‘Upping the ante’ on technology integration

Have you been asked a question that sticks in your mind?

It has happened to me a lot, and one particularly ‘sticky’ question came from a fabulous educator who I’d have thought had the subject of the question ticking along pretty well.

“So just what is the SAMR ‘R’, Redefinition, really about?” she asked.

I wanted to dive in and say … well, just as you’ve turned the Flat Stanley letter exchange project into blogs that are collaboratively shared across the globe … and I stopped. What was she really asking?

We had a conversation about how technology had the potential to transform education, but I have always felt like there was more to this question. In this post I explore some models for technology integration linked to SAMR.

Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, “SAMR” is an acronym that stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition and describes 4 possible levels of engagement with digital tools for learning.

So let’s explore these levels in more detail, starting with a couple of considerations.

There are many educators who link the SAMR levels to Bloom’s Taxonomy. Kathy Schrock is one who sees the overlay of increasing intellectual demand through Bloom’s as a way of supporting teachers to add intellectual demand and design more engaging learning.

I am a particular fan of the work to overlay the levels with a continuum that moves the learning design from teacher directed to student initiated. Again, there are many educators applying this thinking, a good example is Jen Roberts’ TECH model. Jen maps the 4 levels of SAMR against TECH:

Traditional — teacher led, traditional pedagogy with technology support.

Enhanced — teacher uses a range of technologies and media to enhance the learning experience.

Choice — teacher establishes the grand goals for learning and offers students choices, in activities, digital tools and assessment processes.

Handover — Students’ interests drive the learning experience, with teacher guidance and the flexible choice of tools and technologies to achieve an authentic and exemplary product.

In my blog posts, I work through each SAMR stage, referring to these important ideas; increasing intellectual demand and building in greater student autonomy.

Read the post here: ‘Upping the ante’ on technology integration.

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