Models of Technology Integration and the Barriers

Amanda Henderson

Ontario Tech University


This literature review examines the different models of integrating technology in education and the barriers encountered in the process. The models focused on in this paper are SAMR and TPACK. With the rapid advancement of technology, integrating it into educational settings has become crucial for enhancing learning experiences. However, various barriers hinder the effective implementation of technology in education. This review synthesizes research studies and scholarly articles to provide a comprehensive overview of a few of the existing models of technology integration and the barriers commonly identified. These models encompass various frameworks, such as the SAMR model, TPACK framework, which emphasize the importance of aligning technology with pedagogy and content knowledge. This paper will also look at the application and implications of the literature and how educators can apply technology to the classroom. As well, it will look at the challenges teachers are posed with when selecting technology to incorporate. The review also identifies barriers to technology integration. Some of the barriers mentioned are but not limited to access, time, beliefs of teachers and professional development. Recommendations for overcoming these barriers are provided, emphasizing the importance of strategic planning, policy support, teacher training, and inclusive approaches to ensure successful technology integration in educational settings. The recommendations provided are to create Professional Learning Communities (PLC), to explore existing resources and the need for more teacher support.


Barriers to Technology,, SAMR, Technology, Technology Integration,  TPACK,


The use of technology has become increasingly relevant in the classroom and for students. Technology allows for collaboration, increases knowledge, and differentiates learning (Mishra & Koehler, 2006). As educators, it is important to incorporate it into the classroom and expose students to technology. There are many ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. This can be done by using different models of incorporation, such as Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition (SAMR) and Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge Framework (TPACK).

Incorporating technology can be a hard challenge because there are ‚Äúplenty of models to choose from; the problem is not that a useful model cannot be found but that deciding upon a model can be a complex task‚ÄĚ (Kimmons & Hall, 2018, p.29). Educators might face barriers that could occur or limit the technology being incorporated when implementing technology into the classroom. This paper will be organized topically by reviewing models of integration and the barriers that occur when implementing technology.

Background Information

Different Models of Technology Integration

When incorporating technology into the classroom, it can feel like a daunting task. There are so many different pieces of technology that all work similarly. As well there are multiple different models of technology integration. Kimmons and Hall (2018) mentioned ‚Äútheoretical models are widely used in teacher preparation and educational research for guiding and understanding the process of technology integration‚ÄĚ (p.29). The models focused on in this context are the SAMR model and the TPACK model. These models provide a framework for understanding the integration of technology in the classroom. The SAMR model categorizes the different types of technology, their use, and how they change the learning outcome (Walsh, 2017). This is done through substitution, augmentation, modification, or redefinition. According to Walsh (2017), the TPACK model is ‚Äúa framework to represent the knowledge areas required by teachers to teach effectively with technology‚ÄĚ (p.30). The framework consists of three main areas of knowledge. The three areas are Content Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge, and Technological Knowledge. Walsh (2017) describes these areas, ‚ÄúContent Knowledge (CK) which is knowledge about the subject matter being taught; Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) or understanding of teaching methods and how students learn, and Technology Knowledge (TK) of how to use technologies productively and with an understanding of their affordances and impedances‚ÄĚ (p.30). In this framework, all three interact with each other. This model encourages teachers to think of technology as more than an add-on and to consider how technology supports the content being taught and how pedagogy might change (Walsh, 2017).

There are so many models to pick from; this can pose a challenge for educators to pick the right one. Multiple models have similarities, which are often done for a purpose but not always (Kimmons & Hall, 2018). As well this is done to represent diverse learners and their needs. It shows that technology use needs to be coupled with good theory (Kimmons & Hall, 2018). A good theory is considered clear and practical. The teacher‚Äôs integration efforts should always be guided by meaningful pedagogies that practically address desired learning outcomes and are valuable to the teacher’s classroom setting. When selecting a model, teachers need to be concerned about the usefulness of a model in their local context. Teachers need to ensure they are integrating technology because it is useful and not just popular. This will provide structure for the complicated task of integrating technology and meeting all the diverse needs of learners (Kimmons & Hall, 2018). Integrating technology is not a simple task, yet teachers are being challenged to integrate technology into their classrooms and make the right choice about the technology they choose to integrate (Walsh, 2017). Walsh (2017) pointed out that ‚Äúthey are faced with considerations of what technology to use, how to use it, and how to fit it within contextual constraints such as school policies and curriculum‚ÄĚ (p.28). The hardest challenge teachers face would be how to use technology to effectively support learning goals (Walsh, 2017).¬† Both frameworks can help improve educators’ understanding of technology integration.

Barriers to Integration

Teachers are faced with many new obstacles when it comes to teaching and the integration of technology. Teachers are now being challenged to integrate technology into their classrooms while ensuring that curriculum standards are being met (Francom, 2020). For many teachers, this is challenging due to many different factors. These factors create barriers to the integration of technology. The main barriers found in the research were lack of equipment and unreliable technology, poor professional development or lack of professional development, lack of time, beliefs of teachers, and lack of knowledge. These barriers limit and challenge how much technology teachers can or are willing to use in their classrooms.

The first barrier identified in the research was the lack of equipment available in schools and the unreliability of the technology available. Across many school boards and schools, there is a shortage of technology. This shortage could be due to the cost of the equipment. However, not all schools face the barrier of limited technology. When there is technology available, teachers find that the technology itself is often unreliable (Wachira and Keengwe, 2011). Unreliable technology forces teachers to opt out of using technology because of the implications. One of the implications was highlighted in Wachira and Keengwe (2011) when the author highlighted a teacher’s perspective on the issue. In the article by Wachira and Keengwe (2011) a teacher from the article pointed out ‚Äúthat many teachers that she worked with avoided using any kind of technology because they were afraid it might fail in the middle of instruction‚ÄĚ (p.20). Unreliable technology leads teachers to have the mentality that they are still lacking access to technology because it is not working correctly (Kopcha, 2012). This mentality is because teachers are avoiding using technology and deeming it non-existent.

