TIM Technology Integration Matrix (Part II)

Characteristics of the Learning Environment

Venn Diagram of TPAK

Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by tpack.org

Last year, 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 the TPaCK blog post here. Earlier this year I wrote about the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) Part I and you can read that blog post here. As mentioned in my previous post, 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 have already examined the Characteristics of the Learning Environment let’s explore the Five Levels of Technology Integration.

For those of you unfamiliar with it, 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.

Diagram of levels of technology integration.

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 Five Levels of Technology Integration. Each column of the TIM constitutes a level of technology integration. Every level of integration then ascends through increasing levels of technology integration. These five Levels of Technology Integration are: Entry, Adoption, Adaption, Infusion and Transformation. Let’s investigate each level in isolation.

Entry Level of Technology Integration begins when teachers use technology tools to deliver curriculum content to students (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, n.d.). Each level of Tech Integration then elevates through the five Characteristics of the Learning Environment: Active Learning, Collaborative Learning, Constructive Learning, Authentic Learning and Goal-Directed Learning. In Entry Active Learning the setting is arranged for some direct instruction and individual seat work also known as “drill and practice activities.” Students may receive curriculum from the teacher and/or other sources. Therefore, students access to technology may or may not be limited, but more than likely is highly regulated.  Entry collaborative learning, is still arranged for direct instruction with individual seat work. However, students work alone utilizing technology, but may collaborate with peers without technology. During entry constructive learning, students receive information from teacher through technological means. Likewise, all students have access to the educator’s presentation. Moving on to entry authentic learning, resources available through technology are within the instructional setting such as textbooks and other supplemental materials. In other words, technology use is completely unrelated outside the instructional setting, Finally, entry goal-directed learning, occurs when directions, guidance and feedback all thru technology. This includes skill-building applications and the educators to track students progress across all levels.

Adoption Level of Tech Integration occurs when educators are directing students in the conventional as well as the procedural use of tech tools (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, n.d.). At the adoption level the teacher makes decisions about what technology to utilize as well as when and how to use it. Individual student exposure to technology may be limited; however, some tasks may require procedural knowledge of the technology tool. The active adoption learning stage, is designed for direct instruction and individual seat work with students having limited, but regular access to technological resources. Collaborative Adoption demonstrates using technology tools in conventional ways albeit collaboratively. This may be within the classroom, school, district or other location. Likewise, the constructive adoption displays a guided conventional use of technology for building knowledge by students. Moving on to Authentic Adoption, occurs when students are engaged in guided activities with meaningful content. And finally, Goal-Directed Adoption in which students are using technology in a conventional and procedural manner to plan and/or monitor. While students are still using technology in conventional ways, local control is still with the educator.

The Adaptation Level is the next stage of technology integration (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, n.d.). This is when the fun begins! Teacher facilitate students into exploring and independently using technology tools. Learning now becomes more student-centered instead of teacher-centered. One of my favorite sayings is, “guide on the side, not sage on the stage.” technology tools are now an integral of the lesson. While most technology decisions are left up to the instructor, students are guided in their independent use of technology. Students have a more familiarity with technology and a greater conceptual understanding of its uses. Therefore, students can work with less procedural instruction and explore different uses of technology tools.

The Adaptation Level consists of active adaptation, the conventional yet independent use of technology with some student exploration and choice (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, n.d.). Tools are now being utilized collaboratively with a little student choice and exploration in collaborative adaptation. In constructive adaptation students are building knowledge independently, while in authentic adaptation activities are connected to students lives. Finally, in goal-directed adaptation students are using tools purposefully to plan and monitor progress. Interestingly, in all five characteristics of the learning environment for the adaptation level, there is some student choice and exploration.

In the Infusion Level of technology integration the educator provides the learning context and  the students choose the technology tools to achieve the desired outcome (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, n.d.). What makes the infusion adaptation level so different is a wide array of technology tools are integrated seamlessly and flexibly into teaching and learning. Technology is in sufficient quantities to benefit all students in making informed decisions about when and how to utilize different technology tools. It is important to note that the instructional focus is NOT on the technology tool, but rather student learning.

