Frameworks for Learning

Simply adding technology to K-12 technology integration environments does not improve learning. What matters is how it is used to develop knowledge and skills.

-Zucker and Light, 2009

Technology Frameworks

Successful technology integration requires students to have access to a variety of tools that match the task at hand and provides students the opportunity to build a deeper understanding of content. Successful technology integration can accelerate student learning in a way that was once unimaginable. To transform student learning it is important to merge technology with content to create an enriched lesson or unit plan. Most importantly, don’t teach technology as a separate class. 

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Technology is just one piece of the puzzle.

When planning for technology integration and examining our practices as educators, we must keep in mind how and why we are using technology to enhance student learning. The technology frameworks: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition Model (SAMR Model), Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge framework (TPACK), and Technology Integration Model (TIM) can all be helpful models in guiding teachers towards using purposeful technology in our classrooms. Let’s take a closer look at the key components of each model!

Comparing Technology Frameworks

         SAMR                           TIM                    TPACK
Picking the right strategy for the lesson on hand

How can educators engage and empower students through technology?

Focus is on levels of use of educational technology (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition)

Makes learning engaging

Offers pedagogical choices available to a teacher in designing a technology-infused lesson

Illustrates how technology can enhance learning

Focuses on planning, describing, and evaluating technology integration

Five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal-directed, authentic, and collaborative 

Five levels of technology integration (entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation)

Merge technology with content to create the perfect lesson, don’t teach technology as a separate class

All about knowledge (technological, pedagogical, and content)

Makes learning more effective

Pedagogy and content are most important.

Solid teaching strategies and solid content knowledge drive instruction and tech components enhance learning.

Practices in my classroom

In my current classroom, we have 1-1 Chromebooks. My students use a computer almost every day to enhance their learning. If I were using the SAMR Model, I’d say I swim between Augmentation and Modification. One of my goals is to swim a bit deeper over to the Redefinition tier.

One way I am going to push myself to do that this week is by connecting with individuals in different areas around the world who have survived extreme weather events like tsunamis or earthquakes. My students are researching extreme weather events and one area of their research is to read first-hand experiences. I know several people who have survived some of these extreme weather events and I thought it would enhance student learning to talk to some of these people about their experiences.

Last week, students collaborated amongst their extreme weather research groups to create a quick presentation (one day to put it together) that would teach their classmates about their reading topics. First, I taught them the CARP Design Principles, then I showed them an example presentation that I designed on droughts. After that, the students used my template to create their own slides.

Using Google Slides, the students were able to collaborate and I was able to offer feedback using the comment feature. Learning for all students was enhanced. The visuals and words in the slides were especially helpful for the audience especially because they are all English Language Learners. Originally, this was met to be a quick activity as students will continue to research a second weather event. However, I wanted to deepen students’ understanding of their topics by teaching each other. By putting together a presentation I was also able to teach students the CARP Design Principles as well as presentation skills.


For each model, there are different components that I find helpful. The SAMR Model by Ruben Puentedura makes it easy to think about the role of technology in supporting learning. It is helpful in identifying where a learning activity falls on the SAMR Model. 

Retrieved from :

The TIM Framework offers different approaches to integrating technology. The matrix framework of this model makes planning for technology integration easier because there are lots of videos and lessons for teachers. Seeing examples that fit into each cell on the matrix helps teachers see what each cell looks like in action. I find the website really helpful!

Photo Taken from:

Lastly, the TPACK Model focuses on technological, pedagogical, and content. At its core, solid teaching strategies and solid content knowledge drive instruction, and tech components enhance learning.

image ©2012 by

After examing each model closely, I like the Technology Integration Matrix the best. I find it to be “user friendly” and the example lessons and videos help me generate ideas easier. Currently, my school does not use any of these technology integration frameworks. However, I am thinking it could be something that we start discussing. This year for the first time we have a S.T.E.M. teacher for elementary (who was once a COETAILer ). Hopefully, this is just the beginning of technology integration at our school and the development of our program will continue to grow.

Author: Andrea Goodrich

I am an international educator working in Hanoi, Vietnam. I have been working overseas for the past 13 years. I started my career in a bilingual school in Guayama, Puerto Rico as a fifth and sixth-grade reading teacher. Then I moved to Guayaquil, Ecuador, and taught fourth grade for two years. While living in Ecuador, I met my husband and we moved to Seoul, South Korea together. In Seoul, I taught fifth grade for two years and then moved into a literacy specialist role. We are now teaching in Hanoi, Vietnam with our two Korean rescue dogs.

3 thoughts on “Frameworks for Learning”

  1. Hi Andrea,
    I’m a fellow COETAIL-er (Cohort 11) and was stopping by to see how you all are adapting through the craziness that is teaching in 2020. I enjoyed reading your post and hearing about some of the ways you’re seeking to move into deeper learning with technology. The connection you’re having students make to people with first-hand accounts of extreme weather impacts is a great way to move beyond the Substitution and Augmentation levels of the SAMR model and hit some ISTE standards for global collaboration! I’m also loving that you’re bringing in some elements of design and giving students an opportunity to do rapid prototyping of digital slides. It’s great practice for them and the CARP model can be used time and again to review these skills. Nice work and I look forward to seeing how your Course 5 project unfolds.
    Take care,

    1. Hi Reyna,

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. My COETAIL program is flying by and it is a challenge to keep up at times, but I love all the learning I am getting out of it. Luckily, in Vietnam, we have been teaching in-person all year so I am not dealing with online teaching anymore. I cannot imagine what I would be feeling like if we were still online. I have been thinking a lot about my final project and a have few ideas in mind, but haven’t settled on anything yet. I look forward to sharing it when it is done though. Thanks for your comment!

  2. Hi Andrea,
    I like your table of Comparing Technology Frameworks. It’s easy to compare the three. I found your explanation of the TPACK model very easy to understand and it helped me to understand it better. This is probably my least favorite because it sounds more like theory whereas the other two frameworks seem more practical. I’m most familiar with SAMR. My previous school used this framework as students shared iPads in the elementary. I think my current school uses this framework as well but it’s been awhile since there has been communication about technology frameworks. Due to the pandemic, tech communication has been mostly how tos and where to find G chat.

    I think it’s a great goal to connect with others globally about extreme weather events as a way to engage students. The student presentation example shows they used the CARP principles and also learned about tsunamis. The 1st hand experience slide was the most interesting for me! This is a relevant and authentic way to connect content to real people and events. I’d like to try more of this too (thank you for the idea) in the future. Right now, I have to focus on adapting my lessons and teaching strategies for moving back and forth between virtual learning and on site learning. It’s pretty stressful having different schedules and moving between them. It’s really good that your school is in person!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *