


A Very Simple Way To Look At TELEs

I really like this statement from the overview,

Educational technology is a combination of the processes and tools involved in addressing educational needs and problems, with an emphasis on applying the most current tools, such as computers and their related technologies”

Because a pencil can be seen as technology because it address educational needs, although it is not the most current, it has stood the test of time.

I think that a designer of learning experiences should make the experience as engaging and useful as possible.  I think that it is important to include students in the process, it should allow for critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration.  Even though the technology aspect is important, designers must make sure that outcomes are covered and students are learning the information intended.  There must also be room for dialogue and communication


I would design a technology based learning experience that allows students to be more active participants in their own learning, allowing them to be content creators as well as content consumers.  I want my experience to be easy to use, fun and educational all at the same time.

Genetic Diversity

The Project that I choose to examine in WISE was called “Space Colony – Genetic Diversity and Survival”.  The project is presented as a case study. The students were presented with a “mission briefing” where they were given two options for the survival of “colonists” on a planet based on their genetic makeup.  They would then have to come up with a hypothesis for why the route they choose would be the best options. The project then took the students through the molecular level of biodiversity that included cell division, DNA, mutations, single celled and multicellular organisms, etc. After learning about cells and how human cloning works, the project then zoomed out and gave students the opportunity to think about the big picture. Ultimately, this should help them understand the original problem that was presented at the beginning of the project with regards to which planet would be best for the colonists.


When experimenting with the project,  I was able to add in animations that I found online to illustrate cell division. This provides students with a visual of how the different components of the cells reproduce in order to create genetic diversity. I also added more areas where student were able to explain their thinking, rather than multiple choice. Kim & Hannefin (2011) discuss that WISE is about creating experiences that challenge that students to a particular task, scaffolding content in a way to expand student problem solving. The projects that I explored in WISE demonstrate a high degree of interaction with various models. I like how they incorporate some interpretation of data, blending the mathematics and sciences together. Williams et al (2004) discusses how teacher are able to gain a deeper understanding of the curriculum goals in order to support students’ learning and make their thinking visible.


Kim, M. C., & Hannafin, M. J. (2011). Scaffolding problem solving in technology-enhanced learning environments (TELEs): Bridging research and theory with practice. Computer & Education, 56(2), 403-417.


Williams, M. Linn, M.C. Ammon, P. & Gearhart, M. (2004). Learning to teach inquiry science in a technology-based environment: A case study. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 13(2), 189-206.

Fish Can’t See Water

I found it inspiring to consider the definitions of technology presented in the overview of this module.  The two that resonated most with me were Roblyer (2012) and Muffoletto (1994) because of the common thread they share about technology being less a collection of ‘things’ and more about the integrated practices and behaviours of our culture.  I was reminded of a saying, “fish can’t see water” that comments on human blindness to culture.  I think technology has always been an integral part of our culture.  Some of our technologies are ‘things’: from sticks used by our primate ancestors to take insects from their mounds – to pencils – to networked computing devices.  Other technologies, however, are not ‘things’ in the classical sense.  Language, for example, cannot be defined as a physical object, yet is undeniably a tool we use to enable us in a multitude of ways.  Roblyer and Muffoletto both echo the interwoven nature of technology and human existence in their definitions.

In designing my own TELE, I would want the environment to be suited to my learner’s context – the content would need to be culturally relevant and framed in a way that motivated investigation and inquiry.  The teaching methods would support independent thought, collaboration, and problem solving.

I would want my computer technology doing the jobs that it is best suited to: crunching data, modelling, etc., and the students doing jobs in which they are better than computers: making inferences, extrapolating, problem solving, etc..   The non-computer technology ‘things’ in my TELE would support student manipulation/making in order to cement understanding of their learning.

Finally, I would look for ways to connect computer and non-computer tech.  For example, designing in a 3D modelling space, then using a printer to bring it into real space or writing a program to control a mechanical simulation.


Muffoletto, R. (1994). Technology and restructuring education: Constructing a context. Educational Technology, 34(2), 24-28.

Roblyer, M.D. & Doering, A. (2012). Integrating educational technology into teaching, (5th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Ideal Pedagogical Design

The ideal pedagogical design of a technology-enhanced learning experience for math and/or science would be based on innovative teacher and student practices. Constructivist activities would allow for student led learning, with teacher as facilitator. As Kozma (2003) notes, teachers are not the disseminators of information but rather act as the “guide on the side”, providing planning, structure and ongoing check-ins and assessment for learning. With this type of learning, the educator must have proficiency using technology tools and platforms in different ways, so ongoing collaboration between educators as well as ongoing training would be an important piece of this puzzle. The pedagogical design would take into account the availability of appropriate technology tools as well as providing stimulating questions or wonderings in which the students would be able to choose their learning path but still be provided with scaffolding throughout. These questions or wonderings could then be linked to the curriculum through purposeful guidance by the educators and through looking for patterns and links between the queries and the curricula. Students would be encouraged to work collaboratively and to reach findings and to use technology to its full capabilities including analysis, problem solving, designing and implementing.  Students would be encouraged to reflect on their learning, share through a variety of presentation tools and continue to incorporate new technology tools in their learning.

