Sunday, January 26, 2014

Technology Integration...Getting Started with SAMR

Image credit: naphotos / 123RF Stock Photo
Bloom's Taxonomy. Check. Scope and Sequence. Check. Standard Based Questions. Check. Learning Objectives. Check. TEKS. Check. That is how I started each weekend when designing my lesson plans. There was only one piece missing, integrating technology guide/model. Using technology in the classroom was always been a passion of mine as a classroom teacher. Five years ago I wasn't sure what using technology in the classroom looked like even though I had a strong passion for integration. I eagerly would look for new projects that my students could create. Looking back now I realize that without some type of model or guideline, I was flying blind when planning my lessons. Since that time I've left the classroom and become an Instructional Technology Specialist. With a passion for technology and classroom teachers, I began a quest to find a way to help teachers integrate technology in the classroom. Each year I would look for technology tools to help teachers engage their students in the classroom. It was not until last year that I heard of the SAMR model. BAM!! Fireworks exploded. I had found what I had been looking for over the years. A model. A guideline. A script. Something that would help teachers with designing lessons. 

SAMR, a model designed to help educators integrate technology into teaching and learning, was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. What I like most about the SAMR model is that it gives structure. As a teacher designing lessons center around the question, "What do I want my students to learn?" The SAMR model provides a guide for using technology as a tool in the lesson. Not all lessons require the use of technology but sometimes technology is a better tool for students to show that they learned a concept. 

To better understand the model here are some of my favorite SAMR Model graphics.
Original Graphic by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura
SAMR explained using a coffee analogy. Click here for blog post
SAMR model as integrated with iPads. Click here for blog post.
My new favorite SAMR model graphic is one that was shared by Carl Hooker. What I like about this model is that it's not a ladder. When teachers look at the "ladder" type model they mistakenly believe they need to climb up the ladder and once reaching the top their job is done. This version proposes swimming in a pool; becoming comfortable swimming in the shallow end and then venturing to the deep. Staying in the deep end can cause a person to "drown". Sometimes one needs to venture back and forth between the two. To learn more about this version of SAMR click here to read the blog post by Carl Hooker.

So take a dip in the SAMR model. As you think about concept you want your students to learn, ask yourself "Can technology help me reach this goal?"

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