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P4-Holistic Technology Integration

Holistic Technology Integration: The P4 Framework for Professional Development
ISBN-10: 1681142961
ISBN-13: 978-1681142968

Available on Amazon (click here)

There are several models or frameworks that concern the integration of technology in the classroom.  However, very few, if any, take into account the use of technology by the teacher to improve his or her ability to grow professionally or to become a more efficient practitioner.  This session will discuss the P4 framework, a holistic model for teachers and teacher educators to approach technology integration for pre-service and in-service teachers.

The P4 framework is a holistic framework for teacher technology use that considers both the use of technology to enhance instructional practices as well as the professional development of the teacher and general workplace productivity.  This framework can serve to direct those in teacher education on how to address more than just the use of technology for pedagogical practices, extending into the practical aspects of technology and teaching.  Conversely, it can serve to limit the “tools-only” emphasis that is often promoted through technology conferences and social media.  The P4 framework stands for Pedagogy, Professionalism, Productivity, and Preferment.


This section of the framework is where many previous frameworks of technology integration have focused.  For example, Dewey’s (1902) ICCE framework was an early attempt to define how instructional media could be used for student learning.  More recently, the TPACK framework (Koehler & Mishra, 2009) emphasizes specific knowledge of teaching content as well as the application of technology in that content.  Hughes et al. (2006) created a continuum of educational activities using technology and how it alters the activity in minor to transformative ways.

These are just a few examples, but for the most part they ignore the other roles that technology can plan in a teacher’s professional life by solely focusing on instructional strategies.  While it can be argued that instruction is the most important aspect of teacher education, the following components of the P4 model address how teachers can stay current on educational issues and trends, as well as find ways to streamline their professional lives in order to engage and reflect upon their overall educational practices.


Teacher educators who are proficient with technology have likely relied on technology for professional growth.  While this portion of the framework often involves showing teachers websites and resource portals, it should also include instruction on developing a growth mindset (Dweck, 2006) for being able to use technology for professional growth upon leaving a teacher preparation or graduate program.  In light of stagnant teacher salaries and disincentives for obtaining a graduate degree, newly credentialed teachers need avenues for inexpensive informal learning opportunities.

The basis of this portion is the development of a teacher’s Personal Learning Network (PLN).  A PLN is the idea of utilizing a combination of social media, Web 2.0 resources, and content area associations to develop a network of people and ideas through which an educator can grow professionally.  Teacher educators should educate and inform students about methods to stay current in both educational technology and educational trends in their content area through Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, RSS feeds, and other news aggregating sites, all of which are free.


While this aspect of teacher technology use is the least likely to directly improve instruction and educational outcomes, it is necessary to realize that the profession is overworked.  One of the major barriers to teacher reflection and collaboration is time (Bingimlas, 2009) Therefore, as teacher educators, we should incorporate some aspect of using technology to improve the time management skills of the teachers as well as the streamlining of daily practices. 

The benefit of such instruction is that it has the ability to indirectly influence student outcomes.  By increasing the efficiency of teachers in their practice, they have essentially carved out the extra time to spend on other parts of the framework, such as professional growth.  In addition, such increases in productivity could actually improve pedagogical practices.  For example, the benefits of feedback are magnified when the quantity and quality are increased, and when the turnaround time is decreased (Hattie & Timperley, 2007).  Therefore, when teachers are instructed on how to leverage technology to decrease the amount of time it takes to provide feedback (e.g., using Google Docs to comment immediately on student work) or receive feedback (e.g., using a student response system to formatively assess a skill or concept), the teacher now has the ability to provide more feedback, higher quality feedback, and adjust instruction in the moment instead of waiting until the next class period.


The term ‘preferment’ is defined as the promotion or to an office or higher position.  While not necessarily related to student achievement and learning, fluency in technology is a means to upward mobility and the harnessing of the current means of production in society today (Subramony, 2011).  Simply put, educators need to be aware of the digital divide, the role of power in a technological society, and how technology is embedded with values of its creator. At its worst, critics of education mention that a child's world outside of school is immersed in technology, and that technology in the hands of students is often spent on non-productive activities (Vigdor & Ladd, 2010).  However, it is important that students have exposure to technology use that fosters an interest in potential careers.  While not necessarily tied to specific instructional strategies, having student use technology (rather than not) for no other reason than exposure and practice with tools they will be using later in life cannot be ignored. These concepts differ from the Pedagogy section of the framework in that they are not necessarily based in student learning and academic achievement; rather, they are about interest and motivation in STEM careers and moving from a mindset of using technology for consumption to using technology for creation and advancement.


Bingimlas, K. A. (2009). Barriers to the successful integration of ICT in teaching and learning environments: A review of the literature. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education5(3), 235-245.

Dewey, J. (1902). The child and the curriculum. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Random House.

Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research77(1), 81-112.

Hughes, J., Thomas, R. & Scharber, C. (2006). Assessing technology integration: The RAT – Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation - framework. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber & D. Willis (Eds.), Proceedings of Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2006 (pp. 1616-1620). Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK)? Contemporary issues in technology and teacher education9(1), 60-70.

Subramony, D. (2011). Socio-Cultural Issues in Educational Technology Integration. Colleagues6(1), 10.

Vigdor, J. L., & Ladd, H. F. (2010). Scaling the digital divide: Home computer technology and student achievement (No. w16078). National Bureau of Economic Research.