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The Technology Learning Cycle

May 2, 2012

The Technology Learning Cycle is a tool that faculty can use to reflect on their own learning about technology. It provides a way to think about how we learn to use new tools and incorporate them into our teaching. The Cycle was developed in the late 1990s at the University of Missouri to help faculty members who were training pre-service teachers in the use of technology. A central premise of this model is that faculty must be lifelong learners with regard to technology.

Phases of the technology learning cycle

  1. Awareness – becoming aware of technologies through media, friends, family, colleagues, or students.
  2. Exploration and Filtration – examining various technologies and selecting a tool that shows potential for personal and classroom use.
  3. Learning– developing a comfort level with the technology
    • Technical – learning the mechanics of working with the technology.
    • Pedagogical – preparation, planning, and practice using the tool to enhance learning.
  4. Application – implementing a project that uses the technology to fulfill a need.
  5. Sharing and Reflection – thinking critically about what you have learned, passing the knowledge on to others, and personally applying it to restart the cycle.

The cycle repeats each time you become aware of a new technology and choose to implement it in the classroom. Each cycle is typically more sophisticated than the previous one. The cycle propagates as others pick up on the knowledge you share.


  • Wedman, J., & Diggs, L. (2001). Identifying barriers to technology-enhanced learning environments in teacher education. Computers in Human Behavior, 17(4), 421-430.
  • Marra, R. M., Howland, J., Wedman, J., & Diggs, L. (2003). A Little TLC (Technology Learning Cycle) as a Means to Technology Integration. TechTrends, 47(2), 15-19.
  • Howland, J., & Wedman, J. (2004). A Process Model for Faculty Development: Individualizing Technology Learning. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 12(2), 239-262.

A tip o’ the hat to Dr. Bruce Spitzer, who introduced me to the TLC.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris Clark permalink*
    May 10, 2012 9:29 am

    One of the authors, John Wedman, is still on the faculty in the College of Education at the University of Missouri. I could not find Wedman’s co-author, Laura Diggs.

  2. Pauliina Venho permalink
    May 10, 2012 4:22 am

    Thank you for introducing this great tool! I work as an m-learning advisor in vocational sector in Finland and this contains every step on our way in implementing mobile learning with teachers and students. I already translated this in Finnish and I will link it to your blog but is there someone to mention in references or is it just University of Missouri? Best regards @pauliinavenho

  3. sherryclouser permalink
    May 7, 2012 3:14 pm

    This is perfect for a new program I am conceptualizing. Thanks!

  4. May 4, 2012 9:59 am

    Reblogged this on Things I grab, motley collection .

  5. Lindsey Hogan permalink
    May 3, 2012 11:19 am

    I love how this process is described. So often we jump straight to the application phase without considering the other steps of the cycle.


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