Course 4 begins to pull all of our thinking and understanding together from our previous 3 courses. It joins up the dots around technology’s use in fostering deep learning and connects our ideas to frameworks and innovation. Put it this way it is a real mixing pot of awesomeness!

This week we are considering the importance of frameworks and how they help with technology integration. Not only can they be used to evaluate where we are but also set goals around where want to be.

Before we start with Course 4 I want to take a moment to recognize and congratulate you all on finishing Course 3. The way in which you  and collaborated with colleagues from around the world to create your final projects was fantastic. There were many amazing ideas and ways in which you embedded the big ideas from the course into what you created. Thank you!

I also want to recognize that there is so much happening for all of us right now, because of COVID-19 and school closures. Some of us are back in school, others working within a hybrid model, some have not gone back into school yet and some may started school and then go back to distance learning. What every your scenario stick with it, apply what you are learning in COETAIL with what you are doing. Finally, I want to tell you that you are all doing an amazing job! 

What is technology integration?

According to Wikipedia it is  “Technology integration is the use of technology tools in  areas in education in order to allow students to apply computer and technology skills to learning and problem-solving. Generally speaking, the curriculum drives the use of technology and not vice versa.”

Classcraft explain that it is “Technology integration is the well-coordinated use of digital devices and cloud computing as tools for problem-solving, deeper learning, and understanding.”

IGI Global share that it is “The use of technology to enhance and support the educational environment, teacher instruction, and student learning.”

After those different definitions all I can say is thank goodness to ISTE! No organization has done more to describe the role of technology in education than The International Society for Technology in Education. As you are aware it has different sets of standards for many different stakeholder groups, including students, educators, administrators, and coaches. The ISTE standards are extensive and they provide a host of resources to support effective technology integration.

Frameworks

There are two frameworks that we can use to help guide us as we integrate technology into our learning environment.  Thy are not rules or steps that we must follow, but are concepts and ideas that can help us make meaningful decisions when using technology to enhance learning.

As we start integrating technology into the learning that is being planned for and taught, we need to be aware of the impact on student learning.  One way of evaluating how we are integrating technology  is using the SAMR model.  The model looks at 4 steps of technology integration and how this can impact learning.  It was created by Ruben R. Puentedura, Ph.D. as he looked for ways to think about “Transformation, Technology, and Education.”

Image by Jonathan Brubaker
his blog post here.

Enhancement

The first stage is Substitution, which is the easiest stage for any educator who is using technology. Think of this stage like “digitizing worksheets.” Augmentation comes after Substitution. In the Augmentation stage the way technology has been integrated adds slight improvements.  There is not a lot of change in how things are done but there is some functional change.

Transformation

Modification happens when there is significant task redesigns to the learning. Here, we are giving students new options in their learning and they are able to do things more effectively because of technology use. There is HUGE difference between this stage and Substitution, which should show in the thinking and learning. Redefinition occurs when the technology has created possibilities in teaching and learning that were not previously possible before.

TPACK

TPACK is based around the idea of effective teachers being knowledgeable in technological, content and pedagogical knowledge in order to have a 21st Century learning taking place with their students. It is the overlap of these three main knowledge area Technological Knowledge (TK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) and Content Knowledge (CK)

The result of TPACK will be different from teacher to teacher and classroom to classroom. There is no one way to view TPACK integration, it is however a framework to help guide to a more engaged and effective learning environment.
Both these frameworks offer us guidance and support about how we can can enhance teaching and learning, with the help of technology integration. Each model has its own way of doing things and gets you reflecting and planning in a new light. If you are wondering about how the TPACK and SMAR  models intertwine then check out this video which does a great job of explaining this, in way more detail.
These frameworks are especially important for us to consider within our context, class and schools. After all as Kim Cofino explains:

We are all technology teachers.

Over to you…

This week in your blog post take some time to reflect on:
  • What does technology integration mean to you?
  • How are the different frameworks for technology integration similar to and different from each other?
  • Are there other frameworks that you have used in your school?
  • Do you prefer one of the frameworks over the others? Why?
  • What does technology integration look like in your classroom/school?
  • Using one (or multiple) of the frameworks, how would you evaluate your own practice of technology integration?
  • How has your practice changed over time?
  • How do your beliefs and practices fit into your school’s vision for learning?