How To Know If You’re Correctly Integrating Technology

school technologyA common question that we hear from teachers about integrating technology into their classrooms is, “how do I know if I’m doing it right?” We love to hear this question because that tells us that the teacher is starting to analyze and evaluate how they are integrating technology and are looking for a way to gauge their effectiveness. We feel that the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) best addresses the question of “doing it right.”

According to the Arizona K-12 Center at Northern Arizona University, “the TIM is designed to assist schools and districts in evaluating the level of technology integration in classrooms and to provide teachers with models of how technology can be integrated throughout instruction in meaningful ways.” There is more than one version of the TIM but the one that we most commonly refer to with our staff was produced by the Arizona K12 Center at NAU.

What is The Technology Integration Matrix?

The Arizona K12 Center at Northern Arizona University does an excellent job of articulating the characteristics and various levels of technology integration.

The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, collaborative, constructive, authentic, and goal directed (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells.

Download PDF of the Technology Integration Matrix

Matrix courtesy of Arizona K12 Center

If you were to view the full version of the matrix you would find that within each cell there are two lesson plans and a short video of the lesson. The lessons are created to showcase how the teacher integrated the technology in their classroom based on the level of integration and the characteristics of the learning environment.

How the Technology Integration Matrix is used at JTHS

Presently we are asking teachers to focus on the top portion of the matrix or the Levels of Technology Integration into the Curriculum. As you examine this continuum you will find that it moves from teacher centered use of technology on the left, to student centered use of technology on the right. The student centered use of technology is the ultimate goal and it targets higher order technology skills. The TIM is extremely valuable in helping teachers identify how and at what level the technology is being integrated into the classroom.

A crucial component of targeting higher order technology use is identifying how the technology is currently being integrated. If a teacher evaluated their lesson and found their use of technology to be at the Adoption level, they then could determine what changes would be needed in order to move the lesson into the Adaptation level of the TIM if it is appropriate.

An important distinction to make is that not every lesson can or should be taught at a highest level of technology integration. That is not the goal at all. The highest level, Transformation, is a level that realistically can only be reached 1-2 times a year if done properly. This would happen so infrequently because transformation means that the students are using technology in a manner that reaches beyond the walls of the classroom due to the way the TIM defines transformation. Rather the TIM should be used as a guide to evaluate the use of technology in a lesson or the curriculum. The goal is to find the highest yet most appropriate level of technology integration in each instance.

6 Comments

  1. Syd (EduNut)

    December 9, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I love that this includes sample lessons by grade. I’m going to compare this with a couple of others and will consider using this to self-evaluate how I integrate tech as a National Boards candidate.

    Since I’m at a school with a 1-to-1 laptop program that uses a blended, pbl model, I have to check myself constantly around the use of tech or Web apps since they can serve as a distraction, if not facilitated (for the most part).

    I ask myself if how I’m using online tools or the laptop, in general, serves to amplify the potential for learning and collaboration. This matrix validates the marker I’ve been using so far.

    Thanks! Great resource to have on hand!

    • Eric Patnoudes

      December 12, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      Thanks for your feedback! I work in a 1:1 district too and we are working our way to a more PBL approach. For more insight into how we are doing things check out opur blog, http://jthsinstructionaltechnology.blogspot.com/. We were recently nominated by Edublogs in the category “Best New Blog.” I hope to hear from you again soon.

  2. Shannon Holden

    December 17, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    This reminds me of the “Flipped Teaching Matrix” I downloaded for free at http://bit.ly/hugeteachergiveaway I love that organizations are giving us this important information for free!

  3. shir c

    December 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Looks an awful lot like the Apple Classrooms of Tomorrow (ACOT) technology integration rubric……

  4. Herb Haubrich

    January 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    Looks a lot like the LOTI framework also….http://www.loticonnection.com/

  5. Ruben L. Abucayon

    January 12, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Very useful matrix for my class! Thank you for sharing this information.