TPACK is all about the sweet spot where Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge converge. The SAMR model provides a lenses for enhancing and transforming learning using technology. I really like using these together when discussing, teaching, coaching or writing about using instructional technology. My criticism with these frameworks is small but valid. I too am conflicted whether Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge should be equally weighted in the graphic. Pedagogy is the most important and without it Content Knowledge and Technology could be lost. Interestingly I think Punya Mishra wouldn’t disagree as he says “technology should not drive pedagogy,” which tells me he sees pedagogy first before technology.
The truth be told, using technology to teach programming is better. Using Scratch is better than using physical blocks. Students can program better, they can build reasoning better, and they can learn new ideas from others all over the world and in time share their projects with the world. This is better.
Additionally, I think the SAMR model alone gets lost in technology as well. All of the indicators in the SAMR model say “tool” none of them direct discuss learning (pedagogy). What the SAMR model does well is gives you an idea of where you are with the integration of technology in a lesson, activity, project or unit.
Last year when I met Ruben Puentedura he encouraged using the SAMR model with TPACK by creating what he called “SAMR Ladders” which consider creating assessment points within each stage of the SAMR model is a super SAMRized unit. This is certainly a new way of looking at SAMR though it really depends on the standards and learning objectives of a specific unit. I don’t think SAMR is confined to being a ladder and it doesn’t need to be something you teach in sequence (by “going up the ladder”) instead I think it gives a good framework to gauge purposeful uses of technology to enhance student learning which often leads to accessing higher order thinking skills (HOTS).