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Models of Technology Integration

Research Synthesis

Any discussion of K-12 educational technology integration requires a definition and one has been provided by the U.S. Department of Education: “Effective integration of technology is achieved when students are able to select technology tools to help them obtain information in a timely manner, analyze and synthesize the information, and present it professionally. The technology should become an integral part of how the classroom functions — as accessible as all other classroom tools. The focus in each lesson or unit is the curriculum outcome, not the technology.”

Beginning in the 1970’s when Apple computer provided K-12 schools with computers, software, printers, and professional development, researchers have been studying how best to support integration of technology for instruction and assessment. In the years since, we have seen a variety of models of technology integration proposed for education. Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) research resulted in a 5-step/stage process that describes educators’ progress as they move towards more powerful instructional uses for technology. The model includes entry, adoption, adaptation, appropriating and invention (Sandholtz, Ringstaff & Dwyer, 1997).

A group of researchers at the University of South Florida (http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/) modified the ACOT model slightly, renaming the lower two steps which became infusion and transformation. The USF model is referred to as the Technology Integration Matrix. Another model for technology integration includes replacement, amplification and transformation (RAT) (Hughes, Thomas & Scharber, 2006) which has been extended by Siko (2016) to include pedagogy, productivity, professionalism and preferment.

The triple E framework developed at the University of Michigan consists of extended, enhanced and engaged learning goals, with each stage representing different uses of technology (Kolb, 2017). Per the author, this framework is designed to measure the degree to which technology used for instruction helps students meet learning goals and not simply technology tools per se. A measurement tool is included with the triple E framework (http://www.tripleeframework.com/triple-e-rubrics–tools.html).

Another model for technology integration is substitution, augmentation, modification and redefinition (SAMR) (Lund, 2015; Myers, 2014). Provided with each step or stage are descriptions of the role technology plays, general concepts and examples of instructional tasks (Beyond Substitution: The SAMR Model, 2011 Summer Tech Institute).

A scholarly model of technological knowledge required to successfully integrate technology into instruction is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK) (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). TPCK builds on earlier models of pedagogical content knowledge originally proposed by Shulman extended to incorporate technology knowledge necessary for integration.


Florida Center for Instructional Technology (n.d.). The technology integration matrix. Retrieved, August 23, 2017, from http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/index.php

Hughes, J., Thomas, R. & Scharber, C. (2006). Assessing Technology Integration: The RAT – Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation – Framework. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of SITE 2006–Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (pp. 1616-1620). Orlando, Florida, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved August 20, 2017 from https://www.learntechlib.org/p/22293/.

Kolb (2017). Learning first, technology second. The educator’s guide to designing authentic lessons. ISTE.

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A new framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017-1054.

Puentedura, R. (2011) Beyond Substitution: The SAMR Model. 2011 Summer Tech Institute. http://msad75summertechnologyinstitute.wordpress.com/beyond‐substitution/

Sandholtz, J.H., Ringstaff, C., & Dwyer, D.C. (1997). Teaching with technology: Creating student-centered classrooms. Teachers College Press: NY, NY.

Siko, J. (2016). The P4 Framework for Pre-service and In-service Teacher Technology Integration. In Proceedings of Global Learn-Global Conference on Learning and Technology (pp. 114-118). Limerick, Ireland: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved August 21, 2017 from https://www-learntechlib-org.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/p/172717/.


: Associate Professor for the Grand Valley State University College of Education and MACUL SIG online/blended learning (OBL) steering committee member.