Redefining Teaching and Learning with the SAMR Model

#Flipped Classroom #Blended Learning #Buzz Words Galore!

Technology tops the list of areas experiencing an exponential pace of advancement.  What does it all mean?  At the end of the day, unless we’re improving the learning experience of students, what’s the point of using technology at all?

Great questions are easy to ask and sometimes tough to answer.  The SAMR model, aligned with Bloom’s taxonomy, is a great starting point.  Whether you’re using technology for the first time or the millionth time, it’s a tool designed to help educators think intentionally about how and why to use technology in a variety of settings.   Whether you’re looking to flip your classroom or simply try out a new app.,  SAMR is key to planning.

Let’s look at this from the student perspective:

Substitute: I used to Journal in my notebook.  My teacher graded it monthly and at the end of semester I brought it home to show my uncle.  Now we journal in a Word document.  Maybe we’ll use the cloud someday to share sooner.  When it’s graded, it’s a final grade and goes in my report card.  I sometimes didn’t like my grade.

Augment:  Now we use Google Docs to write almost everything.  It’s nice because we can collaborate even if we’re writing at home.  Also my teacher gives us a peer editing guide and asks us to help and get help from at least 2 class members before submitting.  My grades have improved and sometimes my teacher gives me comments, lets me revise, and then adds points to my grade.  I like the comments because it’s a voice recording and I can hear he cares.

Modify:  My teacher wants to learn more about our writing skills.  Now in some assignments he asks us to select certain kinds of key words we wrote and make a voice recording telling why we chose it.  We make other kinds of links too; sometimes we link to another resource like a dictionary or thesaurus, and other times to a youtube video.  This is more work but it’s so much fun that it doesn’t feel like it.  I’m excited to keep my best work samples to show my teacher for next year.

Redefine:  I used to hate writing but now I love it.  When we’re done with assignments we create a screencast of ourselves reading it.  Sometimes our teacher even lets us act it out and record it in iMovie.  Since grading is so fast, we’re allowed to make changes before final grades go in.  I liked my last video so much that I showed it to my family by casting it to our TV at home.  The only trouble was I practiced in bed the night before and woke my mom up.  She wasn’t really mad though when she found out what I was doing.  I’m definitely saving this to show my next teacher!

Redefining how we teach using transformative tools supports growth mindset in a personalized learning environment.  Student reflection is a natural outcome of plan-fully using educational technology.  The SAMR model guides teachers, no matter where they are in developing practice, by leveraging technology to transform and personalize learning.

By Jeannie Sponheim

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