Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to the most frequently asked questions about TIM and TIM Tools may be found on this page. Use the menu below to jump to specific sections. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please email your question to TIM@fcit.us

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Technology Integration Matrix FAQs

 

What is the Technology Integration Matrix?

The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) provides a framework for describing and targeting the use of technology to enhance learning. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, collaborative, constructive, authentic, and goal-directed. These characteristics are associated with five levels of technology integration: entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation. Together, the the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments and five levels of technology integration create a matrix of 25 cells. Developed by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT), the TIM is in its second version.

What is in each cell?

Each cell (the intersection of a characteristic and a level) is described with a summary indicator, detailed indicators for student, teacher, and learning environment, and multiple lesson videos.

How should the Technology Integration Matrix be used?

The TIM is designed to assist schools, districts, and states in evaluating the level of technology integration in classrooms and to provide teachers with models of how technology can be integrated into instruction in meaningful ways. The TIM can be used in the context of comprehensive technology planning, grant evaluation, and program accountability. Check out our Professional Learning page for more information about how you can use the TIM.

What do you mean by “technology tools”?

Descriptions within the Matrix frequently refer to “technology tools” and their use in teaching and learning. On this site, this term includes computers, laptops, mobile devices, websites, interactive whiteboards, online tools, videos, recording devices, and software. While we are aware that a simple pencil is a technology tool, within the context of the Technology Integration Matrix, we are concerned with the use of digital tools.

I’m writing an article about the TIM. How do I cite it?

Here’s a general format that you can customize depending on the exact page you are citing:
Florida Center for Instructional Technology. (n.d.). [Title of the page you are citing]. Retrieved from [exact URL]

For example, if you’re citing the main Matrix page, it would look like this:
Florida Center for Instructional Technology. (n.d.). The Technology Integration Matrix. Retrieved from http://mytechmatrix.org/matrix

I have videos/presentations/resources that I would like to share. Can I contribute to the TIM website?

Yes! Please contact us at TIM@fcit.us.

What are the next steps for developments with the Matrix?

We are continuously developing new resources and tools related to the TIM. To get the latest, follow FCIT on Twitter.

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TIM Tools FAQs

 

What is the difference between the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) and TIM Tools?

The TIM is a technology integration model that is freely available from the FCIT website. Many schools in the US and other countries use the TIM as a framework for talking about and evaluating technology integration. The TIM itself is free for any school or district to use.

TIM Tools is a suite of online applications that can be used in conjunction with the TIM. The use of TIM Tools requires a paid subscription.

What is included in the TIM Tools suite?

The TIM Tools suite includes three primary tools: a survey (Technology Uses and Perceptions Survey), an observation tool (TIM-O), and an action research tool (ARTI). The observation tool has two additional versions—one for reviewing lesson plans (TIM-LP) and one for use as a reflection tool (TIM-R). All five tools are managed from a single Administration Center.

What is the difference between the school version and the district version?

The District version of the TIM Tools allows multiple schools. The School version includes a single school. The same tools and resources are available in both versions.

May a district license a school version of TIM Tools?

Yes. In some cases, a district would like to try out TIM Tools in a single school for a year before deciding on a district-wide implementation. Often the suite is used for grant or project evaluation where all participants can easily be managed as a single group regardless of how many different schools they might represent.

We are now using a school license. Can we upgrade to a district license?

Absolutely! Please contact us to upgrade. There is no need to create a second TIM Tools instance or to move your data. We will simply turn on the district management features of your current instance. Your URL and all of your existing data will stay the same.

What will the URL of our TIM Tools site be?

Your URL will be a subdomain of tim-tools.com. For example, you may choose JohnDoeHS.tim-tools.com, ISD123.tim-tools.com, or AcmeSD.tim-tools.com.  When you order a TIM Tools license, we will make several suggestions for your subdomain name, but you may select any subdomain name that is not already in use. You can try out subdomain names by entering the URL into a browser. If SuperDistrict.tim-tools.com goes to the SuperDistrict log-in page, then you know that the “SuperDistrict” name is already is use. If your desired URL goes to a “server can’t be found” page, then you know that the subdomain name has not yet been claimed.

