Technology Enhanced Learning in Science

The TELS project was established by the National Science Foundation as a national Center for Learning and Teaching in 2003. TELS research has investigated how to improve learning and instruction in science classes for students in grades 6-12, with a focus on the role that information technology can play.

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TELS has already reached more than 20,000 students and 300 teachers in over 30 schools. Many of the students are economically disadvantaged and speak languages other than English at home. Our research to date documents that students in every TELS classroom make gains in understanding complex scientific concepts, such as chemical reactions, mitosis, kinematics, and geological processes.

TELS researchers have designed and classroom tested 20 projects in the TELS schools that serve diverse learners. In five of the TELS schools, between 9% and 25% of the students do not speak English at home. On average, 25% of the students in TELS districts receive free or reduced price lunches. Nine TELS schools serve a population with more than 50% of the students from cultural groups underrepresented in science. Five schools have between 20% and 49% of students from underrepresented cultural groups.