Monday, February 29, 2016

SAMR...What in the Web?

Educational Technology has rapidly advanced over the last decade or so. So fast actually, that teaching without it is almost unheard of. I mean, who wants to spend valuable class time writing on a board when they can prepare a lesson on a Flip Chart through Active Inspire that contains interactive learning tools and creative ways of teaching to keep the students engage. Why would someone waste paper and use a poster board to list goals of a lesson when they could use a PowerPoint with all the notes, pictures, and diagrams one could imagine?
Well if you’re like me and wouldn’t dream of taking up valuable class time with something as time consuming as writing on a board, than you would definitely be on board with this guy and his vision of how technology is a fundamental aspect to teaching.

Ruben R. Puentedura

Puentedura created the SAMR model, which explains the educational uses of integrating technology into the classroom. The model breaks down into two sections, each with two parts. In this post I am going to do my best to break down Puentendura’s model to help explain what it is and how it can be applied to our very own teaching practices.

You can find many different videos on YouTube and other useful sites to help you understand just what the SAMR is and how it works. Here is the link and my notes to the video I found most helpful.

The SAMR Explained by Students

·      Section One
o   Enhancement
§  (S)ubstitution
·      Technology acts as a direct stool substitute with no functional change
o   Example: Writing an essay vs. typing an essay

§  (A)ugmentation
·      Technology acts as a direct tool substitute with functional improvement
o   Example: Google Docs to share your essay with other students or teachers for feedback
·      Section Two
o   Transformation
§  (M)odification
·       Technology allows for significant tasks redesign
o   Example: Link outside text and videos in essay
§  (R)edefinition
·      Technology allows for the creation of new tasks that were previously inconceivable
o   Example: students can use multimedia to publish their story they created with the world

While watching the video on the SAMR model, I realized that although I agree and supported technology in the classroom, I never took the time to sit down and think about how vital it is to the students and their education.  In my elementary and on through some of my middle school years, computers weren’t used very much in education. We practiced typing on some little machines and played a few games here and there are desktops, but connecting to the Internet inside of school never happened until I entered high school. In high school, I took a computer applications class, and by the end of it I thought I was the smartest person I knew because no one in my family could do as much on a computer as I could. Now, I’d say I’m nothing above average when it comes to technology. I can do all the basics and catch on to things that are taught to me, but I have no extensive knowledge. However, being able to share files, documents, etc., with other classmates has made life so much easier in my college years. Technology has made everything easier in my college years…

We can use many different kinds of technology in teaching. Our options are almost infinite. For example if I wanted to teach students about the United States and where the states are located and maybe their capitals, populations, and the state flower, I could use a PowerPoint or a Flip Chart. I could include a picture of the entire nation to show what all the states look life together and then break it down state by state. Each slide or page to the chart could include an individual picture of the state; color coded by population in regions of the state with a key, and then a star and the name of the capital where it is located. I could then bring up a picture of the state flower and the history behind it. I could add a quiz at the end and leave blanks for students to fill in information about the state of their choice.  These are all things I can do in a reasonable amount of time, to bring to class to teach students. This is an activity that could hold the attention of the students and allow them to interact, and it could be changed easily if any mistakes were made or if students had their own ideas to add to it. I could also share this file with other educators so that they would be able to easily access it and use it as a tool to teach in their classroom. We would be teaching student the exact same thing they would learn in a basic American History class, but with the fun and exciting integrating of technology!

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