The SAMR Model

During this week’s ECMP355 class, we were introduced to the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition model (SAMR). The model was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. This is a model that offers a method of seeing how technology might impact teaching and learning. The following video is a great introduction to what SAMR is and what it looks like in the classroom:

In the article, 8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle, there are various examples of how to use this model in the classroom. An element of this article that I especially appreciate was the fact that there were various subject area examples. According to the article, the goal of the SAMR cycle is to “provide a technique for moving through degrees of technology adoption to find more meaningful uses of technology in teaching and move away from simply using “tech for tech’s sake”. In examining the various examples in this article, the one thing that struck me was once students were getting to the modification and redefinition stages, students were using a lot more skills that in the substitution stage. The task of the students became much more engaging.

Photo Credit: coreeducation Flickr via Compfight cc

While researching the SAMR model, I asked myself, is it wrong to be using technology at the substitution level? Upon reflecting on this question, I believe that it is not wrong to use technology at the substitution level in the beginning. It should be a teacher’s goal to get to the modification or redefinition level, however one does not need to start there. As I become more comfortable with using technology in the classroom, I believe that I can get to the modification and redefinition stages. One of the examples that I immediately thought of when thinking about the redefinition stage was having students engaging on Twitter. Students could write short summaries of their learning and through hashtags become connected with other students who are learning the same. A community of learners may develop. This is something that could not be done without technology. To confirm that I was on the right track on understand the redefinition stage, I researched different ways to implement the SAMR model in the classroom with examples. Matt Miller’s article 10 ways to reach SAMR”s redefinition stage provides 10 practical ideas to implement the redefinition stage in the classroom. I was delighted to see that one of the ideas was by using Twitter. In examining these 10 ideas, I realized that to reach this stage, a lot of extra work by the teacher is not required. In fact, students are doing most of the work, and the teacher takes on more of a facilitator role.

Overall, I believe the SAMR model has great value to learners in all classrooms. I encourage all teachers to look at this model and strive to reach the modification and redefinition stage when using technology. One final question I asked myself. I asked myself, where do I fit on this model when using technology in the classroom? I believe that I fit in the augmentation stage. Where do you see yourself in this model?



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