Monday, August 1, 2016

Summer EdTech Challenge #9: Tech it up with SAMR

Welcome to the Summer EdTech Challenge! Summertime is a wonderful time to be a teacher! It's the perfect time to recharge your batteries, catch up on trends in education, read for pleasure, and learn new things. How about taking the opportunity to learn new tech skills or try out new tools and strategies?

Each Monday this summer I'll post a simple tech challenge, something you can do between dips in the pool and binge watching your favorite TV show. These challenges are practical, easy to implement ideas to help you develop your tech skills and start next year off on the right technology foot!

This series of edtech challenges (and this blog) has been designed to introduce teachers to innovative ways of using technology in their classroom. Classroom technology is ubiquitous, but needs to be integrated properly in order to be effective. The use of technology needs to positively impact student teaching and learning. This is where the SAMR technology integration model can help.

SAMR is a model developed several years ago by Dr. Ruben Puentedura as a way for teachers to examine their use of technology. As the use of technology moves up through the SAMR levels, the technology becomes more integrated and necessary to the learning task. Check out this short video for an explanation of the SAMR model.

Once you understand the changes necessary to move from level to level, you can start examining your own technology practices. As you do so, remember that the goal is not to always strive for Redefinition. Its okay to have learning activities at the Substitution level. Instead, teachers to need to examine the activity and determine if the outcomes would be improved by moving up the SAMR levels. In other words, examine the level of student engagement-who is asking the important questions.  As one you move up the levels, computer technology becomes more important in the classroom but at the same time becomes more invisibly woven into the demands of good teaching and learning.

Check out 8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle for some specific examples of using the SAMR model to improve some typical classroom learning activities.

The EdTech Challenge this week is to take an existing lesson or project and redesign it so it moves up from the S or A level to the M or (even better) R level. Remember the definition of what makes it Modification or Redefinition.

After you've redesigned the task, come back to this post and describe the original task and how you changed it.

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