While teachers may be excited by the potential of technology in their classroom, it can still be intimidating. Even hearing success stories and accessing example lessons can be overwhelming and leave them wondering “Where do I even start?”.
For many, the best way to start is to start an existing unit, lesson and/or task they’ve done with students before and are confident with. When they are already familiar with the content, it can minimize the feeling of being overwhelmed and make it easier for them to see the potential to integrate technology.
This approach can often be complimented by the SAMR tech integration model (substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition). If you're not already familiar with it, be sure to check out our complete SAMR course. For now, let's take a peek at this example from the Tech Integration Strategies learning module using the subject of narrative writing:
With substitution, a teacher would have students type the work using a word processing program rather than handwriting it.
In augmentation, the students would not only type the work, but use built in tools such as spell check and online resources or text tools for formatting the look of the text.
To move to the modification of the task, students could use an online multi-media tool to collaboratively create a piece of writing with other classmates.
To completely redefine the task, students could try collaboratively constructing a story online using something like Twitter. Students would have to devote the entire story with that limitation of 140 characters. Editing and revisions are also made online, and the final product is produced and published in that online format. Maybe even as a blog where additional classmates can post feedback.
This example is pretty clear on how technology used with students should not simply be an add on, but rather infused throughout the learning process. However, it's not always so easy to see the difference between the different stages or components of SAMR.
To help ensure teachers are successful, Atomic Learning recently launched a SAMR Assessment that focuses on helping teachers gauge their own comprehension and application of each of the four levels of the SAMR model.
The assessment provides quiz-style insights and feedback designed to help teachers learn how to identify, create, and apply each of the levels of SAMR in their classroom, AND includes a listing of learning resources aligned to each of the four SAMR components.