Technology Solutions with Potential for High Relative Advantage


This week we learned about some models that can help us design ICT-rich learning environments, including the Technology Integration Planning, or TIP, model.

The TIP model encourages teachers to examine their ICT use and consider the advantages that ICT provides, the premise being that ICT should only be used if it is advantageous. This follows on with the ideas of transformational ICT use and the SAMR model that I have written a lot about. As the semester goes on, and I keep learning about integrating ICT into the classroom, I’m beginning to get a lot more critical of my ICT use (I am a teacher aide). So the first thing I did was think back to the last time I used ICT in my teaching…
I had downloaded a fractions game from Scootle, and was working one-on-one with a student, discussing fractions and ‘fraction language’. The student was engaged, and worked through the problems. I felt great – I had found a fun and engaging way to practice fraction skills. Hooray for me! The game finished and we moved to the worksheet set out by the classroom teacher. All of a sudden, things got real. In the absence of a predictable set-up, and visual and auditory warnings when the answers weren’t correct, my student struggled. Despite the fact that I was working with the student through the game, the skills that were practiced didn’t transfer over to the worksheet. Some interesting thoughts I have had (that I don’t have the answers to!):

Is it the ICT’s fault that the skills practiced weren’t transferable? Was I too eager to provide an ICT without fully considering what the ICT would do for my student? Did the ICT provide any advantages? And… why did I use this ICT in the first place?

What I did find quite useful about the TIP model is the table that we were shown, outlining some common classroom scenarios and the relating  technology solutions. These solutions were labeled as having ‘potential for High Relative Advantage’, and gives some ideas for ICT integration to address learning problems. I’ve popped the table below, as I think it’s an interesting resource for teachers. Hopefully this is food for thought for you all as well!

Also, if you want to do any more reading on the TIP model, a peer posted a link to an informative blog post that you might like!


Technology Solutions with potential for High Relative Advantage (Roblyer, 2006, pg. 54)

Learning Problem Technology Solution Relative Advantage
Concepts are new, foreign(e.g., mathematics, physics principles). Graphics, tools, simulations, video-based problem scenarios Visual examples clarify concepts and applications
Concepts are abstract, complex (e.g., physics principles, biology systems). Maths tools (Geometer’s SketchPad), simulations, problem-solving software, spreadsheet, exercises,  graphing calculators Graphics displays make abstract concepts more concrete; students can manipulate system to see how they work
Time-Consuming manual skills (e.g., handwriting, calculations, data collection) interfere with learning high-level skills Tool software (e.g., word processing, spreadsheets) and probeware Attention-getting displays, immediate feedback, and interaction combine to create motivating practice
Students cannot se relevance of concepts to their lives (e.g., history, social studies) Stimulations, internet activities, video-based problem scenarios Visual, interactive activities help teachers demonstrate relevance.
Skills are “inert,” i.e. students can do them but do not see where they apply (e.g., mathematics, physics). Simulations, problem solving software, video-based problem scenarios, students development of web pages, multimedia products Project-based learning using these tools establishes clear links between skills and real-world problems.
Students dislike preparing research reports, presentations. Student development of desktop- published and web page/multimedia products Students like products that look polished, professional
Students need skills in working collaboratively, opportunities to demonstrate learning in alternative ways. Student development of desktop-published and web page/multimedia products Provides format in which group work makes sense; students can work together “virtually”’ students make different contributions to one product based n their strengths
Students need technological competence in preparation for workplace. All software and productivity tools; all communications, presentation; and multimedia software Illustrates and provides practice skills and tools students will need in work situations
Teachers have limited time for correcting students’ individual practice items. Drill-and-practice software, handheld computers with assessment software Feedback to students is immediate; frees teachers for work with students
No teachers available for advanced courses. Self-instructional multimedia, distance courses Provides structured, self-paced learning environments
Students need individual reviews of missed work. Tutorial or multimedia software Provides structured, self paced environments for individual review of missed concepts.
Schools have insufficient consumable materials (e.g., science labs, workbooks). Simulations, CD-ROM based texts, ebooks Materials are reusable, saves money on purchasing new copies.
Students need quick access to information and people are not locally available. Internet and email projects; multimedia encyclopaedia and atlases Information to access; people are easier;,  less expensive to contact.



Roblyer, M.D. (2006). Integrating Educational Technology into Education. (4th Edition). Upper Saddle River NEw Jersey: Pearson Education Inc., p. 54 -56.


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