Funny how the stars align sometimes…
COETAIL course four kicked off with a deep dive into some edTech conceptual frameworks, and I’m presenting next week on this topic and more at a Cognita Asia regional conference next week.
There were three frameworks presented in this week’s reading:
The first two I would advocate strongly for and would rate my understanding and application of both at a mastery level.
The latter, the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM), I’ve seen a plenty, with the same reaction each time — “Meh”. Why? It’s way too verbose with too many categories. Imagine you’re a coach trying to empower someone with a simple conceptual framework. Then you throw this whopper upon your subject. The result is the antonym of empowerment, in my opinion.
TPaCK is the most widely used and practiced by me and the one I advocate the use of most. Why? It’s the “PRE & DURING” conceptual framework. Whenever you approach the planning stage of a new unit, this is when TPaCK should be posited.
This video is by far the best if you’re new to the framework — watch it now!
Here’s how I would explain it – simply. And add a little personal flavour:
CK – Content Knowledge: First, start with the content of your curriculum. Lines of inquiry, standards, etc. This is what drives the learning. This is the guided inquiry, the rigour, and more.
PK – Pedagogical Knowledge (that considers context and agency): This is where you and your team bring in your excellence in your craft, innovation and creativity to design an engaging unit WITH your learners – honouring their voices, prior knowledge and needs. Making sure the unit is personalized, rather than differentiated.
Also, this is where teachers are considering the context. For example, are your learners learning from home due to the pandemic? Is something currently happening in the world that would have an authentic fit in the unit?
TK – Technological Knowledge: This comes last on purpose. Never start with an edTech tool and try and make it fit into the curriculum and pedagogy.
Good pedagogy coupled with a rigorous curriculum that promotes guided inquiry and honours agency will reveal the edTech tools.
What I mean here, is thinking, as educators, with this question during the planning phase: “What are the variety of ways learners could demonstrate their understanding of this unit?” Spend time during the unit asking your learners the same question. Then think of robust tools or applications that could be used. For example, if the task is to create a mask in a visual arts unit that represents the cultural holiday of “Day of the Dead”, kids could use paper, canvas, Sketches School, Keynote, and, after asking your learners this question, even Minecraft.
TPaCK is the sweet spot – where all these concentric circles overlap.
Matthew Koehler, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
This is a good reflection tool to look at how technology was (or will be) used and to reflect on ways to use it better.
Where SAMR falls short is misinterpreting the model in that all learning should be “redefined”.
Start small and dream big, especially when we’re trying to empower those adverse to embrace the purposeful integration of EdTech in their practice.
I like SAMR, but I don’t love it. Its aims are good, however.
Here’s a simple explanation, with some examples:
Substitution: Think of a worksheet and learners are just doing it online. Not the best example of purposeful use of edTech. However, if kids are learning from home and have no access to a printer, this is effective.
Augmentation: Now maybe the digital worksheet is adaptive based on responses. Meaning that the questions are a bit more unique to each user, personalizing the learning a little.
Modification: So instead of giving the learners questions on a worksheet, they could be collaboratively making their own questions, responding to a provocation like a video on a shared document.
Redefinition: After watching a provocation, learners can connect with another classroom across the globe, who are currently “living” what they are learning about. Perhaps it’s learning about how flooding impacts communities. A class in Louisiana could connect with a class in Bangladesh and compare and contrast, on one document together, whilst video conferencing, what flooding is like to them, respectively.
In case you need another SAMR explanation perspective, John Spencer does a great job in this two-minute video:
And now time for a bonus conceptual framework…
Okay, the acronym probably isn’t the most attractive, but this matrix, developed by Royce Kimmons (2020) that builds upon the RAT framework (Hughes, Thomas, & Scharber, 2006), is probably my new favourite conceptual framework.
Through global collaboration on the upcoming keynote on EdTech mentioned at the start of this post, I can thank my partner, Tim Evans, an educational technology coach, for introducing it to me.
This image is licensed under a CC BY 3.0 license by Dr. Royce Kimmons.
This video, on Kimmon’s website, is a great place for info, on this model, and more.
Put simply, Kimmon’s posits that, to use the matrix, teachers must ask themselves two questions:
Therefore, creative transformation (CT) would be like SAMR’s, “Redefining”.
If you have the time, I’d suggest reading this excellent publication, which includes: An exhaustive breakdown of the matrix, analysis of other models (like those mentioned above) and where they fall short, as well as tons of concrete examples like the image posted below.
Kimmons, R., Graham, C., & West, R. (2020). The PICRAT model for technology integration in teacher preparation. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 20(1).
Some final questions:
I leave you today with the sage wisdom of the great educator, author and leader, George Couros on educational technology (read his books).