Teaching the Teachers – Introducing the SAMR Model.

Over the last fortnight I have been involved in delivering interactive training sessions for our 2014 Yr9 teachers. This is a critical stage in the preparation of our 1:1 Computing programme that will see the 2014 Yr9 Cohort bring a laptop to St Andrew’s College. It builds on the ‘behind the scenes’ changes already implemented: the replacement of the wireless network, improved switching and ensuring our fibre internet connection has sufficient capacity to manage the increased demands placed on it next year.

It can sometimes be a little daunting training the teachers – they all have significant experience as classroom practitioners along with a strong grasp on effective pedagogy. My job is to show ways in which the use of technology can increase engagement and contribute towards improved outcomes. One of the models we have adopted to help with this is the SAMR model developed by Dr Ruben Puentedura and is intended to be an easy model to consider how to integrate technology with a teacher’s existing practice.

The SAMR model has four stages which build on top of one another:

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This example shows how Google Earth can be integrated in the four levels

Substitution: The technology acts as a direct substitute, with no functional change

Augmentation: The technology as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement

Modification: The technology allows for significant task redesign

Redefinition: The technology allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable

Dr Puentedura explains the SAMR Model here

For many staff, the integration of the technology, in this case each student bringing a laptop to class, will allow for some very easy “substitutions” to take place e.g.

  • Traditional “handouts” are emailed to students directly or placed on the College Learning Management System (Moodle) so students can download them.
  • Similarly, Powerpoint presentations are made available to students for download instead of hand writing the key notes down from the Powerpoint or whiteboard.

The beauty of the relatively simple SAMR framework is that to build to a higher level of integration of the technology is comparatively straightforward. Continue reading