Category Archives: B. Synthesis




TELES present an engaging and relevant way to encourage student learning. In Module B, we took a look at four models of TELEs which help to bridge the gap between real-world science and the textbook-based model many science teachers have become reliant on. These models are T-GEM, Anchored Instruction, SKI/WISE, and LfU.  Some of the major similarities between these models are collaborative approaches, solving real-world problems, working with real-world data sets, and scaffolding new observations with student preconceptions. Such approaches strive to break the cycle of textbook and fact-based learning which do little for generating a realistic view of science, motivating students, and developing critical thinking skills. The exploration of these four models has greatly increased my confidence in building an effective science classroom. These topics are a refreshing way to integrate high level cognitive skills into a science classroom and will greatly aid my ability to design and run science classes which can remain interesting, relevant, and applicable to students.

While working through this module I still struggle to think of creative ways to include these four models into my mathematics instruction. Apart from data analysis and the use of math in multi-disciplinary problems, I remain lost in how to change my mathematics instruction in similar constructive ways as in science. I find the access to online Math instructional aides to be limited in ability and scope. As the new BC Ministry of Education rolls out to all the grades, learning activities such as the four which we looked at in this module will become valuable assets to fulfill curricular and core competencies.


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.

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. 10.1002/1098-2736(200103)38:3<355::aid-tea1010>3.0.CO;2-M

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

Williams, M. & Linn, M. C.(2002) WISE Inquiry in Fifth Grade Biology. Research in Science Education, 32(4), 415-436.


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.


A comparison of 4 TELEs

I decided to summarize the 4 TELEs in table format. This is what I came up with:

Below is a link to a PDF in case the above does not read well.
Module B synthesis

All methods noted in the table are based on constructivist learning theories. All methods aim to achieve a deeper understanding of complex phenomena or concept in math and/or science. I found that the use of technology for presentation of information was the same in each TELE, however, the degree to which technology was used for other things differed. For example, in the Jasper series (Anchored instruction), technology use was limited to presentation of information, whereas in WISE (SKI), MyWorld (LfU), and Chemland (T-GEM), it was also used for data evaluation, visualization of ideas and collaboration. The TELEs also differed in the degree of guidance or scaffolding that was provided as well as the provider of that scaffolding. For Jasper, the purpose was for generative learning, and thus minimal scaffolding would be provided (though this can be adjusted dependent on the preference of the teacher and experience of the students). In contrast, with MyWorld, the teacher provides guidance at each step and also provides explanations of relationships that were uncovered by students during the knowledge construction observation stage.  In Jasper, MyWorld, and Chemland scaffolding was provided by the teacher. However in the WISE projects, much of the scaffolding was provided by technology in combination with the teacher particularly for those groups that were struggling.

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Bringing It Altogether

Technology Enhanced Learning Environments Theory Examples
Anchored Instruction -Also known as Instructional Design

– includes engaging and problem rich environments that allow learners to understand the how, why and when to use different concepts and strategies (Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt, 1992)

-Jasper video series, allows students to see real-world math problems

-Khan Academy, allows students to complete missions which is a tailored math program

SKI / WISE -WISE (Web-based Inquiry Science Environment) and SKI (Scaffolded Knowledge Integration) are just that. Inquiry based research topics where students can search from the many online projects and learn through inquiry. -Similar to Webquests

-Many online inquiry based projects can be found here:

LFU -The LFU model consists of a three-step process which includes: motivation, knowledge construction and knowledge refinement (Edelson, 2001) -My World GIS

-Google Sky

-Motivate: Wonder Wall on an inquiry question the students may have

-Knowledge Construction: Using the available websites mentioned above to gain a deeper understanding

-Refinement: Reflect on what the student has learned

T-GEM -As Khan (2007) states, model-based learning is a theory that allows students to learn from critiquing, building, and changing our way of thinking on how the world works.

-Includes: Generate, Evaluate, Modify

-Similar to LFU model



After reviewing and reflecting throughout module B and the 4 foundational technology-enhanced learning environments; there was a reoccurring theme of constructivism. That is, learners construct knowledge out of their experiences. What each of these 4 learning environments do, is allow the learners to take control of what it is they are learning. Many topics learned in class these days are not applicable or involve real-world examples. These 4 environments can really engage students and promote critical thinking skills which is very much what BC’s new curriculum is heading towards.

I’ve learned that incorporating STEM into a math or science classroom can really have a profound effect on students. Just before the end of the school year, a colleague and myself brought both of our classes together to have a STEM competition. The students were divided into groups where they had to build a catapult that would be assessed on: distance and accuracy. The kids were in love with this project. One thing that I would do differently next time, is to incorporate technology. What would that look like? Perhaps, allowing students to research and review different catapults through videos and simulations? Or recording their design and experiment with video? Producing a DIY video? Either way, I will be using STEM with every class I have from now on.

Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1992). The Jasper experiment: An exploration of issues in learning and instructional design. Educational Technology Research and Development40, 65-80.

Edelson, D. C. (2001). Learning‐for‐use: A framework for the design of technology‐supported inquiry activities. Journal of Research in Science Teaching38(3), 355-385.

