Last night Professor Steve Katz spoke about the SAMR model by Ruben Puentedura for integrating technology into classroom lessons. This model shows 4 levels that tech can be involved in a classroom. It is important to note that these levels are often stepping stones and tech Substitution is an accomplishment that should be celebrated. After all, enhancing the classroom with tech is a worthwhile improvement and teachers should be comfortable with this before moving onto the next level.
The first 2 levels Enhance a traditional classroom but largely keep the lesson the same as without technology.
Substitution is a simple change like typing instead of writing an essay.
Augmentation is a substitute with an improvement for instance adding digital photos to your typed essay.
The second 2 levels Transform your classroom into a new digital one.
Modification is when the lesson is redesigned, for example if students collaborate on a Google Document from many different workstations.
Redefinition is when your lesson is completely redone. New ideas that were previously impossible are now part of the lesson. Perhaps students will collaborate on a Google doc and then publish it to a blog to share it with the world.
Thinking about my own teaching I am proud to say that I often enhance the classroom with substitution and augmentation. On occasion I’ve modified lessons but lack of devices makes it tough to regularly transform my classroom. My Genius Hour afterschool club on the other hand is completely transformed from the traditional classroom. The biggest thing that helps me accomplish this is B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device). Its the only 1:1 class I regularly teach.
Genius Hour without tech would likely take place in the reference section of a library where students would pick a book to help them learn about something that they want. Devices redefine students’ abilities to independently pick goals and acquire new knowledge. Instead of relying on teachers and books the students are taught how to research on the internet. Most of them use YouTube to independently learn while the teacher helps guide and troubleshoot.
After a few classes of research the students are then required to share what they’ve learned. Giving the students control of their project means some will undoubtedly prefer to present with posters and speeches but others will choose to create a digital presentation. Students again have the choice to share their presentation with the class OR with the whole world thanks to technology!