Redefining Education with SAMR

The SAMR model describes a continuum of the extent to which technology is integrated in the classroom; from the enhancement of existing pedagogy to the development and creation of new pedagogy.

The SAMR model enables teachers to gauge how technology is utilised in classrooms. The ratings are influenced by teacher’s comfort with the technology. The focus is on what can be done with the technology. The model is premised on ICT as a tool for learning not a substitute for a teacher.

Technology integration can be considered on a continuum – moving from substitution to redefinition of classroom activity.

Substitution is when the use technology is used as a direct substitute for existing classroom practices. It is doing the same task with the introduction of technology but without any modification of the task. For example, using a note taking application on the iPad to draft a document rather than handwriting with paper and a pencil.

Augmentation involves some functional improvement but is still a direct tool substitute. The task has not changed but been enhanced slightly. For example, using some of the iPad’s built in tools such as the thesaurus, dictionary or speak mode to augment the classroom task.

If technology integration remains in the substitution and/or augmentation level, classroom workflows will only be slightly enhanced. Students may be engaged whilst using technology in the classroom but the use of the device remains defined and limited.

Modification involves giving students a different kind of task. For example, using multimedia and adding sound and video.

Redefinition is doing something that was inconceivable without technology and gives students a stage. For example, creating a digital storybook to share with students across the classroom, school or world.

When technology is used in this way it leads to the transformation of classroom and student workflows and the technology is used in its most effective form.

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