Photo by Avel Chuklanov on Unsplash

This past summer I had the opportunity to study at the Principals Training Center in Miami and take the Technology Leadership course.  Our instructors for the course were John Mikton @jmiktonand Patrick Green @pgreensoup, I highly recommend following them on Twitter.  I also highly recommend taking this course with the PTC if you have the chance.  One of our days was spent examining “Future Learning Frameworks”. We had the opportunity to examine the TPACK model, SAMR, and the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM), along with some other models, which I will touch upon further below.  What I appreciate about the SAMR, TPACK, and TIM models, is that they provide an easily understood framework for educators to examine what is taking place in their classroom, and how they can integrate technology in an authentic manner.

Photo by SwapnIl Dwivedi on Unsplash


In using the models, I feel that the SAMR and TIM models are easier to use and understand. The frameworks are presented in a linear fashion, with deeper integration being utilized as you move up the ladder in the case of SAMR, or from left to right in the case of TIM.  One of the important things to keep in mind with both SAMR and TIM is that the goal is not always to reach redefinition/transformation. At times simple substitution or adoption/adaptation will suffice. 

The TPACK model would be seen as the most complicated to work with, as you must move from the outside to the inside. As you move towards the inside, the goal is to achieve authentic technology integration, and to achieve this, one must build their understanding and knowledge.  I do like how the model purports that you must move from Technological Content Knowledge and Technological Pedagogical Knowledge to a mix of the two. An educator must have a firm grasp of the technological tools that are available to them, and they must understand how teaching and learning can be improved when technology are used. Once those understanding have been achieved then Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge is the goal, where the educator has a deep understanding of technology, teaching and learning strategy, and content, and how these three can be blended together to create an innovative learning experience.

Photo by Scott Osborn on Unsplash

Other Models

One blended framework that we looked at during my PTC course mentioned above was Blooms with SAMR. This graphic is a good reminder as to why we want to challenge ourselves to move up the ladder as we integrate technology into our classrooms.  Simply having students remember and understand knowledge is very low level thinking, and not challenging them whatsoever. In any classroom we want our students to be evaluating and creating their own knowledge and ways of knowing. 

Another graphic we looked at, which is not quite a framework, but more of an approach to technology comes from George Couros’ book, The Innovator’s Mindset. The graphic entitled What Do You Want Kids To Do With Technology, is a stark reminder that we are trying to develop a mindset around technology and innovation, not strictly focus on a particular app or tool.  The tools and apps will always change, but the mindset will stay with our students forever.

Final Thoughts

For me, I personally enjoy using the SAMR model. I find it simplistic, easy to understand, and you can enter the ladder at any point.  Or you can simply take a unit of study, and begin with substitution, then look to move up the ladder with each subsequent time you teach the unit.  I had the opportunity to hear Dr. Puentedura speak at the ASB Unplugged Conference a couple of years ago. There are a couple of points that I want to share. He spoke to the fact that although the research tells us that the model works, we must provide time for teachers to do the work and learn the technology.  This seems simplistic, but it is easy to forget. Also, the most challenging part of the model is to move from Augmentation to Modification, as this is where creativity and a deep understanding of the technology come into play. When I heard Dr. Puentedura speak, he introduced us to a new paper he had been working on, found here: SAMR and the EdTech Quintet: Pragmatic Approaches and New Directions. I highly encourage a read of this, as he outlines some great examples of the model, and layers SAMR with the TPACK Model, 21st Century Learning Model, and The EdTech Quintet Model, some very compelling work.

This week I am interested to hear what my colleagues think about Dr. Puentedura’s work, and what frameworks they enjoy using.

One thought on “Frameworks of Reference

  1. Hi Ryan,
    Thanks for taking the time to include so many applicable and related resources in your post this week. You touched on quite a few great points that I’d like to speak to a bit in my reply. First, I like how you note that these frameworks are easy to understand and can be used by teachers as a way “to examine what is taking place in their classroom, and how they can integrate technology in an authentic manner.” For me, this is the ultimate goal and tools like SAMR and TPACK are helping make this task easier.
    I especially like the Bloom’s with SAMR model that you shared from your coursework in the summer. It sounds like you got a lot from that experience and were able to bring some of that back to your context and share it with your team. The addition of Blooms helps us plan for deeper, more critical thinking work with students, whether it be in our questioning or in the way we scaffold a learning task. These models fit nicely together and challenge us to give real thought to our crafting of learning experiences for students.
    While I like the SAMR model and it seems to be the preferred choice among this cohort, I actually like the TPACK framework best because it forces me to revisit the learning goals and pedagogical practices often, ensuring that I’m not just using tech as a crutch. On a final note, I wanted to share this graphic that I came across a few months back and get your thoughts on it. ( I like the idea of it, but it’s a bit too busy for my liking. Anyway, thanks again for sharing all these related resources and giving us something to think about!


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