Technology Integration Matrix (Part I)


Characteristics of the Learning Environment

Previously, I discussed what TPaCK is and how it should affect our teaching. I delineated the acronym stands for Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge in my previous post. You can read my blog post here. Twenty or thirty years ago, long before the explosion of technology in education, teachers worked at perfecting their craft or pedagogy along with their mastery of subject area content knowledge. TPaCK gives educators an overview of technology integration in relation to content and pedagogical knowledge. What it does NOT do is delineate how educators are to achieve TPaCK or what it should ‘look like.’ In writing about TPaCK, I frequently found another acronym that intrigued me…SAMR, or Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition.

While examining SAMR, I discovered the Technology Integration Matrix or TIM! I like the simplicity of the SAMR acronym, but it is not as detailed as the Technology Integration Matrix. This two-part blog post will explain the Technology Integration Matrix. It is a five-by-five matrix, the columns comprising levels of technology integration and the rows comprising the characteristics of the learning environment. Since, we can all relate to the learning environment, and it is probably the easiest, I will examine the Characteristics of the Learning Environment first. However, let me provide a little background.

Diagram of levels of technology integration.The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) was developed by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT) at the University of Central Florida. It was established in 1982, working for over 30 years with educators in integrating technology into curriculum. The Florida Center for Instructional Technology developed the matrix as a guide for the convoluted task of evaluating technology integration within classrooms. The matrix affords common language for comprehensive pedagogical technology integration by all actors within the learning environment as well as their ancillaries. This theoretical framework is based on the constructivist theory of learning being an active, constructive and thereby continually evolving process, as well as an educator’s best practices. The matrix was originally established between 2003-2006, with a second version completed in 2010-2011. In this most current version the descriptions of the matrix were revised and even expanded with video references in Language, Science, Math and Social Sciences. Even background, what is the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM)?

As mentioned earlier it is a five-by-five matrix delineating the Levels of Technology Integration and the Characteristics of the Learning Environment. In this blog post I am going to focus on the Characteristics of the Learning Environment. Each row of the TIM constitutes a characteristic of the learning environment. Every level of the learning environment then ascends through increasing levels of technology integration. These five Characteristics of the Learning Environment are: Active Learning, Collaborative Learning, Constructive Learning, Authentic Learning and Goal-directed Learning. Let’s investigate each level in isolationcharacteristics_intro_title

Active Learning occurs when students are actively engaged in using technology as a tool rather than passively receiving information from the technology (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, 2018). This characteristic then climbs through five different levels of integration: Entry, Adoption, Adaptation, Infusion and Transformation. In Active Entry students are passively receiving information, similar to watching a video. Next is the Active Adoption Level in which students are using tools but in a conventional and procedural manner, much like writing an essay on Google Docs or Microsoft Word. This is followed by the Active Adaptation Level whereby students still have a conventional use of tool, but now there is some choice and exploration by students. This is similar to making a presentation, regardless of the modality. Near the top is the Active Infusion Level where students conduct regular, self-directed use and choice of tools. Finally, the Active Transformation Level, occurs when students use technology tools extensively in an unconventional way. This might be similar to students doing a green screen video as an on-site news reporter.

Collaborative Learning occurs when students use technology tools to collaborate with others rather than working individually at all times (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, 2018). At the Entry level, Collaborative Entry, students use tools individually. No collaboration among classmates occurs. During Collaborative Adoption, students are using technology tools in a conventional way, but collaboratively, such as a classmate editing a document. Collaborative Adaptation occurs when there is student choice and exploration collaboratively. An example might be, students deciding which application to utilize and then working together to complete it. Collaborative Infusion is regular use and choice of tools when collaborating. Finally, Collaborative Transformation is working together with peers as well as outside resources in a manner not possible without technology. For example, participating in a book study with another class within their district OR someplace else in the United States.

Constructive Learning commences when students use technology in connecting new information with their own information rather than just passively receiving the information. During Constructive Entry information is just delivered to students, and nothing more. Constructive Adoption is when technology use is guided for conventional knowledge building. This would similar to watching a video. Constructive Adaptation is similar to Constructive Adoption, but now technology use by students is independent and there is a little student choice and exploration. Constructive Infusion is where the change really occurs. During Infusion students are regularly using technology of their choice to maintain, acquire and build  knowledge. Finally in Constructive Transformation is where the change really occurs. Here students build knowledge extensively through an unconventional use of technology.

The easiest way to explain Authentic Learning is relevance. This is when students use technology tools to interact with learning activities in the world outside the classroom instructional setting. A prime example of this would be Problem Based Learning or PBL. Authentic Entry level learning is unrelated to the world outside the classroom door. It is important to note students may find this boring. Change begins to take place in the Adoption Level where there is guided use of technology tool and activities with some relevance to the outside world. Authentic Adaptation displays students choice and exploration using technology independently in some way connected to their lives. This might be observed whens students write to the mayor about the homeless problem. Authentic Infusion Learning is when students now take adaptation to a new lever, using technology on a regular basis in a meaningful activity. Last, but not least, Authentic Transformational Learning in which students use technology in a local or global context innovatively for higher order thinking and learning.

Finally, is Goal-Directed Learning where students use their technology tools to set goals, plan activities, monitor their progress and then evaluate the results NOT complete assignments with no type of reflection. Goal-Directed at the Entry Level directions are given and the instructor performs step-by-step task monitoring. Goal-Directed Adoption is the normal policy and procedural use of tools to plan and monitor goals. This might be similar to using Google calendar for setting due dates and see what is coming up. Goal-Directed Adaptation, occurs when students have some choice and exploration and use tools in a purposeful way to meet their goals. This may be like using Google hangouts to converse with team members. A flexible and integrated use of technology tools to plan and monitor progress towards goals is visible in Goal-Directed Infusion Learning. Lastly, students using technology extensively to plan as well as monitor progress is within Goal-Directed Transformational Level.