Robert B. Kozma (2003) Technology and Classroom Practices, Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 36:1, 1-14, DOI: 10.1080/15391523.2003.10782399

A conversation with Punya Mishra

Dear Class,

I really enjoyed reading this week about how you would teach particular content in your classrooms or organizations. In each thread, where possible, I tried to identify the “PCK” in the post, as it will be helpful to orient future posts by you in Modules B and C.

The concept of PCK has had tremendous influence in educational research. And more recently, TPACK has emerged as a new concept. As your posts emphasized in this forum, PCK suggests that educators have (or ought to inspire to have) a specialized knowledge base that goes beyond content or disciplinary knowledge or knowledge about how to teach. As shared earlier, Shulman calls the knowledge of a teacher an “amalgam.”  The amalgam includes the two aforementioned knowledge bases plus knowing how to teach particular content (or as some view, what is it about the content that makes this teaching method appropriate). In addition to the techne (or the how we teach particular content or topic areas), Aristotle suggests that we also articulate the value of doing so this way.

The technological domain or (T) put forward this idea that teachers not only need PCK but knowledge of how to teach particular content with particular technologies (TPCK or TPACK). TPACK is a powerful concept that has been reflected in recent dissertations on it. I have written about TPACK in some of my papers (Khan, S. (2011). New pedagogies on teaching science with computer simulations. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 20(3), 215-232).

In a recent conversation with Punya Mishra, I talked with him about the TPACK concept. We discussed how do we best delineate the “interstitial spaces” of this concept. Dr. Mishra shared with me that he is impressed by new questions from students that have taken this concept and attempted to delineate mergers where T meets C, K, and P. What do these look like? Your posts have begun this conversation this week. We shall endeavour in our discussions in Module B and C to think in terms of PCK and TPACK using topics of your interest.



Reciprocal Interaction

Aligning closely with my personal definition of technology as interactive affordances, is Jonassen’s (2000) thinking on technology as “cognitive affordances”. Jonassen supports constructivist methods of learning and suggests that technology use requires students to think purposefully about how and why they are using technology while inquiring, knowledge building, problem solving, collaborating and self assessing. In addition to Jonassen’s perspective, technology defined as interactive affordances requires students to actively participate with technology through an actual relationship established through processes of input and reciprocal output. Generally within the interaction, the student is required to provide input while the technology responds with output. This type of interaction augments the learning experience for the student, creating a reciprocal environment; the student and technology participate in a dialogue experience, rather than the student passively receiving a technological monologue.

In designing a TELE (technology enhanced learning environment), incorporating the following five areas of learning is ideal: planning, collaborating, creating, sharing and reflecting. Each of these five areas requires an interactive approach with technology, along with an engaging relationship with varied digital tool possibilities. Designing spaces that allow for individual and collaborative learning provides opportunity for students to synthesize and articulate their own ideas, and then join together with others to receive feedback and new ideas. Collaboration and feedback also include teacher scaffolding through questioning, comments and formative assessment. Interactive affordances and the reciprocal nature of learning within this TELE occurs because of relationship with both the technology and other individuals.


Jonassen, D. H. (2000). Computers as mindtools for schools, 2nd Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/ Prentice Hall. Retrieved from Google Scholar:

Deeper Learning

I would define educational technologies as utilizing any too to enhance and transform students learning to take place across multiple modalities. It’s important for students to have a learning experience where they can dig deep into a particular concept and really master it rather than skim the surface of a many concepts.  I’m a big fan of project based learning and I find students are able to really own a topic when they can explore it in depth. I find educational technologies to be the rope the somewhat ties everything together. My students enjoy keeping the conversation around classroom topics going even after the 3 o’clock bell through our learning management system. It demonstrates to me how invested they are in a topic and allows we to guide their learning more clearly.

The Virtual Context

The major theme that seems to be emerging for myself as I progress through the course is the focus on brick-and-mortar classrooms of math and science and how technology can be used to make these spaces technology- enhanced.  We saw this in the video cases presented in Module A.

I’m curious however of how virtual classrooms fit into the scope of the course so far.  If a technology-enhanced space is a classroom in a school with tools like smartboards or motion sensor equipment connected to a computer, how can a virtual classroom qualify to be a technology-enhanced space?

For example, Elluminte Live is a popular conferencing tool used by virtual schools for live interaction between teacher and students.  Is it appropriate to say the Elluminate Live window of one live class is the “classroom”?  If so, would tools like powerpoints, simulations, google docs, LMS based discussions, quizzes, chat systems allow for the Elluminate live classroom to be technology-enhanced?

It would be great to get some feedback from peers!