What’s the Buzz: Instructional Technology Frameworks Part 1

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After the VSTE annual conference, I’ve done a lot of thinking about frameworks. One of the Keynote presentations introduced a framework that was new to me and then questioned the continued use of structures like SAMR. I had to do some reflection, because here at TeachersFirst we use the SAMR model a lot.  

I looked back at my experiences over the last 15 or so years as a technology coach and recognized that I have always used and referred to more than one framework at a time.  I presented a poster on my use of multiple instructional contexts as a coach at the ISTE conference in 2013. Sometimes it is important to wrestle with concepts and try to work out how new ideas fit in with what you already know.  It was an excellent exercise for me to revisit the definition of a framework and look at how I apply the term.

For me, a framework is a conceptual structure that provides a foundation and serves to hold the elements of a principle together.   So think of it as a diagram or theory that has a particular vocabulary that you can use to discuss the pieces of a lesson or activity with another educator.  Many times school or other organizations subscribe to a specific framework so that they can all use the same language to describe something that might happen in a classroom.  

As a coach, I learned that not every teacher is ready to have the same discussions about technology.  So part of my work in meeting teachers where they were was to find a framework that the teacher could relate to.  That allowed us to have more fruitful discussions as I prodded them to think about how they were (or weren’t) using technology in their classrooms.  

I’ve decided that now would be a great time to introduce you to some of the frameworks that you can refer to as you talk about technology use in the classroom.  Summer is when we plan for the next school year, right now we are getting ready to start our summer book study.  This summer we will study the Triple E Framework and how it can help when planning instruction.  

I am still working on the list of frameworks that I’ll include in this series, but in case you want to do some background reading, here’s my short list:

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About the author: Ruth Okoye

Dr. Ruth Okoye is the Director of K12 Initiatives at The Source for Learning. As a long-time technology coach, Ruth shares ideas and strategies for professional learning and thoughts on how to motivate yourself to “dig deeper” into educational technologies.


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