Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What the heck is SAMR?

SAMR is a model/framework for understanding technology integration in the classroom. I’m including a few images below that I consider to be good representations of SAMR including one that relates it to the Depth of Knowledge wheel that we are familiar with here at Righetti.

SAMR is an acronym for:

Substitution is when technology is used in a way that does not change the task at hand it is just a different tool to accomplish the task at hand, like a word processor instead of writing an assignment out by hand.

Augmentation is where the task itself doesn’t change, but the use of tech adds an element to the task that is absent previously, like using the editing tools within the word processor (spelling, grammar, dictionary, thesaurus).

Modification is when the task has a fundamental change due to the use of technology like when using collaborative documents where students can work on an assignment collaboratively in order to include work from all students.

Redefininition is where the task is fundamentally different due to the use of technology like when students post their assignment in an online forum where other students or a larger audience can comment and initiate ongoing conversations with the world at large.

SAMR often appears in a linear fashion, which is reasonable, but it should not be seen as a progression of skill. Just as with Depth of Knowledge, it is not reasonable to operate at the far end of the spectrum all the time. It is important for classroom tasks to be varied in order to meet the needs of all students, and this includes our use of technology. Some tasks are just better with paper and pencil, but the use of technology also allows for some pretty amazing opportunities. Check out the analogy below from @sylviaduckworth, applying the concepts of SAMR to investigating what’s in the ocean. There is purpose for each step, boat, snorkel, scuba and submarine; it’s a matter of using the right tool for the learning goal.

There are lots of tools available to teachers and students for use in the classroom. Below is the Depth of Knowledge Wheel with tools that lend themselves to different areas of the SAMR framework from @edudemic.  

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