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Big Picture Approach to Technology-Enhanced Instruction

Big Picture Approach to Technology-Enhanced Instruction

Many districts around Oklahoma are providing more classroom technology for teachers and students. Whether they are Chromebooks, iPads or traditional laptop computers, the number of devices students are using has greatly increased over the last few years.

However, is this technology being used effectively to enhance instruction? It’s one thing to increase the amount of technology in the classroom, but that is not enough. Are teachers being taught how to integrate that technology effectively into their lessons?

One resource to help education leaders, instructional technology coaches and teachers integrate technology effectively are the standards provided by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE). ISTE has been providing standards for the effective use of technology since the 1990s. The Oklahoma State Board of Education officially adopted these standards for Oklahoma schools several years back. ISTE has refreshed the standards twice, most recently starting in 2016. They have created standards for students, teachers, instructional technology coaches and education leaders. You can learn more about these standards and download resources on the ISTE website at

A second resource for teachers is the SAMR model of technology integration. SAMR is an acronym that illustrates 4 different levels of technology integration that teachers can use in instruction: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. The two lower levels of integration, substitution and augmentation, use technology to enhance instruction. An example of substitution is students using a laptop to type an essay rather than using pencil and paper. The two upper levels of integration, modification and redefinition, use technology to transform instruction. An example of redefinition is allowing students to create a movie or interactive website to display their knowledge rather than writing an essay. To learn more about this technology integration model, simply do a search for SAMR or use link to watch a video created by students that explains the model.

Moving from traditional teaching to technology-enhanced teaching is a process that should not be rushed. It requires careful planning on the part of administrators, working with curriculum directors, teachers and IT staff to implement effectively. Some districts take a multi-year approach, and some districts move quicker. However, it should be more than just buying technology and handing it to teachers and students and calling it technology-enhanced instruction.  

If you would like to discuss moving towards technology-enhanced instruction in more detail or you would like PD for your teachers or administrators, please contact me. You can reach me at or at 405-563-8602.

Kurt Bernhardt

Director, Technology

Kurt serves as OPSRC's technology director.

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