TPACK and SAMR are two models for technology integration in the classroom. Both aim to move beyond enhancement of education through the use of technology, to using technology in more meaningful ways to help students learn and grow.


Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by

What is TPACK?

TPACK is a technology integration model that looks at the relation of technological knowledge (TK), pedagogical knowledge (PK), and content knowledge (CK) within learning contexts. TK, PK, and CK are brought together to form the acronym TPACK: technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge.

  • Pedagogical knowledge is how we teach. It’s the use of our strategies and teaching tools, like direct instruction, think-pair-share, bellringers, etc. (Candace M, 2013).
  • Technological knowledge is educators’ knowledge of tools that they pair or partner with the content being taught and the strategies they are using to teach that content (Candace M, 2013).
  • Content knowledge is the subject matter being taught–English, math, science, and so on (Candace M, 2013).

Through this model, educators can consider how each knowledge merges, overlaps, and interacts (St. Matthew’s Parish School, n.d., TPACK model section). Although each area of knowledge can be seen as separate, they are rarely separate in the classroom.



What is SAMR? 

SAMR is a technology integration model created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. The acronym SAMR stands for the four different stages of the model: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.  Through these different levels, educators are moving from enhancement of learning to transformation of learning through the incorporation of technology in their classrooms. Let’s take a closer look at each stage.

  • In the first stage of the model, Substitution, new technology replaces an out-dated way of doing something. The use of the technology does not change the task, it is just substituted in to complete the task (St. Matthew’s Parish School, n.d., SAMR model section).
  • Next, through Augmentation, the technology used with a task increases the functionality of completing the task (St. Matthew’s Parish School, n.d., SAMR model section).
  • Technology is used to redesign parts of the task to transform student learning in the Modification stage (St. Matthew’s Parish School, n.d., SAMR model section).
  • Through Redefinition, new tasks are designed and created that were once not imaginable. Redefinition is a shift in one’s view (St. Matthew’s Parish School, n.d., SAMR model section).

My School District

Which model is a good fit for my current school district? This is not an easy question to answer. I like both models of technology integration because they help me to think about the use of technology in my own classroom in different ways. And, when I think about the staff in my district, one of the models might be more meaningful than the other to different individuals. However, I do feel that the SAMR model is the better fit for my school district and would be more accepted by staff and administration. Since it is thought of in levels or stages rather than the overlap or interaction of different knowledge, I feel it is easier to understand. Plainly put, it is straightforward and simple.

Helping Teachers Learn More about the SAMR Model

To help teachers in my district learn more about the SAMR model, I would provide different examples of technology integration for each level of the model to help teachers see what substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition actually mean. This could happen through a blog post–much like this one–that is shared with the staff in my district, through a professional development session held before or after school, or a modeled lesson in which teachers are invited into my classroom to see different levels of SAMR in action.

Example of SAMR

Technology: iPad

App: Explain Everything


Instead of having students use a whiteboard to solve a math problem, they could use the app Explain Everything on an iPad and use a whiteboard page to show their work.


Continuing with the same example of using Explain Everything to solve a problem, students could then record themselves describing how they solved the problem. This can be shared with the teacher and parents. Having a recording of students explaining their work is an authentic artifact that provides a wealth of information about a student’s learning.


Let’s continue with the Explain Everything task. Now students have a solved math problem and a recording explaining their work. Students can complete different problems, and the teacher can combine the students’ work to form a presentation of students teaching how to solve different problems.


With the collection of the students’ lessons, the teacher can share this compilation with the classroom next door, or in the neighboring school, or across the world. The students can share their learning and teach others through their use of technology.


After providing information for teachers in my district about SAMR, we could come together to discuss our thoughts on the matter. We can share what we are doing in our own classrooms and discuss our comfort levels with the different stages of SAMR. Together, we can search for different technologies to try in our 1:1 classrooms. Ultimately, collaborating would be an opportunity to bounce ideas off one another and dig deeper into SAMR to best support our students and prepare them for the future.

Your School

Which model is good fit for your school? Take into consideration the students, staff, administration and available technology when finding a good match for your school. Check out some of these resources for more information:

Reference List

Candace M [Screen name]. (2013, April 26). TPACK in 2 minutes [Video file]. Retrived from

St. Matthews Parish School. (n.d.). Models for understanding technology integration. Retrieved from


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s