2 teacher-created models for savvy tech integration

Ed Tech

Ed Tech | Monday, November 14, 2016

2 teacher-created models for savvy tech integration

It's powerful when teachers share what works for them in the classroom. Here, educators share tech integration models they created themselves. (Public domain image via Pixabay.com)

It’s powerful when teachers share what works for them in the classroom. Here, educators share tech integration models they created themselves. (Public domain image via Pixabay.com)

The best way to know how an idea will fly in the classroom is to try it in the classroom. Planning and theory will only tell us so much until we try it out.

That goes for technology use in the classroom, too.

Teachers have been using long-established models for solid classroom tech use for a long time. The SAMR model helps us see if we’re getting the most bang for our technology buck. The TPACK model helps us thinking about combining all parts of our lesson — content, technology and pedagogy — into one complete package.

These two models were created by academics and were published in educational journals.

You don’t have to be a tenured professor or be published in a journal to have a great idea, though.

In fact, educators around the world are creating their own takes on established tech integration models — or they’re writing their own from scratch.

That’s what Daniel Rich and Dr. Tony Tipton, as well as Nancy Crowley and Inger Cierniak, have done. They saw the existing models and suggestions. They brought in their own creative capacities and their own classroom experience. Then, they created something that they hoped could help teachers.

Here’s what they created.

The PAGER Model (Daniel Rich and Dr. Tony Tipton)

Daniel Rich, a social studies teacher from Sabine ISD in Gladewater, Texas, was familiar with the SAMR model.

He feared that it wasn’t teacher-friendly enough. He thought teachers needed something they could wrap their brains around more easily and start implementing in the classroom right away.

He brainstormed and discussed with Dr. Tony Tipton, a friend who was pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership.

Between the two of them, PAGER was born. It leads teachers through a progression from teacher-driven instruction to student-driven activities where kids are creators.

PAGER looks like this:

  • Platform: Teacher is using technology to communicate and deliver information.
  • Activities: Traditional activities are replaced or substituted by using technology. Teacher uses technology to heighten or to evaluate the student’s learning experience with digital activities.
  • Generate: Students are using technology to produce information through a generated product by researching and exploring, but guided by the teacher.
  • Engage: Students are discussing, demonstrating and presenting their knowledge through the use of technology.
  • Real World: Students are creating and solving authentic problems through the use of technology.

Rich and Tipton also address teachers’ and students’ psychological and emotional needs by incorporating Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs into the PAGER model. For example, The basic needs at the foundation of Maslow’s hierarchy matches up with the Platform level — just get teachers started incorporating technology in simple ways.

“The goal of PAGER is to show the natural order of technology integration, so the teacher will become comfortable to implement technology tools into his or her teaching strategies,” Rich wrote. “Many teachers and students become frustrated when it comes to trying more technology integrations. PAGER shows teachers and students a simple starting point and that it is beneficial to build a foundation at the lower landing.”

For more information about the PAGER model, go to: http://www.bit.do/pagerplatform.

Contact Daniel Rich at drich@sabineisd.org. Contact Tony Tipton at ttipton@littleelmisd.net.

The FUN Model (Nancy Crowley and Inger Cierniak)

Image by Michelle Pacansky-Brock (CC-BY).

Image by Michelle Pacansky-Brock (CC-BY). Click to see full-size image.

Nancy Crowley and Inger Cierniak saw this image (right) and could really relate to it. They could see themselves in it as well as their colleagues.

They also knew how hard it was to “straddle the chasm,” to go from the mainstream to an “ed tech enthusiast.”

Their big question was, “How do we get from the right to the left?” They wanted a way to empower and encourage teachers.

That’s where the FUN Model was born. It’s a simple, straightforward way to help teachers incorporate technology in a meaningful way.

Here’s a description of the parts of the FUN Model:

  • F — Focus on learning — Teaching is full of distractions. It’s easy to get focused on the flash of technology. But throughout it all, we should keep a focus on solid learning.
  • U — Use technology — Technology is the primary mode of communication for students. Tech by itself isn’t engaging … it’s all about how your lesson utilizes it.
  • N — It’s a natural fit — Teachers don’t have to force technology into lessons. Technology needs to be an enhancement that makes your students connect to your lesson and makes it real to them.

Crowley and Cierniak encourage teachers to let students explore facts instead of asking questions that can be easily Googled. They also emphasize the 4 C’s — critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity.

For more information, contact Crowley, educational technologist at St. Peter and Paul School in Easton, Maryland, at ncrowley@ssppeaston.org. Contact Cierniak, technology teacher at Christ the Teacher Catholic School in Newark, Delaware, at icierniak@christthetacher.org.

[reminder]What tech integration models have been most helpful to you? Have you seen others that could be included in this list?[/reminder]

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