Anyone familiar with these acronyms? Up until four weeks ago, these two combinations of letters were a complete mystery to me. I don’t claim to be an expert on TPACK or SAMR, but I’d love to share what I do know with fellow teachers or anyone else interested in integrating technology for educational purposes. Be prepared, there are even more acronyms heading your way!

TPACK stands for Technological, Pedagogical, and Content Knowledge. The graphic below does a good job at summarizing this framework, if you would like a concise explanation.


TPACK builds on the ideas of Lee Schulman who explained Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) as the blending of what teachers know about teaching (pedagogy) and what they know about their specific discipline, whether it be math, ELA, or French. PCK says that teachers need to bring together the how of teaching (Pedagogical Knowledge) and the what of teaching (Content Knowledge) to teach effectively. Educators must take what they know about their content and what they know about good teaching to create effective lessons.

As there are more and more technological advances in the world, teachers need to be comfortable with integrating technology into their classroom. TPACK emphasizes the importance of bringing in knowledge about technology together with pedagogical and content knowledge. You must use what you know about your content and what you know about teaching in order to effectively use technology to enhance student learning.

In addition, technology should enhance or transform a lesson, not just replace traditional tools. Having students write an essay in a word processor, for example, does not change the task or add more to the students’ learning; it simply changes the tools students use from paper and pen to computers. The SAMR model gives teachers a measuring tool with which to see how their technology integration is stacking up. Dr. Ruben R. Puentadura created SAMR to guide technology integration in the classroom. According to the SAMR model, there are four levels of integration: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. Substitution and Augmentation are considered as lesson enhancements while Modification and Redefinition completely transform lessons to better student learning.

This post does a much better job than I can at going in depth about each of these levels. It also provides examples of lessons going through the entire process of SAMR. I believe that the SAMR model is more of a continuum than a step ladder. A lesson or task may not clearly land in any one of the levels. For example, I have used digital manipulatives with my French I’s. Instead of having them create sentences with paper manipulatives, they are able to move around subjects and verbs and to color code and to conjugate. At first, I thought of this as mere substitution, but I think it could fall under augmentation or even go a little further into the modification zone.

And that’s what I know about TPACK and SAMR. This is all still very new to me, and I will continue posting about ways to include technology in meaningful ways in the classroom.

À bientôt,




One thought on “TPACK + SAMR

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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 )

Connecting to %s