Technology Integration: The Medium is Not the Message

by Daraius Bharucha

Introduction – The Challenge

Technology integration in the classroom has become an integral feature of 21st-century learning. However, in the course of my experience, I have seen many instances wherein educators have a limited understanding of the role of technology in the classroom and the method through which to integrate technology in a transformative and meaningful manner. In the vast majority of cases, where there is a poor understanding of implementing technology in the classroom, there is a superficial approach employed. Substituting pen and paper with a tech tool for a task is seen as a successful employment of technology. In effect, the use of another medium for the same task is “check boxed” as deploying technology. This is neither transformative nor meaningful in terms of developing 21st-century skills for students.

Meaningful and transformative use of technology has to be integrated with pedagogy and curricular objectives. Task design should dictate the tech tools best suited for the learning outcomes to be achieved and skills to be mastered by students.

Models of Technology Integration – The Response

There are two popular theoretical models of technology integration to help educators understand how to effectively integrate technology in the classroom.

 TPACK (Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge)

 So & Kim (2009) provide a succinct description of this model when they state that technological pedagogical content knowledge is grounded on the argument that pedagogically sound applications of technology require teachers to integrate their knowledge about content, pedagogy, and technology rather than thinking of them as separate domains of knowledge. They further hold that the conception of TPACK model emphasizes complex interaction amongst the three elements or domains. (So and Kim, 2009).


Click on the link for an easy to follow a description of the TPACK model by Dr. Matthew J. Koehler.

SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition)

Schrock (2011) describes SAMR as a model designed to help educators infuse technology into teaching and learning. The model supports and enables teachers to design, develop, and infuse digital learning experiences that utilize technology with the goal of transforming learning experiences in order to enhance student achievement (Schrock, 2011).


Click on the link to view a short video description of the SAMR model

Additional Reads and Resources

3 Ways to Revamp Lessons for the Interactive Learner

Technology Integration Guide Description

Models for Understanding Technology Integration


Schrock, K. (2011). SAMR. Retrieved from

So, H., & Kim, B. (2009). Learning about problem-based learning: Student teachers integrating technology, pedagogy and content knowledge.AJET Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(1). doi:10.14742/ajet.1183






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s