Week 7: TPACK and SAMR

February 26 to 27, 2019

What is TPACK?

Technology has become an increasingly important part of students’ lives beyond school, and even within the classroom it can also help increase their understanding of complex concepts or encourage collaboration among peers. Because of these benefits, current educational practice suggests that teachers implement some form of technology in their classrooms – but many teachers face difficulties in doing so. Cost, access, and time often form considerable barriers to classroom implementation, but another obstacle is a lack of knowledge regarding how technology can best be used to benefit students across diverse subject matter.

Punya Mishra and Matthew J. Koehler’s 2006 TPACK framework, which focuses on technological knowledge (TK), pedagogical knowledge (PK), and content knowledge (CK), offers a productive approach to many of the dilemmas that teachers face in implementing educational technology (edtech) in their classrooms. By differentiating among these three types of knowledge, the TPACK framework outlines how content (what is being taught) and pedagogy (how the teacher imparts that content) must form the foundation for any effective edtech integration. This order is important because the technology being implemented must communicate the content and support the pedagogy in order to enhance students’ learning experience.

According to the TPACK framework, specific technological tools (hardware, software, applications, associated information literacy practices, etc.) are best used to instruct and guide students toward a better, more robust understanding of the subject matter. The three types of knowledge – TK, PK, and CK – are thus combined and recombined in various ways within the TPACK framework. Technological pedagogical knowledge (TPK) describes relationships and interactions between technological tools and specific pedagogical practices, while pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) describes the same between pedagogical practices and specific learning objectives; finally, technological content knowledge (TCK) describes relationships and intersections among technologies and learning objectives. These triangulated areas then constitute TPACK, which considers the relationships among all three areas and acknowledges that educators are acting within this complex space.

Mishra and Koehler, researchers from Michigan State University, developed TPACK in the absence of other sufficient theory to explain or guide effective edtech integration. Since its publication in 2006, TPACK has become one of the leading theories regarding edtech and edtech integration: research and professional development activities both draw from it heavily.

However, TPACK has remained such a powerful principle for almost 12 years because the complex constituents described above allow room for a range of specific educational circumstances. Any effective implementation of technology in the classroom requires acknowledgment of the dynamic, transactional relationship among content, pedagogy, and the incoming technology – all within the unique contexts of different schools, classrooms, and cultures. Factors such as the individual educator, the specific grade level, the class demographics, and more will mean that every situation will demand a slightly different approach to edtech integration. No one monolithic combination of content, pedagogy, and edtech will be applicable for every setting, and TPACK leaves room for researchers and practitioners to adapt its framework to different circumstances.

This adaptability can be seen in the various intersections and relationships already embodied in the TPACK acronym.

Content Knowledge (CK) – This describes teachers’ own knowledge of the subject matter. CK may include knowledge of concepts, theories, evidence, and organizational frameworks within a particular subject matter; it may also include the field’s best practices and established approaches to communicating this information to students. CK will also differ according to discipline and grade level – for example, middle-school science and history classes require less detail and scope than undergraduate or graduate courses, so their various instructors’ CK may differ, or the CK that each class imparts to its students will differ.

Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) – This describes teachers’ knowledge of the practices, processes, and methods regarding teaching and learning. As a generic form of knowledge, PK encompasses the purposes, values, and aims of education, and may apply to more specific areas including the understanding of student learning styles, classroom management skills, lesson planning, and assessments.

Technological Knowledge (TK) – This describes teachers’ knowledge of, and ability to use, various technologies, technological tools, and associated resources. TK concerns understanding edtech, considering its possibilities for a specific subject area or classroom, learning to recognize when it will assist or impede learning, and continually learning and adapting to new technology offerings.
Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) – This describes teachers’ knowledge regarding foundational areas of teaching and learning, including curricula development, student assessment, and reporting results. PCK focuses on promoting learning and on tracing the links among pedagogy and its supportive practices (curriculum, assessment, etc.), and much like CK, will also differ according to grade level and subject matter. In all cases, though, PCK seeks to improve teaching practices by creating stronger connections between the content and the pedagogy used to communicate it.

