The SAMR model, developed by Dr Ruben Puentedura, illustrates the levels of technology integration into education. The lower levels of the model, including substitution and augmentation, describe ways in which technology enhances the learning that takes place. The higher levels, including modification and redefinition, describe ways in which technology transforms the learning.
- [Voiceover] Teaching an online course gives you a great opportunity to use technology tools to help students achieve learning outcomes. Successfully implementing technology in your course can transform the amount of learning that takes place while helping your students to develop important technical skills that they'll likely need to be successful in the digital age. One thing you'll want to do before you start creating or teaching an online course is to find some of these technology resources. Although we're quick to say that younger people are excellent with technology, this is somewhat of a misconception.
Although they may be great at some things related to technology, they aren't necessarily great at utilizing technology tools for learning or improving productivity. This is likely something that you'll need to help them learn. In the beginning, start out slowly. Don't introduce too many technology tools right away. You'll overwhelm many of the students. The key to selecting the technology tools you'll use in the classroom is quality, not quantity. I want to introduce you to the SAMR Model, developed by Doctor Ruben Puentedura. The purpose of this model is to illustrate the different levels of technology integration into a course.
These days there's a lot of educational technology out there, but one of the critical roles of the instructor is to be able to distinguish between the gimmicks and the game changers. This is a visual representation of the model, and as you can see, SAMR is an acronym for the four different levels, which are substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition. Also you'll notice that the first step, which is substitution, is at the bottom. This is because it represents the lowest level of technology integration, with the goal of evolving upwards toward higher levels.
The bottom two steps are ways in which technology enhances the learning, while the top two levels transform learning. Let's take a look at each of these steps. At the lowest level we have substitution, which is using technology to do something that we're already doing. For example, having students take notes using a Chromebook, or having students read an ebook on a tablet versus a real book. At this level, the task remains the same, but the tool is substituted. The second level is augmentation, and it's very similar to substitution, but with some added functionality to the task.
An example may be using a Google document to write a paper with an emphasis on using the built-in spell check tool and saving the paper to cloud-based Google Drive so that it can be accessed from anywhere. Another example may be engaging students in a discussion through a real-time online chat. At this level, the task remains the same, however, there are functional improvements. The third level, modification, is where we really start to tap into the power of technology. At this level, the technology allows us to begin to redefine the task, for instance, having a group of students create a presentation using Google Slides, in which they can work collaboratively on the same presentation at the same time from different locations.
Another example would be having students practice speeches by video recording them, housing them on YouTube, and sharing them with their peers in order to receive peer feedback. At this level, we start to redefine the task and the learning that takes place. The fourth and highest level is redefinition. At this level, the technology allows you to redefine the task or create previously inconceivable tasks. An example of this would be to empower your students to showcase their knowledge by creating a documentary, or perhaps allowing them to create a podcast demonstrating their understanding for course content and learning objectives.
Often, teachers who are new to technology start out at the level of substitution, as they begin to incorporate technology. However, once they're comfortable, they may progress to redefining the way they teach, or redefining the way students learn by incorporating more significant technologies. The ability to teach online is a tremendous innovation, but I recommend that you don't use the online course to simply deliver videos and articles for students to read followed by writing papers and taking tests. I recommend that you leverage the power of the internet and the tech tools that are out there, to redefine learning.
Help to get your students communicating, collaborating, and creating in ways you could have never imagined 10 years ago. Hopefully you'll find some innovative ways to incorporate technology into your course, and as you do, use the SAMR model to gauge where you're at in this progression.
Staff author Oliver Schinkten draws the connections between high-quality instruction and online education. He provides a framework for creating a digital classroom—with or without a learning management system—and guidance to get students interacting with the course material, the instructor, and each other. Collaboration is the key to making the learning experience more dynamic. Oliver also shows how to incorporate digital resources and the latest ed tech into your classroom, and make sure the lessons are accessible to students of all ability levels.
- What is online education?
- Why does online education succeed?
- Understanding learning management systems
- Incorporating technology in the classroom
- Setting guidelines and expectations about online courses
- Writing learning outcomes and learning objectives
- Sharing and curating files and resources
- Tracking student progress
- Engaging students
- Fostering communication
- Providing feedback
- Making learning accessible to students with disabilities