The first day of technology roll out in our district revealed a few staff members’ fears. Lack of control seemed to be the biggest fear. Teachers were concerned that students would be exposed to excessive amounts of information both educational and not. However, that fear quickly morphed into another reality as I observed several teachers’ classrooms and two questions emerged: How is technology redefining teaching to enhance student learning? And, how can we infuse technology and teaching around student learning?
The SAMR model — substitution, augmentation, modification, or redefinition – can help teachers enhance their lessons to make technology foster student growth. Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, SAMR helps teachers identify the depth of knowledge of a particular activity that uses technology. Although it may be difficult to categorize an activity as one level or another, using this model represents a paradigm shift in which using educational technology is a continuum and should be integrated into good teaching and learning. A link to Kathy Schrock’s graphic of the model is available online.
Joanna Beck teaches middle-school science at Clarke County/ Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School. She represents her district as Teacher of the Year 2014-2015, and The National School Boards Association “20 to Watch Educator” 2015-2016. Her passion lies in igniting curiosity while teaching future innovators! She is a science teacher at Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School. Follow her on Twitter at @beck_joanna.
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