SAMR Model – not just about technology integration

I’ve reflected often on the SAMR model over the last 18 months and even more so in the lead up to going 1-1 with iPads at school.  It’s a model that informs practice in delivering teaching and learning experiences that are ultimately completely redefined by the integration of technology.  However, I’ve come to think that it is more than that, it’s a tool for guiding to movement of all teaching and learning experiences from utilising older ways of doing things and pedagogy of the past, towards 21st century, higher order pedagogies and strategies.  I’ve written before about the SAMR Model before (in SAMR Model and the Rigor/Relevance Framework, as well as, Redefining the task with technology) and what it is but what I want to reflect more on now is its application to all types of curriculum planning as I critically reflect on my own technology integration and programming for 21st century learning outcomes to be achieved.  Here’s an appropriate refresher video below:


To me its like this:

Substitution – Instead of the teacher standing in front of a class and talking a lot at the students, they are given sheets of information to read about the same topic.

Augmentation – Teachers talk about a topic and get students to answer some questions about it, both verbally and in written form.

Modification – Students are given information on a particular topic but instead of simply answering questions they have to produce a new product that demonstrates what they have learned.  It could be anything from an essay to a video.

Redefinition – Students are given a problem or a broad, open-ended question and are required to enter into collaborative inquiry that explores the problem/question until enough information can be learned to solve it and produce a solution, explanation and product.  Essentially, redefinition is like a PBL project.

In short, the modification and redefinition stages, which we should always aim for, is about giving more control over to students (which hasn’t been very much the norm until the latter part of the 20th century and 21st century) and making teaching and learning experiences as higher order as possible.  Student self-regulation and self-direction are common in these stages I believe.

I found a particularly good blog post too that seems to have similar ideas to this on the SAMR Model called In Response to “Redefinition”.  Some more to ponder as I think about the SAMR Model further…


2 thoughts on “SAMR Model – not just about technology integration

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