Khan, S. (2007). Model‐based inquiries in chemistry. Science Education91(6), 877-905.

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


Pedagogy First then building a library of resources!

Exploring the four Technology Enhanced Learning Environments in Module B was a reflective process for me that has furthered my understanding of what a student centered classroom can look like.  Many of my students bring their own device so the opportunities in my classroom are limited mainly by my understanding of resources that are available.  

I was especially impressed by WISE and the flexibility to personalize lessons to fit your own specific needs.  The lesson on Learning For Use was the one that I drew the most parallels to my own teaching pedagogy.  The context in which students learn is so important to whether or not they will be able to access this knowledge in a useful way at a later date.

The Jasper series aimed to create real-world problems for students to solve and did a great job of requiring students to create sub-questions from larger ones; I do, however, think that the actual topics of the questions would need to be modified to be more engaging to students.  My understanding of constructivism and inquiry learning is that not only should the problem be real-world, but also something students can relate to (I don’t know if flying an airplane is something my students are all that familiar with).

As a Business Education teacher, I was inspired by the resources presented in this module to continue to search for those that could be used in my classroom.


Learning Goals TELE Explored
Anchored Instruction & Jasper Anchor the learning in a real-world problem.  Students learn to generate sub-questions from the larger question with the aim of creating critical thinkers and not just students answering basic end of chapter problems. Jasper is a set of videos that presents problems to students in an engaging way.  They are real-world; although, I think they could be more relatable to the students.
SKI and WISE Scaffolded Knowledge Integration where students are given the chance to document their learning and revisit it to continually build understanding.  The SKI framework, like the others, is aimed to lead students through a process of inquiry. Through WISE, students are guided through a set of lessons to gradually build understanding of a topic.  The lessons I explored were relatively traditional in that they provided information, and then allowed the student to apply this knowledge in a simulation.
LfU & MyWorld Learning For Use – Learning takes place through constructing new knowledge and modifying previous knowledge, knowledge is goal directed and the context in which the knowledge is constructed matters. Three main aspects of LfU are motivation, knowledge construction and knowledge refinement. MyWorld allowed students to explore the the geography of our planet (earth), create our own and predict what weather patterns will occur.
T-GEM & Chemland T-GEM is a learning theory that leads students through a process of inquiry.  The main elements are to Generate a relationship, Evaluate that relationship and finally Modify it based on the exploration in stage 2. Chemland is a resource used to teach post-secondary chemistry concepts.  It allows students to manipulate many different parameters and immediately see the impact those changes have on the experiment.


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.

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

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. 10.1002/1098-2736(200103)38:3<355::aid-tea1010>3.0.CO;2-M

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.

Prado, M., & Gravoso, R. (03/01/2011). The asia-pacific education researcher: Improving high school students’ statistical reasoning skills: A case of applying anchored instruction College of Education, De La Salle Universi

Synthesis on the importance of TELE’s

For me this unit was full of new ideas and information and it started with the idea of a TELE – technology enhanced learning environment. Throughout module B I explored a number of theories that surround how we might successfully integrate technology into our Science and Math classrooms.

Please see link below to see a chart comparing similarities and differences of TELE’s examined in Module B.

Post 10 Chart

It has been seven informative and transformative weeks for me. When it comes to the frameworks I feel each may be important at different stages of development and understanding by a student. By my Grade 4 or 5 class I can see the value in using T-GEM as the primary foundational theory in Science. While I have often used the scientific process to have students reflect, and proceed again is an essential skill as identified in the new BC curriculum (2015) “generate and introduce new or refined ideas when problem solving.” Through the use of programs such as the PhET simulator students are able to interact with key concepts and as Khan identifies “[i]n dynamic situations, mental models can be manipulated and transformed on the fly through simulation and provide predictive and explanatory power for making sense of the familiar and the unfamiliar.” (Khan, 2007, p 879)
If I return to my first post in this unit around what technology is and as Muffoletto (1994) states the idea that technologies are a way of acting. I still believe now what I did then that the transformative phase of the SAMR model (2016) is where amazing technology integration happens that supports classrooms that bring authentic and tangible learning experiences for students. As I start to plan for the upcoming year I return to Frederiksen and White’s article and complete my own reflection on the importance of their study and how they note that the “reflective assessment, although helpful to all, was particularly helpful in closing the performance gap between the lower and higher achieving students.” (Frederiksen & White, 2009) While hands on learning has always been a key part of my science classroom as I move into a new year, I want to make reflection both through the process of learning and at the end of a lesson the same value as the concept, not something that is often rushed or forgotten in the time crunch.

All Things SAMR Model by Blanca Lemus. (2016). Retrieved 29 May 2016, from

“Building Student Success – BC’s New Curriculum.” N.p., 2017. Web. 9 July 2017.

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

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

White, Barbara Y., and John R. Frederiksen. “Inquiry, Modeling, And Metacognition: Making Science Accessible To All Students.” Cognition and Instruction 16.1 (1998): 3-118. Web. 16 July 2017.