How long does a TIM Tools license run?

In most cases, a license runs from one year after the site is initialized. We can, however, accept purchase orders for multi-year licenses if that is preferred due to budgeting or grant considerations.

Are TIM Tools available for schools outside the United States?

Yes, we have licensed the TIM Tools for customers in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, North America, South America, and the Caribbean. Currently the TIM Tools are available in English only. We are working on localized versions.

Where can I get more information about managing my TIM Tools account?

All TIM Tools administrators have access to the TIM Tools Resource Center. Please contact FCIT at TIM@fcit.us if you have any further questions or are unable to access the TIM Tools Resource Center.

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Technology Uses and Perceptions Survey (TUPS) FAQs

 

What’s new in the latest TUPS version?

Version 4.0 of TIM Tools, released in 2016, adds the following features to the Technology Uses and Perceptions Survey:

  • Flexible Survey Sections. Each of the eight sections of the TUPS can be turned on or off at any time.
  • Flexible Survey Items. Each survey question can be turned on or off at any time.
  • Customize Text of Survey Items. Make custom adjustments to the text of any survey item to match terminology or specific technologies used in your school or district.
  • Introductory Message. Fully editable introductory text for the TUPS, to provide any necessary information for teachers.
  • Thank You Message. Fully editable “thank you” text to display when teachers complete the TUPS.
  • Filterable Data Downloads. Specify a date range for TUPS data downloads and choose whether to include teacher names in the downloaded files.

The TUPS description mentions 200 questions. Wouldn’t that take forever to do?

The TUPS does collect a great amount of information, however most of the questions are part of a response grid that is very easy to complete. Most participants can complete the entire survey in 20-30 minutes.

How often can a district administer the TUPS?

As often as you would like. In the Admin Center you can set the TUPS to be available to each participant any number of times from 1 to 10. You can also make it available an unlimited number of times per participant if you wish.

Our teachers may be reluctant to complete this survey. How can we communicate the benefits of taking the TUPS to our faculty?

The TUPS has an editable welcome message that everyone sees before beginning the survey. This is the best place to explain your purposes for administering the survey, how you will use the data, and how the information you gather will help you make the most effective decisions regarding technology and especially professional development. This is the faculty’s opportunity to make known what sorts of PD would be most appropriate for them and what topics may be unnecessary or redundant.
Here’s an example of how you might explain the survey to teachers: “This survey is designed to gain a better understanding of how teachers use technology in their teaching, their level of experience with technology, and their comfort with and attitudes toward technology. Results from this survey help identify professional development needs. This survey is not an evaluation. It is only informational and the more honest you are with your answers, the better we can plan professional development to meet our needs. Remember that you are not being tested on your knowledge and you are not being judged based on these survey results. Good teaching is not about how much technology you use. TUPS helps us as a team understand our professional development needs related to technology integration.”
Our district has some unique names for certain roles (tech buddies, gurus, etc.). Won’t that confuse survey participants when more standard terms are used?

No problem. The survey questions are easily customizable. Just go into the administration center and change “technology specialist” to whatever term or terms your district uses.

Some of our schools have unreliable networks. This has been a problem in online testing in the past. How would that affect the TUPS?

The TUPS prompts participants to click the Save button as they move between survey sections. If the local network goes down unexpectedly, participants will not lose any saved responses. When the network is restored and participants log back in, all the sections of responses that they had previously completed will be populated.

So how does it work on tablets? Our teachers all have iPads.

Perfectly. That’s our favorite way of viewing the TUPS.

I really need a Spanish version. Could I just use the item edit function to translate the TUPS?

Translation of the TIM Tools is on our development roadmap. TIM Tools have been used in a number of non-English-speaking countries and we look forward to providing localizations in the future. Please contact us at TIM@fcit.us to discuss.

Where can I get more information about administering the TUPS?

All TIM Tools administrators have access to the TIM Tools Resource Center, which includes easy-to-follow instructions for administering the Technology Uses and Perceptions Survey. Please contact FCIT at TIM@fcit.us if you have any further TUPS questions or are unable to access the TIM Tools Resource Center.