Each one of the five Characteristics of a Learning Environment progresses through each Level of Technology Integration. As mentioned briefly earlier these are the Entry, Adoption, Adaptation, Infusion and Transformation Levels. In Part II, I will delineate each of the Levels and how they relate to each of the Characteristics. Below I have included a diagram of Technology Integration Matrix for your viewing. Earlier I had review TPaCK and what it was as well as SAMR. As you can now see TPaCK is a concept between Technology, Content and Pedagogy. SAMR is brief explanation of technology and how to go about integrating it. The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) is a comprehensive and detailed matrix of technology integration and the learning environments. We will dig deeper into the matrix next time.

All images and content used with the permission of the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida.

Coding for Kindergarteners? Absolutely!

By Maridee Stanley

America is short on computer programmers. Currently, tech companies are recruiting programmers from India, not by choice but by necessity. Don’t we want our own SUSD students to get these high paying tech jobs so we can finally break generational poverty? This can happen if we start our students coding early. How early? High school? Middle school? Intermediate grades? Kindergarten is not too soon. For the past 5 years, my kinders at Kennedy Elementary have successfully learned the basics of block programming and began to think of themselves as the programmers and tech entrepreneurs of the future. Students have fun and the parents love it! “But,” you ask, “ I’m not a programmer. How can I teach coding?” Don’t worry. Coding isn’t as hard as you think. If I can do it, anyone can do it. Trust me on this.code1

All the instructional work is done for us by, Tynker, PLTW, or Google, and the beginning lessons are designed for pre-readers. Why wouldn’t any teacher want to do this? You have several options to get your students started on coding. The best known is, developer of Hour of Code. If your school has Project Lead the Way you have the PLTW computer science module. Tynker has some free content here  or you can sign up for free teacher account for an easy K lesson here. Google will send teachers a free kit to be used with their online material, click here. Even if you supplement with other programs, is indispensable as it has the most resources and an easy-to-navigate website. From there you can watch videos (Course A for age 4-7 ), visit the educator section and create your account, peruse lesson plans, or print out offline material .

If you and your colleagues want an enjoyable Saturday, attend a Computer Science Fundamentals PD, learn some tricks and pick up some swag. Or, take the online PD .

Students working with robots.

Students work with blue-bots, robots that the kids can program!

If you don’t have time for all this, simply take your class straight to an Hour of Code classic, Angry Birds, and start coding! I recommend starting offline. I use’s “Move It” for PE and PLTW as a center activity. Ozobots are a popular way to teach the concept of programming. But my students’ favorite offline activity is the Bee-Bot, a small robot that is programmed with directional arrows on its back. Kinders doing offline coding for P.E. Tip: Don’t try this on a windy day. Using the directional cards that come with BeeBots and Blue-Bots, kindergarteners write a line of code. Using direction keys, students program BeeBots and Blue-Bots to spell CVC words or order numbers. Bee-Bot and BlueBot programming was a big hit at STEAM Night and Literacy Night at Kennedy. Even some parents got hooked!

Image of student and laptop.

“Look, Ma, I’m programming!”

After the offline warm-ups, students should do’s Course A followed by Angry Birds and Minecraft on Hour of Code. Some may progress on to Star Wars or Moana, although you may have to tell students the objective …get scrap metal in Star Was and fish in Moana. I don’t recommend Frozen for kinders as this requires knowledge of angles. Many kinders begin to have difficulty when they get to loops, but with patience, persistence and careful counting they can overcome difficulties. Remind students that “fail” means first attempt in learning something awesome.

Coding a Minecraft game is a good incentive to finish ST Math and is an alternative for students who have completed work early. If you have never coded, try some super simple kindergarten block coding on the following Google Doodle celebrating 50 years of children’s coding. And please, get your students coding. You might inspire the next Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg.

Google Slides

Google Slides may be great for presentations, but it is also a great teaching tool when parent-teacher conference time comes around. I took it upon myself to conduct student-led conferences with the help of….. Drum roll, please… Google Slides.

I created this template with possible measures in the speaker notes for students to follow along. I also provided a student led conference sample for students to refer to, in case they need some ideas.

I provide my students 10-15 minutes to fill in each slide according to the criteria on the  template. By doing so, students are taking the responsibility to input their scores, strengths, weakness, and setting goals. Aren’t we all working on reflecting and goal setting?  Students were able to be creative by adding a personal photo and style when designing their Google Slide. Students took responsibility for their conference, and I saw a large turnout of parents who showed up. Don’t get me wrong, there were those few parents that didn’t come, but no problem. The slide presentation format made it easy for those students to conduct phone conferences or the presentation can be easily printed out to be sent home, it is up to your discretion.

Image of a student and parent at a conference

Using Google Slides, students are able to lead parent-teacher conferences.

As with anything, when you invest your time during the beginning stages it goes smoothly when it’s ready to be executed. Here were some of my observation from the first parent-teacher conference:

  1. Parents were attentive
  2. Students were excited to share
  3. Students encouraged parents to come to see their Slides presentation
  4. I was a facilitator of learning rather than being the guardian of knowledge
  5. Parent, teachers, and students walked away feeling positive

Note: I did not go over any behavior during the conference, all conferences were data-driven.  

We are moving toward 1-to-1 devices district-wide. Let’s move forward with making the technology and home connection.

If you feel you need some more clarification and help with Google Slides, no problem. Come to my December 19th PD at Adams, and I can support you.  Email me at, and I would be happy to provide a screencast video instructions based on your needs.