Thursday, February 18, 2016

SAMR, a sometimes misunderstood lens.

I hear this or a similar sentence often from teachers, "I want to have you help me plan a SAMR lesson soon." or "I really want to create another SAMR lesson some time." While the intention behind this thought is good, it's not fully informed. Let me explain.

Check out for more on this SAMR image!
A lesson is based around a curricular subject that is being taught, not SAMR. SAMR is a scale to judge the level of technology integration within the lesson. So with this new understanding: Every lesson can be measured against the SAMR categories.

Remember that the aim of technology integration is that the technology is a vehicle to deliver, curate, and create content within the classroom. It should be a part of the experience and culture of your classroom, a routine, not an experience. I believe this misunderstanding of SAMR, SAMR is something you do, is a potentially harmful side effect of not seeing the whole picture with SAMR and in a larger sense, possibly Tech. Integration. An immersive technological experience is why schools have gravitated toward a 1:1 experience and away from the cart model of past.

Facilitating a greater understanding of what this experience should ideally be is ever changing and a challenging task. With teacher's day to day being so jam packed with all the jobs they are being asked to do, technology can take a back seat. As a Technology Integrator, it's my pleasure to point out the benefits that technology can offer them in managing the chaos that is a classroom, the benefits it has for students in preparing them for life ahead, and the benefits it can have when part of an immersive, enriching experience like those listed here and here for example. It's more than throwing together a "fun activity". It's adding value to an already valuable piece of knowledge that can help our kids be successful. Value through connection and access to knowledge, value through a holistic and authentic experience, value through motivating an otherwise unmotivated learner. While SAMR isn't something you do, it is something you live and experience in a classroom, at whatever level you are at currently from No Tech --> Redefinition.

I hope this example can help you understand #SAMR and #edtech on! Let me know what else I can do to help. ~ Ryan