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TIM Observation (TIM-O) Tool FAQs

 

What’s new in the latest TIM-O version?

Version 4.0 of TIM Tools released in 2016 adds the following features to the TIM Observation Tool:

  • Hyperlinks within Observations. Link an observation record to online documents and websites.
  • Observation Drafts. An observation is not included in reports until the observer publishes it to the database.
  • Notes and Comments. Observers can take private notes on an observation separate from shared comments.
  • Editable Lesson Date. The lesson date is now separate from the Observation record date and can be edited.
  • Observation Preview. On the new preview tab, you can look at the observation record, including TIM levels, comments, and links, prior to publishing. You can also email the teacher or download a PDF.

The new TIM-R and TIM-LP look essentially the same as the TIM-O. What’s the purpose of having them as three different tools?

We found that many districts were using the TIM-O in creative ways. Some districts found the TIM-O useful for teacher reflections. Other districts used the TIM-O to provide feedback on lesson plans in addition to classroom walkthroughs. With the addition of the TIM-R and the TIM-LP, you can use the TIM Tools to meet both of these needs and improve the consistency of your data collection.

Do observers have to carry a laptop around to do observations?

They can, but the TIM-O works great on a tablet or even a smart phone.

How much training does it take to become an observer?

Obviously, the more an observer understands about good teaching and technology integration, the better. The amount and type of training needed depends largely on your understanding of the TIM and how you intend to use the data collected. For more information, check out our iTeach Professional Learning courses, our Resources section, or contact us to discuss your needs.

Can an observer link supporting documents (PDFs, photos, etc.) to an observation?

Yes. The latest versions of the TIM-O, TIM-R, and TIM-LP allow linking to any URL. For example, observers may take a digital photo of a lesson in progress, upload it to any sharing service, and then include the link with the observation.

What’s the best grade a teacher can get on the TIM-O?

No, no, no!! The TIM-O doesn’t grade teachers. The unit of observation is a lesson, not a teacher. It is understood that excellent teachers can and should function at a range of technology integration levels. A teacher who was facilitating a transformation level lesson on Friday might be very appropriately introducing a new concept with an entry level lesson on Monday. A series of TIM observations has value within a coaching environment. The only recommended way of associating teachers with TIM levels is as a range of levels. PD efforts should be directed toward expanding that range so that the “high water mark” of the range moves toward higher levels of technology integration.

How are observations initiated and tracked in the system? Can only administrators make observations?

The TIM observation tools offer great flexibility in assigning observer status. Any member (teacher or administrator) can be granted observer status at the district level or at any possible configuration of schools and/or zones of schools. Here are just a few possibilities districts have used:

  • District administrators are granted observer status.
  • School administrators, tech specialists, and department heads are granted observer status.
  • All teachers are granted observer status allowing for observations of peers, teammates, or fellow members of their communities of practice.

Where can I get more information about managing the TIM-O for my school or district?

All TIM Tools administrators have access to the TIM Tools Resource Center, which includes easy-to-follow instructions for administering the TIM Observation Tool. Please contact FCIT at TIM@fcit.us if you have any further TUPS questions or are unable to access the TIM Tools Resource Center.

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Action Research for Technology Integration (ARTI) Tool FAQs

 

Why the name ARTI?

ARTI stands for Action Research for Technology Integration.

What is action research?

The Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education defines action research as “a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the ‘actor’ in improving and/or refining his or her actions.”

Why action research?

Action research addresses immediate problems or issues. It can lead to practical solutions, best practices, higher levels of teacher motivation, and increased professionalism. As student populations become more diverse, crafting effective practices to meet changing needs becomes imperative for today’s teacher.

How does ARTI relate to the TUPS and TIM-O?

Each of the TIM tools is unique and contributes in its own way to effective technology integration. There is no standard plan for implementing the Tools that would be appropriate for all districts. Generally, however, ARTI is more of a destination than a starting point. For example, a district might decide to implement TIM Tools over three years. In year one, they administer the TUPS while simultaneously beginning PD about the Technology Integration Matrix. In year two, they may begin using the TIM-O in addition to continuing an annual administration of the TUPS. In year three, they might introduce ARTI to those teachers who are consistently demonstrating high levels of technology integration in their TIM-O profile. How and when to introduce ARTI will also greatly depend on the district’s current culture related to action research and communities of practice.