4 TELEs’  Comparison & Synthesis

The four frameworks we explored in STEM education could be applied to all curriculum areas to guide educators’ effective use of technology-enhanced environments in classrooms. Each framework places the learner in the center of learning and promotes constructivism by construction of knowledge, promotion of critical thinking, analysis of information, communication and collaboration.  These skills are required for students to succeed in the 21st century.

The similarities of the four frameworks are 1. The role of the teacher as a facilitator, course designer, and motivator. TELEs require teachers to make a pedagogical shift in their STEM teaching from transmission of knowledge to collaborative construction of knowledge with the learner. 2. The frameworks promote constructive learning environments. 4 TELEs promote active learning that requires critical thinking, data analysis, investigate concepts and relationships, sharing and collaboration. 3. 4 TELEs use technology to aid the learning processes.

Utilizing technology in STEM education can have a great impact on student learning. However, we must have a clear purpose when utilizing technology in each course. The use of technology is to help students visualize complicated/abstract concepts, use real world data, practice and engage in real world applications through simulations, and even leverage virtual or augmented reality to enhance understanding. Technology provides students with the learning environment that allows them to control their learning process.



Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt. (1993). Anchored instruction and situated cognition revisited. Educational Technology, 33(3), 52-70.

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.

Khan, Samia (2011).  New pedagogies on teaching science with computer simulations. Journal of Science Education and Technology 20, 3 pp. 215-232.

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.

TELE Synthesis: Moving forwards

Compare and contrast learning goals and theory of T-GEM and Chemland with:

Anchored Instruction and Jasper:

What I liked about Anchored Instruction is that it was “designed to overcome the problem of developing ‘inert knowledge’ – knowledge learned in school that cannot be retrieved when it is needed for another situation” (Zydney, Bathke & Hasselbring, 2014). I found Jasper to be outdated and not as relevant to today’s learners. With a facelift I think it could be beneficial to support problem solving and development of critical thinking skills and collaboration. Comparing T-GEM and Anchored Instruction, we can see theme of constructivism, providing authentic, deep learning, hands-on experiences. This is one of my favorite teaching approaches, as it helps students make connections outside of the classroom, and allows them to explore concepts, take risks, and develop problem-solving strategies (Hickey, D., Moore, A., & Pellegrin, J, (2001). I think that the Jasper project has the potential to support today’s learners.


The SKI framework promotes knowledge integration by making thinking visible for students, making science accessible for students, and encouraging students to take ownership over their learning by inquiring about scientific concepts (Linn, Clark, and Slotta, 2003). T-GEM also promotes knowledge integration through its three steps: generate, evaluating, and modifying. Both WISE and T-GEM build on previous knowledge and scaffold the learner, accessing students background knowledge (Linn, Clark, and Slotta, 2002). Comparing WISE and T-GEM, we can see the benefit for teachers as students learning is made visible which supports formative assessment. Looking at the differences, SKI focuses on clearing up misconceptions, which is especially important for younger learners in the science field. SKI focuses on differentiated learning whereas T-GEM does not.

LfU and MyWorld:

Learning-for-Use model using MyWorld are more examples of students constructing their own knowledge through hands-on learning. These are examples of meaningful learning that are relatable outside of the classroom. Similarly to T-GEM it motivates learning by introducing and teaching learners how to observe and explore through direct experience, communicate and describe processes, and apply new knowledge through hands-on activities (Edelson, 2001). The goal of LfU is to incorporate real-world problems into learning activities so that the concepts are meaningful and students are able to connect what they have learned when it is relevant (Edelson, 2001). Differences between LfU and T-GEM is the use of technology, which is necessary for T-GEM. LfU is also situated learning.


What I’ve learned through researching and exploring the technology-enhanced learning environments is that these approaches are effective ways of brining meaning to a big idea or curricular content. Cross-curricular, paired with technology, provides deep-learning where students are able to take risks, receive formative feedback and test their understandings. I have plans to use many of these methods next year with my class, especially My World and Jasper style problem solving experiences. When it comes to selecting technology for my classroom and learners, my students are at the center of my decision-making. All of the methods we looked at are based on constructivism, paired with collaboration, eliciting curiosity and student-centered inquiry. These methods provide opportunities for students to learn from each other in a project-based learning setting. All of the methods focus on inquiry, collaboration, and student-centered learning, which is the underlying theme in the new BC Curriculum (BC Ministry of Education, 2015).

Moving forward this summer, my plan is to design my new classroom to be a technology enhanced learning environment that provides space for collaboration, inquiry, and problem-based learning. I think I will be pulling from each of the methods presented as I find value for my students in all of the approaches. What I like about these approaches is the inclusion of reflection and helping make students learning visible, which supports student self-assessment.


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.

Linn, M., Clark, D., & Slotta, J. (2002). Wise design for knowledge integration. Science Education, 87(4), 517-538.

Zydney, Bathke & Hasselbring (2014) Finding the optimal guidance for enhancing anchored instruction, Interactive Learning Environments, 22:5, 668-683, DOI: 10.1080/10494820.2012.745436