Blogging in Week 3: Looking at SAMR and TPACK
EDCI 571
September 24th, 2019

These readings were helpful and allowed me to have some good reflections when it comes to evaluating two new models that can support the development and evaluation of using new technologies in my everyday teaching.

The readings lent themselves well to considering how teachers are using and incorporating technology into their instructional practice, this idea of looking at collaborative practices to further enhance and influence student engagement and motivation for learning.

I had not previously heard of the SAMR model before so it was interesting to read about this approach in looking at how technology can be used to go from simply enhancing learning to transforming learning. I definitely see as we shift to using the new curriculum in our province that the use of promoting technology in the classroom, further supports many of the core competencies and “big ideas”. Specifically looking at how the use of technology can be used to transform learning that leads to higher level thinking skills.

I am particularly interested in exploring how the use of technology can be used facilitate and improve literacy. Improving our literacy rates is always something our district strives to work towards and is something we have had embedded in our school improvement plans the last number of years. I think that technology can certainly support and improve the learning needs and perhaps lend itself to make the learning more interesting and meaningful. We do a lot of work around supporting our students to read for pleasure and interest, and I think about the potential use of technology and how this might aid students in their efforts to improve phonological awareness, increase fluency and accuracy and support with comprehension skills. I think after reading about both the SAMR and TPACK models, they will help to support me to further determine how I will choose to use technology better in my everyday teaching.

Both tools can be used to support and inform the use of technology in the classroom setting.

In looking at the SAMR model, the acronym can be broken down in the following way. The examples provided came from the online video:

The example provided with the writing assignment made it clear to see how technology can be used to transform the learning process rather than simply enhancing the learning process.

Substitution: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change to the task. An example of this might include writing a story using a laptop to type the story rather than print the story.

Augmentation: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement. The same example could be used, only students would use the same technology (laptops) to type their stories, while also being able to use additional features such as changing formatting, fonts and using spell check just as an example.

Modification: Tech allows for significant task redesign. The same story could be written using Google docs, where students can also use collaboration through feedback.

Redefinition: Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable. In this example students could create the stories and then bring them to life using video to create multimedia story boards, create animation and include voice over. In this example students are able to employ the use of technology to enhance their skills in creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication.

The SAMR model allows for educators to think about how the use of technology can be used to transform the learning design.  “Transformational learning activities that are truly personalized, situated, and connected through the use of a mobile device will go beyond merely using a mobile device as a substitute for more traditional tools. The SAMR model provides a framework that can be used to classify and evaluate mLearning activities. (Romrell et al. (2004).

They encourage educators to think about the following types of questions to inform their decisions around implementation of technology.

Q: What will I gain by replacing the older technology with newer technology?

Q: Have I added an improvement to the task process?

Q: Does this modification depend on the new technology?

Q: How is the new task made possible by the new technology?

If I have to make a criticism of this model, it is that classroom teachers may find this somewhat frustrating as they work to try to incorporate technology despite level of comfort, access to adequate training as well as access to adequate technology. Teachers are often skeptical and resistant to using technology in the classroom, and in my experience a lot of the resistance comes from a lack of training and exposure with technology. Teachers often do not feel they have the appropriate training or opportunity to utilize the available technologies. The technology changes so quickly, we often don’t feel that we get to use the technology enough before it is changing yet again.


TPACK: Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge

Koehler and Mishra (2009) outline the TPACK model allowing teachers to evaluate and analyze their everyday teaching practices through three particular areas or lenses: content knowledge, technology and pedagogy. This model allows for teachers to recognize the value of each skill-set, while looking at how each of the areas compliment one another. This model is student centered and promotes more informed planning from educators and speaks to the intentionality of each area (content knowledge, technology and pedagogy). This model will require ongoing analysis and adjustments as teaching practices change and technologies evolve. In addition, this model allows educators to identify and focus on their strengths and also evaluate their “stretches” or areas to further explore and work on. Educators are able to explore, much like our students explore their learning, reflecting on learning needs and styles when exploring how they will best employ the use of technology in their classroom. However, if I have to make one criticism of this model, it is that the TPACK appears to be teacher centered rather than student centered.

I have worked to evaluate my own intentionality of incorporating the use of technology in my everyday teaching practice. I feel that the SAMR model works well with evaluating how I can use technology to better my practice and think about how it will contribute to improving students learning.