First, in the active infusion level of integration, students have a choice of tools with regular, consistent self-directed use (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, n.d.). Within the collaborative, constructive and authentic stages, students have their choice of tools for regular use in collaboration, building of knowledge and participation in meaningful activities. Last but not least, is the flexible and seamless use of tools in planning and monitoring progress in achieving the expected outcomes. Once again, it is important to note, students have regular, self-directed use of technology tools of their choosing.

Transformation is the last level of technology integration. This is where the real change takes place. In transformation the teacher encourages new and innovative uses for technology tools (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, n.d.). In transformation tech tools are utilized in a manner facilitating higher-order activities that more than likely would not have been possible without technology. Students now employ tools to acquire a specific learning outcome. This is achieved after receiving a conceptual understanding of the tools, paired with extensive practical knowledge about how their are used. Therefore, students apply their understanding and knowledge as well as extending their use of technology tools. Encouragement to use technology in unconventional ways by educators serving as guides and mentors is prevalent.

In the active transformation stage, students demonstrate extensive and unconventional use of tech tools (Florida Center for Instructional Technology, 2018). As with the infusion stage, in the collaborative, constructive and authentic levels of integration, students are collaborating, building knowledge and finding innovative uses for higher order learning not possible without the use of technology. Lastly, in goal-directed transformation, extensive and higher order use of technology to plan and monitor their progress towards achieving specific goals.

Each one of the five Levels of Technology Integration progresses through each Characteristic of the Learning Environment. As mentioned briefly earlier these are the Active, Collaborative, Constructive, Authentic and Goal-Directed Learning Environments. In Part I, I delineated each of the Characteristics and how they related to each of the Levels of Technology Integration. Below I have included a diagram of Technology Integration Matrix for your viewing. Last year I reviewed 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) provides a comprehensive and detailed perspective between the Levels of Technology Integration and the Characteristics of the Learning Environment. Hopefully, the information I have provided on TIM will assist you when integrating technology into your classroom.

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


Florida Center for Instructional Technology. (n.d.). The Technology Integration Matrix. Retrieved from http://mytechmatrix.org/matrix

Teaching Math In the Digital Age: The Debate and More Resources (Part 2)

My experience with intertwining technology into my Math curriculum has been a roller coaster. Initially, 5 years ago, the attempt to combine the two knocked me down and out more than Mike Tyson in his prime. Once the initial problems occurred I felt like throwing in the towel but I knew if I could use tech with Math my lessons, student engagement, time management, and data collection would all be improved if I stuck with it.

Now, five years later, I have a system that is working for me and my population of students. I know that there are naysayers out there that are totally against anything tech in a math class besides a calculator, but I can say from my experience that student growth and achievement have gone up in my classes since I introduced tech into the game. My students are not always locked into a screen and there is always a time to put pencil to paper, or expos to whiteboards. What I am trying to get across is that there are powerful tools that technology can provide educators and I believe it is our duty to teach our students how to use them correctly so they can implement them in their college or career choices.

There have been many studies regarding tech with math and the overall consensus is that technology should be used to bolster learning. Researchers have stated that the key to being successful is to get accustomed to the programs and be educated on what you are exposing your math students to, so they can have success with the tech. There are downsides to using tech like distracted students and cheating, but the benefits far outweigh the cons according to research.

Picture of student working on a computer.

Students use Tinkercad to design 3D objects and models.

On that note, I am going to give you, the reader, a few more programs that are extremely effective when it comes to student engagement and technological skill. The first being Tinkercad, which is a student friendly version of Autodesk (design program). This program allows students to create 3 dimensional objects and can be used for geometry but also for engineering purposes. Tinkercad is used best when the teacher has a 3d printer because student ideas can come to forwishen over the course of a day of printing. I have used Tinkercad to teach area, angles, and volume for different shapes.Perfect cubes, cube roots and finding square roots could also be taught with the program as long as you take the time to create an assignment that includes Tinkercad. If the students have a google account they can save their designs in the cloud and upload them into google classroom with a few clicks of a button because it is a cloud based program. There are tutorials for the students and teachers on the site, and the best part of the program is that it is another free resource. The skills that students learn in Tinkercad can be used for jobs of the future and enable students to creatively engineer.

