Monday, October 20, 2014

Teacher Tech Toolkit includes SAMR

Barrington 220 teachers measure their technology integration using Dr. Puentedura's SAMR Model.

Photo via @slatkamarijana
(Marijana Jensen, District TSA Floater)
TPACK offers teachers an overarching philosophy for integrating technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge into daily lessons. Teachers use SAMR to measure how the technology aspect of TPACK is implemented.

The SAMR Model:

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SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition and was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, the Founder and President of Hippasus, a consulting firm focusing on transformative applications of information technologies in education.

The SAMR Model resembles a ladder with a clearly delineated top and bottom half. The bottom half includes Substitution and Augmentation, labeled as technological Enhancement. The top half includes Modification and Redefinition, labeled as technological Transformation.

The Enhancement rungs of the ladder allow students and teachers to add small, useful benefits to the curriculum and instruction of daily lessons. Substitution refers to practices such as a student practicing basic math facts through a game on an iPad versus completing a worksheet with the same practice. The use of the game on the iPad might provide some extra motivation or engagement for the student, but does not offer any tangible advantage. Augmentation allows for some improvement in practice, such as spell check on a writing assignment, or collaboration on the same slide while preparing a presentation, but the basic design of the lesson remains the same.

The Transformation rungs of the ladder afford teachers the opportunity to empower students to own the learning of each lesson (a reference to Dr. Alan November's work). Students gain self-advocacy and responsibility as they interact with new content and demonstrate learning with a myriad of technology tools. Modification refers to students being able to use Skype to interact with a peer living in San Diego to learn more about the impact of global warming through the droughts in California. In that lesson, students would learn about the meteorological, geographical, and socio-economical impacts without the teacher needing to provide that information by writing notes on the board or having students read paragraphs from a textbook. The task of learning about global warming is completely redesigned. Redefinition takes learning to the highest level by placing primary ownership onto the students with teachers serving as valuable guides in the process of learning. Students might be posed with an essential question or a problem to solve, such as: 

Increased rainfall and nearby landscaping has caused a river flowing behind a residential area to flood and make crossing the river unsafe. Families must send their students to school across the river. As the city urban design specialist, answer the following questions: How will you provide safe transport for the students? How will you communicate the plans, progress and completion of the project?  How much money will the project cost?  

This lesson incorporates many aspects of math, writing, science and social studies without overtly covering that material. Instead, the students use prior knowledge, access to curriculum, and creativity to solve the problem with the individual guidance of the teacher.

To learn more about SAMR, visit http://bit.ly/220SAMRModel and view this two-minute video:

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