Technological Content Knowledge (TCK) – This describes teachers’ understanding of how technology and content can both influence and push against each other. TCK involves understanding how the subject matter can be communicated via different edtech offerings, and considering which specific edtech tools might be best suited for specific subject matters or classrooms.

Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK) – This describes teachers’ understanding of how particular technologies can change both the teaching and learning experiences by introducing new pedagogical affordances and constraints. Another aspect of TPK concerns understanding how such tools can be deployed alongside pedagogy in ways that are appropriate to the discipline and the development of the lesson at hand.

TPACK is the end result of these various combinations and interests, drawing from them – and from the three larger underlying areas of content, pedagogy, and technology – in order to create an effective basis for teaching using educational technology. In order for teachers to make effective use of the TPACK framework, they should be open to certain key ideas, including:

  1. concepts from the content being taught can be represented using technology,
  2. pedagogical techniques can communicate content in different ways using technology,
  3. different content concepts require different skill levels from students, and edtech can help address some of these requirements,
  4. students come into the classroom with different backgrounds – including prior educational experience and exposure to technology – and lessons utilizing edtech should account for this possibility,
  5. educational technology can be used in tandem with students’ existing knowledge, helping them either strengthen prior epistemologies or develop new ones.

Because it considers the different types of knowledge needed and how teachers themselves could cultivate this knowledge, the TPACK framework thus becomes a productive way to consider how teachers could integrate educational technology into the classroom. Then too, TPACK can also serve as a measurement of instructor knowledge, potentially impacting both training and professional development offerings for teachers at all levels of experience. Finally, the TPACK framework is useful for the ways in which it explicates the types of knowledge most needed in order to make technology integration successful in the classroom. Teachers need not even be familiar with the entire TPACK framework as such in order to benefit from it: they simply need to understand that instructional practices are best shaped by content-driven, pedagogically-sound, and technologically-forward thinking knowledge.


  • Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for integrating technology in teachers’ knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108 (6), 1017–1054

Cite this article as: Kurt, S. “Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) Framework,” in Educational Technology, May 12, 2018. Retrieved from https://educationaltechnology.net/technological-pedagogical-content-knowledge-tpack-framework/



The SAMR Model is a framework created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura that categorizes four different degrees of classroom technology integration. The letters “SAMR” stand for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. The SAMR model was created to share a common language across disciplines as teachers strive to help students visualize complex concepts.

While it’s often visualized as a ladder or staircase as above, this can be misleading because Substitution (the bottom of the ladder) is sometimes the best choice for a particular lesson. This is why it’s better to think of the SAMR model more as a spectrum. On one end technology is used as a one-to-one replacement for traditional tools, and on the other end technology enables experiences that were previously impossible without it.

The SAMR Model Explained (with Examples)

The SAMR model is made up of four steps—Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. Substitution and Augmentation are considered “Enhancement” steps, while Modification and Redefinition are termed “Transformation” steps.

Think of the difference between seasoning an old family recipe (Enhancement) and creating an entirely new, original dish (Transformation). Susan Oxnevad referred to this movement across the spectrum as “teaching above the line.”


At this stage, technology is directly substituted for a more traditional one. It is a simple, bare-bones, direct replacement. For example, if you are teaching a government lesson on the Constitution, you might use an electronic or web-based version of the document instead of a hard copy. Students might also answer questions about the Constitution using a Microsoft Word instead of filling out a worksheet.

Substitution might also include a student using Keynote, PowerPoint, Prezi, Slides, or a similar program to present information about an article or amendment to the class.

In this step, you ask yourself what we stand to gain by replacing traditional tools with technology. Invariably, some situations will be better served with pen and paper.


The technology is again directly substituted for a traditional one, but with significant enhancements to the student experience. In other words, you ask yourself if the technology increases or augments a student’s productivity and potential in some way.

Returning to the Constitution example, a student might augment a presentation on, say, the 14th Amendment with a video clip of how equal protection under the law was enforced during school desegregation. It could also include interactive links to relevant supreme court decisions, such as Plessy v. Ferguson or Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.