What’s the difference between action research conducted by our teachers and the kind of research written up in academic journals?

The Glossary of Education Reform provides this answer: Unlike more formal research studies, such as those conducted by universities and published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, action research is typically conducted by the educators working in the district or school being studied—the participants—rather than by independent, impartial observers from outside organizations. Less formal, prescriptive, or theory-driven research methods are typically used when conducting action research, since the goal is to address practical problems in a specific school or classroom, rather than produce independently validated and reproducible findings that others, outside of the context being studied, can use to guide their future actions or inform the design of their academic programs. That said, while action research is typically focused on solving a specific problem (high rates of student absenteeism, for example) or answer a specific question (Why are so many of our ninth graders failing math?), action research can also make meaningful contributions to the larger body of knowledge and understanding in the field of education, particularly within a relatively closed system such as school, district, or network of connected organizations.

Where can I get more information about implementing ARTI within my school or district?

All TIM Tools administrators have access to the TIM Tools Resource Center, which includes easy-to-follow instructions for administering ARTI. Please contact FCIT at TIM@fcit.us if you have any further ARTI questions or are unable to access the TIM Tools Resource Center.

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TIM Tools Administration Center FAQs

 

What’s new for the Admin Center in the latest TIM Tools update?

Version 4.0 of TIM Tools released in 2016 adds the following features to the Admin Center:

  • Customizable Header. Choose from over 100 images for your site’s header.
  • Flexible Applications. Turn on or off access to any of the five TIM Tools applications.
  • Admin Dashboard. At a glance, total counts of members, schools, survey responses, observations, and all other data.
  • Simplified School and Member Updating. Keep teacher and school records up-to-date through improved compatibility with leading information systems.

 

Our district is huge. Can TIM Tools handle districts larger than the 10,000 teacher tier I see on your price list?

Yes, the system was designed to support both large and small organizations. Some of the largest districts in the country are TIM Tools clients. The zone feature in the Admin Center was especially created for large districts. We’ve found that many large districts group their schools into various zones for administrative purposes. If you choose to group your schools into zones, then you will be able to assign observer status to members by any combination of zones and individual schools you’d like.

Where can I get more information about the Admin Center?

All TIM Tools administrators have access to the TIM Tools Resource Center, which includes the complete Admin Center manual. Please contact FCIT at TIM@fcit.us if you have any further Admin Center questions or are unable to access the TIM Tools Resource Center.

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Miscellaneous FAQs

 

Great DIY Presentations section. Can I use them?

All of the resources on the TIM website can be used by teachers, administrators, and other staff of schools and school districts. Commercial use requires written permission from FCIT.

Does my district have to buy TIM Tools to use the Technology Integration Matrix?

No. The TIM resources can be used independently of the TIM Tools. There is no cost to teachers, schools, or districts to use the TIM.

Can I submit a presentation proposal about the TIM to a conference?

Yes, we encourage presentations about the TIM at all kinds of conferences!  Please consider sharing information about your conference presentation with us. We love to see how you are using the TIM in your work. To cite materials you find on this website, please use:
Florida Center for Instructional Technology. (n.d.). The Technology Integration Matrix. Retrieved from http://mytechmatrix.org/

I’m an independent consultant. Can I offer training and consulting services on the TIM?

Commercial use of the TIM and TIM Tools content must have the written permission of FCIT. If you are selling your services and you are unsure about a proposed use of the TIM, please at TIM@fcit.us.

My district made a pretty cool website about our TIM projects. Can you include us in your Links section?

We’d love to take a look at your site. Send us the URL at: TIM@fcit.us

Will you guys be at ISTE?

Yes! We’ll be exhibiting at ISTE in San Antonio June 26–28, 2017. Come visit us at booth #150! We’ll also be exhibiting at FETC in Orlando January 25–27, 2017. FCIT staff present TIM-related topics at additional conferences as well.

I’ve got a question you don’t have answered. Where can I submit it?

Please email FCIT at: TIM@fcit.us