While education reorganizes, just to reorganize again, instructional technology is increasing its importance in classrooms, schools, and learning.

Teachers and Technology

Teachers may view the recent entry of technology into the classroom as either intrusive or a welcomed aid to their instruction. The goal of instructional technologists should be to allow the teacher to remain the subject matter expert while amplifying instruction through the appropriate technologies. Teachers need enough training to provide a meaningful learning experience to their students, but not so much that they lose their focus on their student’s learning.

Enhance Teacher-Student Interaction

A major complaint of teachers is the increasing amount of content they are asked to teach in the school year {read also: Start Here: K-12 Instructional Design}. A teacher can better manage content through a Learning Management System (LMS). By using an LMS efficiently with blended learning strategies instructors can regain some time in the classroom. With that time, teachers can consult, get to better know, and generally work with their students (Marzano & Allen, 2016).

The re-organization of time is especially possible when pre-created content is available to select from or edit for the LMS. The content becomes more challenging if the teacher is responsible for creating content him/herself. Educational leaders have offered up ways for teachers to imagine and create content via models such as Technology Integration Matrix (TIM), Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR), and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) (Kimmons, 2018).

Educational Leaders Speaking Tech

While the models TIM, SAMR, TPACK are all adequate for describing a way to integrate technology into instruction and consider the meaningfulness of tasks, no one model emerges as the best one. Models overlap in outcome and audience in some areas, but not others (Kimmons, 2018).

Punya Mishra and Matthew Koehler built upon Shulman’s idea of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) to create TPACK. TPACK organizes not only the content and the technology but also considers the pedagogical concerns in a way in which the other models do not. TPACK is available for planning, accessible during units of study, and usable writing curriculum revisions where other models are less flexible in when they can be used. These factors should open it up as a more appealing model for more teachers.

While blended learning pre-exists the examination of The Christensen Institute in 2014, Michael B. Horn and Heather Staker’s examination mainstreamed the K-12 possibilities in blended learning (Horn & Staker, 2015). The leaders of today’s intersection of the promise of blended learning and newly available technologies are utilizing the LMS for amplifying content and bringing teachers’ newly found instructional time in smaller group settings in today’s classrooms.

TPACK and blended learning are timely strategies with trusted educational leaders supporting them.



Horn, M. B., Staker, H., & Christensen, C. M. (2015). Blended: Using disruptive innovation to improve schools. Jossey-Bass.

Kimmons, R., & Hall, C. (2018). How useful are our models? pre-service and practicing teacher evaluations of technology integration models. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 62(1), 29-36. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11528-017-0227-8​

Marzano, M. P., & Allen, R. (2016, January 01). Online vs. Face-to-Face Course Evaluations: Considerations for Administrators and Faculty. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 19(4).

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record108(6), 1017–1054. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9620.2006.00684.x.