The way or the “level” you integrate technology in your lessons might make a difference in the effectiveness of teaching and learning. Getting to know some major frameworks of technology integration might give you a sense of how the use of technology can be planned and evaluated.

This unit introduces three major frameworks, which have a variety of focuses and functionalities.

1. The SAMR Model

The SAMR model was firstly presented by Ruben R. Puentedura in his blog in 2006. With an emphasis on the level of using technology, the Model suggests four tiers of task design, namely substitution (S), augmentation (A), modification (M), and Redefinition (R).

The Model originally presented as a progressive hierarchy starting from the lowest level “Substitution” followed by “Augmentation”, both of which might help enhance teaching and learning but have not yet made any transformation until the level of “Modification” and “Redefinition” are achieved. The following is a slide from Puentedura’s blog explaining each tier with examples.

There are also other interpretations about the SAMR model. For example, rather than a linear progressive structure, the four different tiers are considered as categories of tasks design similar to four different flavors of coffee with some slight changes of ingredients:

Despite its popularity among practitioners, the SAMR Model has received some critiques from researchers about its absence of theoretical foundation. For example, in a review researchers point out that the Model face challenges like lack of specific context, and rigid structure.

2. The TPACK Model

Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge, shortened to TPACK, is a framework emphasizing on teacher knowledge. It was first brought up by Punya Mishra and Matthew J. Koehler, two professors from Michigan State University in 2006, and later illustrated in great detail in another article “What is Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge” in 2009. Built upon the concept of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) introduced by Lee S. Shulman in 1986, the TPACK Model adds technology, a less salient aspect back in Shulman’s time, to the components of technology integration.

Based on three basic components of teacher’s knowledge – content, pedagogy, and technology, the Model demonstrates how the components interact with each other.

Seven components of teacher’s knowledge are described by the Model. The following explanation is extracted from .

  • Content Knowledge (CK) – “Teachers’ knowledge about the subject matter to be learned or taught.”  
  • Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) – “Teachers’ deep knowledge about the processes and practices or methods of teaching and learning.”  
  • Technology Knowledge (TK) – “Knowledge about certain ways of thinking about, and working with technology, tools and resources.”  
  • PedagogPedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) – “Central to Shulman’s conceptualization of PCK is the notion of the transformation of the subject matter for teaching.”  
  • Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) – “An understanding of the manner in which technology and content influence and constrain one another.”  
  • Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) – “An understanding of how teaching and learning can change when particular technologies are used in particular ways.”  
  • Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) – “TPACK is the basis of effective teaching with technology, requiring an understanding of the representation of concepts using technologies; pedagogical techniques that use technologies in constructive ways to teach content; knowledge of what makes concepts difficult or easy to learn and how technology can help redress some of the problems that students face; knowledge of students’ prior knowledge and theories of epistemology; and knowledge of how technologies can be used to build on existing knowledge to develop new epistemologies or strengthen old ones.”  

In later studies, the Model has been investigated by different researchers and also adopted for teacher training programs. For example, Graham et. al. (2009) measured in-service teachers’ TPACK confidence levels, and Doering et. al. (2009) examined in-service teachers’ perceived TPACK knowledge in a TPACK-based program.

3. The TIM Framework

Developed by Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT), University of South Florida in 2005, the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) has been distinguished from other frameworks with the aim of providing detailed guidance for assessing technology integration in a lesson from the aspects of teaching and learning, rather than “rating a teacher or judging a discrete task”, as stated on its official site.

The Framework integrates five meaningful learning environments (i.e., active, collaborative, constructive, authentic, goal-directed) with five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation):

The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) – Table of summary descriptors
Source from

Fully developed for professional learning and self-directed learning for teachers and students, the TIM website has provided examples in the form of videos for each cell in the matrix, detailed descriptors for teachers, students and instructional setting, online courses for professional development, and a series of evaluation tools.

To conclude…

As every model has their own features and emphasis, there is no way to decide which one is the best, but there is always the one that can meet your need.