The next barrier highlighted in the research was poor professional development or lack of professional development. Poor professional development was often viewed as a barrier because teachers found either they received a development that was not applicable to the classroom or received zero professional development (Kopcha, 2012). This could have been because there are many gaps in professional development. The gaps could be caused due to the evolving use of technology and the fast rate of integration. In the research, teachers found that professional development was too technical and lacked application in the classroom (Kopcha, 2012). Finally, the research mentioned how teachers stated that it was challenging for them to fit professional development into their schedules (Kopcha, 2012).

Another factor identified as a barrier to the integration of technology would be a lack of time. In the research, lack of time is identified as not having enough time to evaluate the technology, plan for the incorporation of the technology, and the balancing of all the other aspects of teaching. Teachers report that technology requires a lot of their time. Kopcha (2012) stated, ‚ÄúTeachers have reported that technology requires more of their time to deal with student misbehavior when using technology, or to plan for and learn to use it‚ÄĚ (p. 109). Additionally, technology is perceived by teachers as a burden to time because it interrupts lessons, requires training, and takes up a lot of time to plan for integration. Francom (2020) stated, ‚ÄúUnless teachers can be provided with adequate time to find, evaluate and use technology tools and resources, we will likely continue to see teacher-centered practices that do not take advantage of the affordances of technologies for supporting transformative, student-centered learning‚ÄĚ (p.11). Teachers have identified that they need more time to learn about technologies before they can implement them in their classrooms.¬† There are so many demands on teachers that it is just too hard to make time for exploring technology (Kopcha, 2012). This is going to limit the integration that is occurring in the classroom.

Throughout the research, the belief of teachers was identified as a barrier. The belief of the teacher is the teacher’s ideology about the usefulness and difficulties associated with technology integration and the way it can influence their decision to use technology during instructional time (Kopcha, 2012). The beliefs a teacher has associated with technology integration practices include value beliefs and ability beliefs. A teacher may hold value beliefs which as the idea that technology can help meet instructional goals. A teacher can also hold ability beliefs which are all about self-efficacy for teachers to use tools and resources. When a teacher has a certain belief about technology, it can influence their decision to use technology in the classroom. Teachers who have high value and ability beliefs are more likely to effectively integrate technology into teaching and learning than teachers who do not (Francom, 2020).

The final barrier identified by the research would be a lack of knowledge surrounding technology and integration. There are two ways teachers may experience this barrier. The first way teachers may lack knowledge would be a lack of skills in using technology. The second way teachers experience a lack of knowledge is a lack of pedagogical knowledge (Wachira and Keengwe, 2011). An issue highlighted by teachers was that the training they received contributed to their lack of knowledge. The training received was generic and did not help them learn content-specific integration methods. This leads to teachers being unable to engage their students. In the study by Dinc (2019), the author mentioned that ‚Äústudents now demand technology in every aspect of their lives. That‚Äôs why having technology in the process of learning increases the student’s interest in the lesson, and therefore, technology motivates the students to engage more‚ÄĚ (p.388).


After reviewing the literature, there were multiple implications. Some of the implications would be that integration of technology is incredibly important to the success of students academically, but it often poses challenges for educators because there are so many different models. Integration of technology can allow for collaboration, active learning/engagement, and a more personalized learning experience which is helpful for our diverse learners. On top of the multiple different types of integration, educators are faced with barriers that can prevent integration. These barriers highlight the importance of addressing equity issues, providing necessary resources and support, and investing in comprehensive professional development programs. Collaborative efforts among policymakers, educators, and stakeholders are crucial to overcoming these barriers and ensuring that technology integration in education is equitable, effective, and sustainable. The SAMR model can be used in the class to analyze the technology in the classroom and get a better understanding of the impact. A current educational technology based on the SAMR model would be using a digital interactive whiteboard instead of your classroom whiteboard. This would fit under the substitution category.

Conclusions and Future Recommendations

Technology in the classroom is extremely important and allows students to be prepared for the real world. However, for educators, it comes with many challenges when trying to incorporate technology. After reviewing many literature sources, some of the barriers to technology integration are access, time, professional development, beliefs of teachers, and lack of support. These barriers can be reduced by creating Professional Learning Communities (PLC) to explore existing resources and the need for more teacher support.


Dinc, E. (2019). Prospective Teachers‚Äô Perceptions of Barriers to Technology Integration in Education. Contemporary Educational Technology, 10(4), 381‚Äď398.

Francom, G. M. (2020). Barriers to technology integration: A time-series survey study. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 52(1), 1‚Äď16.

Kimmons, R., & Hall, C. (2018). How Useful are our Models? Pre-Service and Practicing Teacher Evaluations of Technology Integration Models. TechTrends, 62(1), 29‚Äď36.

Kopcha, T. J. (2012). Teachers‚Äô perceptions of the barriers to technology integration and practices with technology under situated professional development. Computers and Education, 59(4), 1109‚Äď1121.

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for integrating technology in teachers‚Äô knowledge. Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017‚Äď1054

Wachira, P., & Keengwe, J. (2011). Technology Integration Barriers: Urban School Mathematics Teachers Perspectives. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 20(1), 17‚Äď25.

Walsh, J. (2017). Models of technology integration‚ÄĮ: TPACK and SAMR. Teacher Learning Network, 24(2), 26‚Äď30.


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Technology and the Curriculum: Summer 2023 Copyright © by Amanda Henderson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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