The next program is mainly for students to obtain vocabulary terms in a fun and creative way. It is called Flocabulary. Flocabulary is a website that creates rap music based on many different subjects and topics. My students enjoy the music and seem to retain more of the terms than traditional ways of teaching vocabulary in Math and any other subject. The students will usually watch a music video, do a few exercises based on the video, take a quiz, and then create their own rap using the vocabulary they used. This program is also synced with Google Classroom, so adding students and classes is as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. The only issue with this program is that it is not free. There are individual, school, and district plans that can be bought and are definitely worth the price.

Implementing these two programs will get your students more engaged and subsequently give them tools that can be used for their entire lives. Whether it be designing a new logo, car, a shape, or making music with a program, the students will definitely be better off going forward in their education with skills that are applicable to the real world. In this day and age being creative and collaborative are highly valuable in the work world and I believe we as educators should use the tools that will enable students to attain these skills rather than stifling their creativity with the same old curriculum.

Task Before Apps

Recently I was pitching an idea for a workshop on spreadsheets.  The an administrator gently shot down the idea. He had politely listened and then asked a couple of questions, “Are you going to do more than just show the basics of how to start a sheet file? What are you going have the teacher do?  What will be their takeaways? Will this help them in their classrooms?”

His words that impacted me the most were, “True, we are looking for classes that teach applications and programs, but we want classes that put “tasks before apps.”

I drew a blank.  I couldn’t remember hearing that phrase. What does he mean, “tasks before apps?”  My creation for a spreadsheet presentation got shelved.

A week later I attended a workshop by Martin Cisneros.  He presented some 40 plus or minus apps and tools for use in classrooms.  Repeatedly he told us to choose only two or three, and not try to master all of them. As I explored each app as he presented it,  I began to realize what “Task before App” means.  Some apps and extensions he presented were useful. Some were frivolous. Some had no use in my classes.

I understood:  If I don’t have assignments to use the app, then there is no need to teach the app.  Now I understood that administrator when he says, “task before app.”

Let me share just two apps that have become mainstays for me.

First, Keep.google.com;  

keepI use the Keep app to make notes that include lists, links, pictures, note taking, outlining and reminders.  I can even use them as a collaboration tool. The best function of all,  is that this one app will automatically sync across all my devices. I have an icon on my smartphone, an extension on my laptop and on my desktop.  It doesn’t matter where and when I add a note, it automatically syncs with all the other devices.   

Second, Mercury Reader offered by postlight.com.

mercury readerI use the Mercury Reader to get rid of all the clutter on web pages. It simplifies the looks of the page to make it easier to read. I can easily print hard copies or post to Google Documents or to a Google Classroom assignment.  All this make the pages become student friendly.

Other features allow me to toggle to a white on black screen or increase the font size.    I can highlight.  I can send it to a Keep note.  For Kindle owners, the touch of a button will send the file to a Kindle for on the go reading.  

I hope you can enjoy these two apps for the task that need apps.

Working Smart Not Hard Using Screencastify

Ever had the experience of explaining how to do something to students so many times that you abbreviate the steps to the point of ineffectiveness? I am a little ashamed to admit that in my 20 years of teaching, I have noticed I sometimes have grown to assume students already come in with certain skills. This leads to more work on my part in the long run because I find myself repeating and reteaching when I could work smarter, not harder. Let me introduce Screencastify.

Screencastify is an extension you can find in the Chrome Webstore and is used to create screencasts. A screen-cast is a digital recording of a computer screen’s output, which is also known as a video screen capture, often containing audio narration. The most common way I have used Screencastify in my classroom is to create instructional videos either made by me for my students or for my students made by my students. These videos enable students to learn at their own pace, whenever and wherever they prefer.

There are other uses for this extension. Follow this link to see the many ways you can use Screencastify in your classroom.

