The mission to implement educational technology in classrooms has grown substantially over the last few years. Districts are driven to invest in ed tech solutions that are comprehensive, integrate with current learning management systems (LMS), and are turnkey. While having the technology is wonderful, not using them properly or to their full potential is still a struggle. This is where the SAMR model can help teachers maximize what they can do to enhance teaching and learning.
You may remember this controversial line from the 2008 Presidential campaign: “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.” While the phrase ruffled some feathers during the campaign, it’s an idea that’s useful in classrooms today: Even if it’s displayed on a projector, a worksheet is still a worksheet.
Enhance and Transform Your Lessons Through Using SAMR
The SAMR Model was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura to help teachers infuse technology into teaching. The model allows teachers to evaluate how they are using technology in their instructional practices. “SAMR” is an acronym that stands for four levels in the technology integration process: Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.
What does each SAMR level look like in the classroom?
Below are various classroom examples of SAMR. As one moves through the levels, the technology becomes seamlessly woven into teaching and learning to encourage higher order thinking.
My History Classroom, “Redefined”
Throughout my teaching career in a semi-urban district outside of Cleveland, Ohio, I have tried to inspire my students to achieve more by bringing my knowledge and passion for Social Studies into my classroom. However, as many of you have probably noticed, history is a topic that simply does not grab 21st century learners. Today’s students are accustomed to working with mobile devices, glancing at quick headlines, doing Internet-only research for projects, watching short YouTube videos, and reading and composing social media buzz. When today’s tech-savvy students are presented with traditional textbooks, worksheets, and magazines that are older than they are, they quickly become disengaged learners. It’s for this reason that several years ago I began a personal quest to “redefine” my instructional strategies, methods, and materials for the 21st century. The end result is my highly successful paperless classroom!