Tele-collaboration is a valuable tool that can connect learners at different sites and help them benefit from their respective competences. Albeit many e-learning applications provide a high level of technical sophistication, such tools typically fall short of reflecting the learners full context, e.g., their presence and awareness. Hence, these applications cause many disturbances in the social interaction of the learners. This paper describes mechanisms to improve the group awareness in elearning environments with the help of automatic integration of such context information from the physical world. This information is gathered by different embedded sensors in various objects, e.g., a coffee mug or an office chair. This paper also describes first results of the integration of these sensors into an existing CSCW/CSCL framework.