TPACK VS. SAMR

There are two main frameworks that technology teachers like to use. The first is the SAMR model, which stands for four different levels of technology integration These different levels show how well a technology integrates into lesson and activities. The levels show how much the activity does for the lesson, and whether the technology is worth using and if it makes the activity better, or accomplishes things that were once not possible. The first part of SAMR concentrates on enhancing technology and substituting activities with technology doing the same task. When you get to Transformation, this

is where the technology is now creating tasks that were one not able to happen. SAMR

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The four levels include:

  • Substitution: Technology is just a substitute for what is already done, there is not actual change in what the students are doing when the technology is integrated.
  • Augmentation: Technology is a substitute, but there is a functional change compared to what you did without technology.
  • Modification: Technology allows you to modestly change or redesign what you were doing without technology
  • Redefinition: Technology allows you to do something or perform different task that were one not possible without technology

Another technology framework is TPACK, TPACK stands for Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge and the interaction of these three concepts when related to technology. A very cool video that explains the concept well is located below.

Skip to episode 4 of the series that is labeled: “TPACK in 2 minutes”

TPACK focuses on the relationship between the three main elements, Technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge. When these come together it creates a three way venn diagram of how technology is integrated and used in the classroom. TPACK is meant to help teachers create unique, creative, and useful ways to incorporate technology in meaningful ways.

TPACK

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This kind of method works well for all different kinds of subject matter, grade level, and type of integration. TPACK says that in order to have effective technology teachers, teachers need to be knowledgable about technology as well as context, pedagogy, and content. All three elements are needed to work, and without one the lesson or teaching will not be as effective.

Out of the two frameworks, I think that SAMR has a bit more of an edge on TPACK. SAMR is more widely known and taught to tech coaches and is more general and easier to follow for technology education and integration. While it is important to relate pedagogy and content with technology, that is also implemented in SAMR, just not directly. SAMR focuses more on the technological integration, and helps explain when a technology either enhances learning, mostly substituting for the task that was done previously, or whether the technology is actually transforming the lesson and activity to something that was not possible before the technology was integrated. To me, that is the purpose of technology integration, to create lessons and new learning that was once not possible without it. I think the SAMR model is the closest model to helping transform lessons for the better with technology than the TPACK model.

Some websites that can help you decide which model you like are linked below:

TPACK

SAMR

SAMR vs. TPACK

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