How to get Screencastify:

  • Make sure you are logged in to chrome (if you are on a chromebook, you are on chrome)
  • Chrome Web Store
  • Search for Screencastify (in the extensions area)
  • Enable extension
  • Allow camera access (it also allows the audio)
  • Choose to save to Drive
  • Choose last choice (with nothing written on it)

To begin recording:

  • Click the extension
  • Click Record Desktop
  • It will “count down” so you know when to start talking
  • Start moving the mouse and TALK
  • Click Stop Sharing

Want your image on the screen as well?

  • Start Screencastify
  • Turn on “Embed Webcam” you CAN choose which corner your image belongs
  • The first few times you may WANT to have the preview on, for me it is distracting and I end up watching myself
  • Record Desktop
  • Talk and move mouse
  • Click Stop Sharing
  • Name the Screencast

Done Recording?

  • NAME IT!
  • It is saved in your Google Drive
  • Depending on the length of the video, it may take a few minutes
  • How do my students see it? Share it with them, put it in Google Classroom, download then upload to YouTube

Here are some example videos my students have made (Sorry but these are student work, so you must be logged into your Stockton Unified Google account to view these videos):

Student video (Yocelyn Chavez, 7th grade, “Using ST Math”)

Student video (Velencia Cromwell, 7th grade, “Using Prodigy”)

Student video (Jocelyn Arredondo, 8th grade, “How to Log Into Google Doc.”) (With an interesting interpretation of how to do a book report!)

Student video (Bryan Gonzalez and Kevontay Makinsey, 7th grade, “How to Log into Khan Academy)


Student video (Katia Martinez and Jazlyn Rios-Fox, 8th grade, “How to Build a Paper Box.”)

Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps in some way in your classroom!

12 Books in 12 Weeks 

Our school district, Stockton Unified School District, recently concluded a 12 week reading campaign. The challenge was for all students of SUSD to read 12 books in 12 weeks.

I thought it was a benevolent activity so I gave the flyers and challenge to my classes. I quickly realized this challenge was accepted by more of the elementary students and teachers than the high school audience.  My high school students laughed and satirically asked what a book was?  I guess they use cell phones and videos rather than pass their time reading pages on paper.

 I decided to “do it myself” just like the Little Red Hen in one of my favorite children story books.

I gave it the good old college try but came up short in total books read. I could analyze and make a list of why I didn’t meet or complete the challenge. I could dwell on dissatisfaction of not obtaining the worthy goal. Instead I have decided to share my list of books.  

The order of the list doesn’t have any strategy. Following is just a list that came to mind and a reason why I would like to read it.    

I hope you enjoy reading.

Books to Re-read:


The Little Train That Could  by Watty Piper  

Childhood favorite.

15014._uy630_sr1200630_Crucial Conversations   by Kerry Patterson, et. al.  

Hints on how to talk when the results could cause a loss or really hurt feelings.


One Minute Teacher: How to Teach Others to Teach Themselves by Constance Johnson       

I wonder if there are any suggestions to make me a more effective teacher.



Mindset: The New Psychology of Success  by Carol S. Dweck  

Top guru of having positive attitudes about success.


Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions 

by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana

My  students are very weak at asking investigative questions. Will this book help?


Ditch that Homework: Practical Strategies to Help Make Homework Obsolete   

by Matt Miller and Alice Keeler  

Excellent book to learn better strategies to help students learn.

Books on the first time to read list:


Blink   by Malcolm Gladwell  

I have read other books by this author and believe this would be an awesome read.


The New One Minute Manager  by Ken Blanchard, PhD

I used the previous book which was excellent as a help for managing people.  I am curious of what is new in management styles.


Measure What Matters    by  John Doerr    

Sounds like a statics and a help guide for science experiments.  I am curious to see if it will help me teach investigation to my science students.  


Ditch That Textbook: Free Your Teaching and Revolutionize Your Classroom   by Matt Miller  

This title sounds like additional hints and helps from an excellent author I have read.


Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport  

I am curious what hints and behaviors will help me focus deeper and longer than I already do.


Out of Curiosity: Restoring the Power of Hungry Minds for Better Schools, Workplaces, and Lives    by Bryan Goodwin

This book was suggested by a friend to see if science students can be taught to be curious and thus engage in science classes.