Red and blue pill.jpg
Red and blue pill” by W.carterOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The Technology Integration Matrix or Framework

This week I found myself trying to connect to one of the models presented as a way of understanding tech integration.  It had me thinking about my own classroom and ways in which I integrate technology.  Both TPACK and SAMR models also had me evaluating that which I denote as technology and where the activities I plan, the assessment tasks I ask of my students, and the ways to get there fall within each model, matrix, framework.


The TPACK  article from this week’s readings got me thinking about tech integration and how I see it in my class.  I found my self asking questions of my own teaching practice, UBD planning, and student choice.

On embedding technology of all forms –

Do we have a framework for embedding the hammer into the classroom? Do I need a framework to tell me when to use the right tool at the right time?

Incidentally, on student choice –

Do my students know a better way of showcasing their knowledge than I do?  Can they leverage technology in a way I don’t know about?

These questions are definitely connected, and follow the notion that if there is a better way to do something, do it that way.  Not for the sake that is new or flashy, but that is a more effective way to communicate that what you are attempting to convey, AKA your learning.  I think this is connected to a trend that I find happening in my teaching where I am asking students to showcase evidence of their learning, putting a large emphasis on learning over the longer unit vs. showing it solely on a summative activity.

I think that tech integration should include all forms of technology according to the TPACK reading and that a true integration would see instances of low, high, new and old technology being used.

We would argue that almost everything that is artificial – the clothes we wear, the cars, we drive, the pencils we use to scribble notes, and the computers we use to browse the Web – is technology, whether low tech or high tech.  But each of these technologies has affordances and constraints, potentials and problems we as educators need to understand before we can start using them for pedagogical purposes.

SAMR – Never the Same Again

The SAMR Model I found incredible difficult to negotiate.  Was I Substituting or Augmenting?  If there was no commenting on a blog was it Redefinition, or simply doing something in an old way.

So, using my learning community, I ask of you all – help me to understand where these 11 forms of embedding technology, which I have surveyed from my class, fall within the SAMR model.

1. teacher uses ipad and airserver to demonstrate linear perspective to entire class at a time.

2. student’s have their own photoblog and post photography assignments there.

3. student work is showcased on an online gallery/teacher blog.

4. students use google sketchup to design prototype mini putt golf hole.

5. students use picmonkey to edit photos which become source material for artworks.

6. students evaluate effectiveness of chrome photography apps vs. iphoto.

7. students create infographics comparing two countries using online application.

8. students use lms to have information disseminated to them

9. students create flashcards on quizlet.

10. students curate youtube videos for learning drawing techniques on padlet – share with class.

11. students create 3D artworks using hammers, wood, nails with a goal in mind.

Maybe if you are willing you could choose 4 to comment on?


What I like from the Technology Integration Matrix from FCIT – are the descriptors – along the left hand column – when planning a unit I have to ask myself – have I asked students to act in these ways as a means of exploring, and demonstrating their learning?  Keeping these terms at hand as I plan help me to be more connected to integration when I am planning.

Am I asking students to be Collaborative – how might they do this?

Am I asking students to be Active – how are they showing this?

Am I asking students to be Constructive – what will they need to do this?

Am I asking students to be Goal Directed – what would help them achieve, set, plan?

Am I asking students to engage in Authentic tasks – what would be used in the real world to solve this problem?

Some Concluding Thoughts

In the end, I believe tech integration is not a matter of how often or how diverse? Rather it is a measure of intelligent choice.  An integrated classroom, and an integrating teacher, is willing to use the best tool to effectively communicate learning.  This can only be achieved by making mistakes, messing around, trying things out, listening to students, attending PD, researching, pondering, and wanting to be an excellent educator who thinks first about his/her student’s learning.



6 thoughts on “The Blue Bill, or the Red Pill – SAMR, or TPACK

  1. Matt, I so agree with you in regards to the only way to achieve being a true tech integration is by messing around, trying things out, listening to students. My students are always saying “come on Ms. D….” as they are my guinea pigs for most things from new art lessons to integration of technology. We, as educators, can not be afraid to be uncomfortable in the classroom and try new things. We tell our students all the time to step out of their comfort zone, we must as well. Great post, got me thinking about my class and I am asking myself the same questions. Will get back to you once I know the answers!!


  2. Great post, Matt!

    I’ve come to believe that one of the most exciting aspects of tech integration is the conversation that it opens, a dialogue with students, colleagues, the community and the world–the beauty of connectivity. But clearly, the “seamless” part can be a bit tricky and requires a lot of play and experimentation.

    I recognize that as an educator, I need to be a connector, but I also realize that it’s going to take a bit of time. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m on the path…


  3. For me, classifying technology use with the SAMR model is all about intent. For example, asking students to create an infographic using an online platform is mostly substitution (for a hand drawn product), unless you intend on publicly sharing those student creations with a wider audience. Showcasing student work on your blog, or asking students to keep their own blog, can be considered substitution (for class bulletin boards or student journals, respectively) or augmentation (if classmates are adding constructive comments) until you start sharing that work with the grandparents who live halfway around the world. What do you think?


    1. I can see the sharing aspect as being essential. But how does the stakeholder of grandparent directly affect the learning? I don’t know if I see grandparents weighing in on student work, in such a way as perhaps there may be too vast a disconnect of what education is like comparatively to when they were in school. I don’t know…. I think your notion of intent is right on the money, but perhaps the intended audience has to be specifically coordinated? Sharing among classmates, even across grade levels, has a very important role in schools and classrooms, but sharing with grandparents because we can doesn’t do it for me. Sorry grandparents – I know many of you would say your voice is well worth hearing – and I am sure this is a case to case basis. I mean what if your grandparent is a…….

      Sharing with sources that can directly connect with what is being shared on a particular level is important.

      What are some activities that you or your colleagues do, which you believe are “redefinition”?

      Thanks for your comments – really got me thinking…and realizing I am hitting only S and A, really need some help on getting to M and R.


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