In this stage, you are beginning to move from enhancement to transformation on the model. Instead of replacement or enhancement, this is an actual change to the design of the lesson and its learning outcome. The key question here—does the technology significantly alter the task?

A student presenting research on the 14th Amendment, to continue our example, might create his or her own unique graphic organizer for the class that not only includes the usual multimedia resources but represents a new product or synthesis of existing material. As another example, a group of students might collaborate in a cloud-based workspace to propose a modern definition of equal protection under the law and solicit feedback on their proposals from classmates.


The last stage of the SAMR model is Redefinition and represents the pinnacle of how technology can transform a student’s experience. In this case, you ask yourself if the technology tools allow educators to redefine a traditional task in a way that would not be possible without the tech, creating a novel experience.

For example, after completing their group work and soliciting feedback from classmates (both tasks that could be completed “offline” although arguably not with the same experience as in the modified format), students could utilize technology to network with students several states away to see how regional differences impact how others think about the Constitution.

Taking it a step further, students could even interact in real time with citizens in another country to examine key differences in constitutional philosophy and law. This can bridge the gap between K-12 and higher education as it did in this digital citizenship project.

SAMR and Bloom’s Taxonomy

Many educators use the SAMR model and Bloom’s Taxonomy in tandem to make their technology integration more purposeful. It’s a common mistake, however, to conflate the two models and think that deeper technology integration (the M and R in SAMR) lead to higher order thinking skills defined by Bloom. This is simply not the case.

So while it may be useful to use SAMR and Bloom’s Taxonomy to better flesh out your instructional strategy, keep in mind that they were designed for very different purposes.

Modeling SAMR Outside the Classroom

When you hear the acronym SAMR, it’s mostly in the context of the classroom. But SAMR is a useful framework for integrating technology beyond the classroom as well. In fact, thoughtfully using the framework in faculty meetings, observations, and other everyday activities can increase their effectiveness and model SAMR best practices for participants.


Two Models for Infusing Technology and Learning


February 26 to 27, 2019

TECHNOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE – What is to be thought to the students?

PEDAGOGICAL KNOWLEDGE- The manner or process of how the teacher will deliver the topic or knowledge to the students.

CONTENT KNOWLEDGE – What is to be thought to the students?






February 26 to 27, 2019

I learned this day the three things that teacher’s need to achieve an effective learning environment. There are two models for infusing technology. These are TPCK and SAMR. TPCK refers to Technological Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge and Content Knowledge. Teachers should acquire the Technological knowledge to know and understand how to use modern computers, wearable gadgets and other digital materials. Second, pedagogical knowledge refers to the manner of how teachers will deliver the lesson or topic to the learners. This is also similar to teaching strategy. Lastly, Content knowledge refers to what is to be thought to the students. Every time, the value of each knowledge change. Technological may be greater than Pedagogical and content or vice versa. Sometimes, they can be all equal and balance. SAMR is the second model for infusing technology proposed by Ruben Puentedura on 2013. Puentedura developed this model to evaluate the four functions of technology in teaching and learning. SAMR is an acronym that stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. Technology for teaching is a substitution to other materials such as visual aids and any other printed materials. Shifting into newer technologies is significant and more advantageous than traditional methods. Augmentation is the functional improvement in using technology for learning while modification refers to how technology replace the old one with a better version. We learned how to redesign and edit our outputs easily infusing these digital and technological materials. Redefinition is how technology changed different terminologies and added them in our new vocabularies. Language also changed because of the use of technology and the influence of social media.

Mrs. Gallardo gave us a new learning activity about TPCK. Students should read the given scenario and answer the guide questions. The scenario is about teacher Ana who showed a video clip to introduce her lesson about the process of photosynthesis. However, the class claimed that the concept of photosynthesis as shown in the video is too complex for them to understand. The possible problem in the scenario is the choice of material. The material used does not fit the topic and the learners’ capacity to digest the given information. To address and solve this problem, teachers should widen their knowledge about the use of technology in education as well as the appropriate strategy that they need to imply. Above all, teacher’s should master and acquire various technological skills or competencies.

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