Typically the start of a new school year marks the implementation of new technology. In some schools, iPads or Chromebooks are introduced for the very first time. Organizations who have equipment might be readying to add new software, or have just trimmed down what was once a long list. It is important to make sure that, whatever the case may be, that student learning remains front and center.
In order to keep the focus on learning, it is important that the district’s plan for technology be based upon learning outcomes and a model that supports that vision. There are two models districts can use to put the learning first: the SAMR Model and TPACK.
The SAMR Model was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. SAMR is an acronym for Substitution, Augementation, Modification, and Redefinition. It is designed to provide guidance for teachers to integrate technology in a way that will support student learning at the highest levels. Similarly, it is designed to help teachers identify the best method for integrating technology.
TPACK, or the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge, framework inter-weaves the three forms for knowledge to help teachers utilize these intersections to integrate technology. Whether it be student demographics, teacher proficiency, or available technology, every situation is unique so each combination of the three forms meets a different need. Due to the complexity and overlapping nature of this framework, it represents an amalgam of work completed by many researchers.
Districts should explore each option and compare them to other driving factors such as strategic plans and belief statements about instructional technology. This can help bring to light the option that fits best. Then, it is important to train staff on the selected model to ensure it can be applied appropriately, no matter what technology is made available to teachers and students.
by Becky Fischer
Dir. of Curriculum, Instruction, & Assessment Skokie School District 73 1/2 @beckylynfischer