Loving the SAMR Model!

This week, I had the pleasure of presenting at a Schlechty Working on the Work conference in a breakout strand called "Teachers as Guide to Instruction." I teamed with Schlechty tech guru Ron Wright and Ron led teachers on an exploration of designing engaging work for students through seamless technology integration.

Before the teachers started their first technology infused project in the session, Ron gave me a few minutes to introduce the teachers to Dr. Ruben Puentedura's SAMR Model. I ran across this technology integration model late in the school year last year and find it so "simple" yet full of powerful implications.

The SAMR model suggests that, at the most basic level of technology integration, we simply "substitute" technology for another tool with no significant change in it purpose. The easiest example of this is the use of word processor to generate a document rather than hand writing it. (Now I don't advocate that we should ever go back to hand writing our documents. This substitution is practical and necessary. But, we shouldn't call that "true technology integration.")

As we work our way up the model, we move to Augmentation, where the technology tool contains some functional improvement. Using a Kindle to read may appear to be simple substitution, but using it with a student with limited vocabulary and having the student use the built-in dictionary to enhance vocabulary increases the technology's effect.

When we start to use the technology to do things we otherwise wouldn't be able to do, then we begin to see technology transform the learning that is taking place. Having student collaborate virtually using GoogleDocs truly modifies the task. Using those collaborative pieces to create a website with embedded video and live chats is an example of completely redefining the work.

I plan on visiting this model with all our staff this school year. In fact, I've already created a display in our technology center of the SAMR model. I really think it will help teachers see the "big picture" of technology integration.

Image from: http://jennyluca.wikispaces.com/file/view/SAMR_model.png/203923578/SAMR_model.png


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