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How to use the SAMR model

Rob Clarke

Rob is the co-founder and CEO of Learning Architects. He supports leaders and organisations to thrive in the future through coaching, development, technology and learning design. He is a Ministry of Education accredited PLD facilitator. He is also a Dad and volunteers as Special Officer - Education for the United Nations Association of NZ.

For more information please visit: learningarchitects.com/about or get in touch via +64 21 590 572

How To Use The SAMR Model
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Part of our role as an expert professional learning provider is to help educators integrate technology in meaningful ways for learners. We find the SAMR model is a useful tool in helping educators start this journey. This post will help you learn how to use the SAMR model to go deeper when using technology to enhance the learning process.

The SAMR Model is a widely used way of thinking about technology adoption. It stands for: “Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition,” and was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura.

It offers a method of seeing how computer technology might impact teaching and learning. It provides a useful tool to guide reflection and dialogue relating to the depth, or quality, of the learning outcomes of students.

It shows a progression that educators can easily follow as they develop the quality of their pedagogy with technology.

Because SAMR is a framework, it provides a useful lens which educators can assess and evaluate how technology is used in the classroom.

As teachers progress through this model, technology becomes more important in the classroom but at the same time becomes more invisible.

Deepen technology integration with the SAMR model
The following three videos describe how the SAMR model works – the first two provide a quick description of each stage, whereas the third is an overview from the creator of the model.

For further resources, readings and presentations about this model, check out Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s web log here…

While this isn’t a self-review tool per se, it is useful to use this model as a lens with which to understand what staff focus on when using technology. It is also useful to reveal which strategies might best support the intended learning. The linearity of this model, like many others, is problematic in my view, because some may take it literally… learning is messy, not linear.

We suggest that educators using SAMR be mindful that it is not about the tool, it is about the learning and the tool is really just one of the elements of the learning. We agree with others who warn of the dangers of labeling particular tools as being in a particular stage of the SAMR model (or any other particular model for that matter).

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