Learning Redefined (SAMR Model)

Listening to Jennie Magiera @MsMagiera speak about SAMR model in the Mobile Reach #22 podcast was not the first time I came across the SAMR model. I came across this concept several times in my Twitter stream but what Jennie Magiera said struck me. She mentioned that we should move away from the mindset of simply trying to integrate technology into our lessons as that would seem to suggest merely substituting technology with a more traditional tool. That is not enough! Our students today deserve a transformation of the way they learn. Technology has advanced so much that we should be really looking at how to redesign our learning tasks to make use of technology to do something which cannot be done without the technology.

For those who are not familiar with the SAMR model. The video above explains it quite well. Essentially it's important that we look at redesigning tasks instead of looking at how to enhance an old task. Technology such as videos, real time collaborative tools, video conferencing and augmented reality will really allow us to redefine our tasks to transform the way our pupils learn.

One example of how SAMR model can look like in education

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 notetaking 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.

We should really start moving away from using technology to enhance learning but rather using technology to transform learning.

How about you? How are you transforming learning in your class?