Three Working Models to Integrate Technology in Your Teaching

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May 6, 2014
Technology is obviously an essential element in our instructional toolkit. Knowing how and when and for what purposes to use this technology is much more important than the technology itself. Technology integration in instruction requires much more than just digital literacy and technical knowledge, it requires foresight, clear intentions, and well planned goals. The purpose is to meet students learning needs and as such technology is only a means to an end and not the end itself.

An important step in the process of effective integration of technology in education is having a pedagogical approach supported by a theoretical framework to ground your technology practices inside the classroom. Of course there are several frameworks to help you teach using technology but three approaches  in particular stand out from the rest. These are SAMR model, TPACK model, and Marslow model.

1- SAMR model
SAMR is a framework through which you can assess and evaluate the technology you use in your classroom. This framework is made up of 4 levels:

In a substitution level, teachers or students are only using new technology tools to replace old ones, for instance, using Google Docs to replace Microsoft Word. the task ( writing) is the same but the tools are different.

Though it is a different level, but we are still in the substitution mentality but this time with added functionalities. Again using the example of Google docs, instead of only writing a document and having to manually save it and share it with others, Google Docs provides extra services like auto saving, auto syncing, and auto sharing in the cloud.

This is the level where technology is being used more effectively not to do the same task using different tools but to redesign new parts of the task and transform students learning. An example of this is using the commenting service in Google Docs, for instance, to collaborate and share feedback on a given task task.

If you are to place this level in Blooms revised taxonomy pyramid, it would probably correspond to synthesis and evaluation as being the highest order thinking skills. Redefinition means that students use technology to create imperceptibly new tasks. An example of redefinition is when students connect to a classroom across the world where they would each write a narrative of the same historical event using the chat and comment section to discuss the differences, and they use the voice comments to discuss the differences they noticed and then embed this in the class website.

2- TPACK model
TPACK is a framework that combines three knowledge areas: technological knowledge, content knowledge, and pedagogical knowledge. This framework looks at how these trio works together to increase students motivation and make the content more accessible to students.

A- Content Knowledge:
This is the subject matter we are teaching like Math, music, Art..etc. It's the what.

B- Pedagogical Knowledge:
This is the how. These are the tools or methodologies teachers use to instruct their students: are they going to use direct instruction, inquiry based teaching, group discussion, debate..etc

C- Technological knowLedge
This is the partner.It looks at the digital tools ( google Drive, ipad apps, Smart boards..etc ) teachers can use to make content accessible to students while supporting the pedagogical strategy used in instruction.

Now lets look at the overlaps :

TP knowledge: helps us to understand how are we making content more accessible.
TC knowledge : allows us to identify the affordances of pairing appropriate technology to the content
PC knowledge : allows us to identify the affordances of pairing the appropriate pedagogies with the content
Watch the video below to learn more about TPACK model

3- Maslow model

Abraham Maslow developed a theory of hierarchy needs that teachers can use to address students learning needs. This model is shaped like a pyramid and contains the following needs: physiological needs, personal safety, social affiliation, self-esteem and self-actualization. According to Maslow, the hierarchy needs theory is " an ideal way to assess lesson plans, courses and educational programs. By asking themselves whether these needs are being met in their school or classroom, educators can assess how well they are applying Maslow’s hierarchy to their teaching practice ".

In her wonderful article " Addressing Marslow's Hierarchy of Needs with Technology", Jackie Gerstein featured this handy infographic that "proposes some of the technology integration strategies that can be used to addresse the different levels of Maslow’s needs."

Source: User Generated Education