Why Use Tech in the Classroom?

Educator understands why and how technology supports learning.
Made by Digital Promise Journey
Earn Graduate Credit
Graduate-level credit is available for this micro-credential. You can apply for credit through one of our university partners after successfully completing the micro-credential.
Learn More About Graduate Credit

About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Educator infers from experience and/or research how technology supports instruction and adds value to student learning.

Method Components

Technology can have a strong impact on student learning. The use of digital devices has been shown to improve student achievement, engagement, and motivation.

When a teacher is considering where to begin integrating technology into instruction, the use of a framework can provide “boundaries and anchors to learning theory” (Romrell, Kidder, and Wood 4). The SAMR model is a tool that can be used to evaluate how technology transforms learning. An educator who is considering utilizing technology in the classroom can use this model as a guide.

The SAMR model includes four classifications of technology use for learning:

  • Substitution: The technology provides a substitute for other learning activities without functional change.
  • Augmentation: The technology provides a substitute for other learning activities that offers functional improvements.
  • Modification: The technology allows the learning activity to be redesigned.
  • Redefinition: The technology allows for the creation of tasks that could not have been done without the use of the technology (Romrell, Kidder, and Wood 4).

When selecting a way to substitute or augment learning activities, the educator may use the following guide.

Substitution and/or augmentation:

The educator considers various forms of technology and what might be gained by substituting or augmenting a current task with technology.

This may be done while:

  • Planning a lesson
    • Example: The teacher may decide to incorporate video into a lesson that supports the current practice of the lecture; a word processor may replace a pen/pencil in a writing assignment; presentation software (PowerPoint, Keynote, or Prezi) may be used to present information.
  • Collaborating with colleagues
    • Example: The educator may discuss possible substitutions with other educators or instructional coaches with experience using technology. “I am thinking about having my students complete their next writing assignments on a laptop. What are some things I might need to consider as I plan for this substitution or augmentation?”
  • Analyzing the learning needs of individual students
    • Example: A student with a decoding deficit benefits from hearing material read aloud. The educator may consider using an app such as Speak It to read scanned text aloud.

  • Reflecting on his or her own experiences learning with technology
    • Example: The educator has used video as a learning tool for his or her own professional learning and saw its value. The educator may decide to incorporate more video to enhance content instruction.

In addition to reimagining previous lessons with the inclusion/substitution of technology, the educator may also infer ways that technology integration improves student engagement through research (for example, online databases) or through traditional means.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Gulek, J. C. and Demirtas, Hakan. (2005). “Learning with Technology: The Impact of Laptop Use on Student Achievement.” Journal of Technology, Learning and Assessment 3(2): 8, 13. Web.


  • As the educator includes more technology in the classroom, this article will serve as a resource that guides the integration between teaching methods, content knowledge and classroom technology use:

    Cavanagh, Robert F., and Matthew J. Koehler. "A Turn Toward Specifying Validity Criteria in the Measurement of Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK)." Journal of Research on Technology in Education 46.2 (2013): 129-48. Web.

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

The following are items you must submit to earn this micro-credential. To earn the micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Part 1 and a “Yes” for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(300-word limit for each response)

Give an example of how technology could be used in future lessons, including:

  • In what tasks or activities will you substitute technology? Explain previous tasks and activities and how the technology will be used as a substitution.
  • How will technology be used to enhance lesson delivery or used by students to demonstrate learning?

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

Submit a 5-10 minute video or written discussion that highlights your thought process as you began to investigate ways to substitute non-tech learning tasks or activities with technology. Please include the following:

  • specific examples of ways use technology.
  • references to the supporting research in your video or written discussion.

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

Ready to get started?