8 Examples of Transforming Lessons through the SAMR Cycle

Kinsella, Jason

(ET) Educational Theory and Practice

Walsh, K. (2015). 8 examples of transforming lessons through the SAMR cycle. EmergingEdTech. Retrieved from https://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/04/examples-of-transforming-lessons-through-samr/

Educational theory can seem abstract. In order to implement innovative ideas in the classroom, it is important to provide educators with concrete examples showing what a theory looks like in practice. This article does just that. It explains what the SAMR model is and isn’t, and provides eight concrete examples showing what an assignment would look like at each stage of the SAMR model: substitution, augmentation, modification and redefinition. The SAMR model examples include writing a short paper, geography and travel, understanding Shakespeare, assessments, art and painting, email etiquette, learning fractions and  physical education–learning to hit a baseball well.

This is a helpful introduction to the concept of blended learning and the SAMR model. It provides content that teachers can take right back to their classrooms tomorrow. The practical focus on implementation will be useful to anyone who is looking to further integrate technology into their classroom.

The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) Model: a critical review and suggestions for its use

Hamilton, E., Rosenberg, J. & Akcaoglu, Mete. (2016). The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) Model:  a critical review and suggestions for its use.  Tech Trends, 60, 433-441.  doi: 10..1007/s11528-016-0091-y

Summary
This article analyzes the use of the SAMR method in K-12 education, offering a critical review of the SAMR method.  The article argues that the creator of this method, Puentedura, offers limited explanations and details to help teachers understand and use the SAMR model.  As a result, the authors note there are many different interpretations of the model in action. The authors also note three main problems with the SAMR model:  1)  It does not take into account the context of the classroom or the complex systems teachers work in. 2) Its structure is too rigid.  3)The SAMR model emphasizes product over process. The authors fear that putting focus on a product, may result in forgetting the importance of the processes that are so important to the learning process.   The authors end with suggestions for how the SAMR model can be refined and clarified so it more clearly identifies when use of the technology is best suited to the needs of learners. They also suggest getting rid of the hierarchical structure, because it suggests that only the Redefinition and Modification stages have value to student learning.

Analysis
I found the article very interesting.  Like many teachers, I was shown the hierarchical visual of the SAMR method, and it seemed to make sense.  It provided a simple direction to follow as I began incorporating technology into lessons after joining a one-to-one device school. But I did get the message from my administrators, who first introduced me to this concept, that there was an expectation that I would create assignments that consistently used technology at the higher two levels of the SAMR model.  The authors in this article, though, point out that sometimes substitution can be a valuable part of a lesson, and sometimes the use of technology for a learning experience does not improve upon that experience.  The SAMR model is really very simplistic and does not take into account the many factors a teacher balances inside a classroom.  I do see it as a guide, but would like to see the model developed more so that teachers could have a better understanding of how to use technology to best serve their students and so that administrators would not assume that any teacher creating lessons that do not fall into the top two levels of this model, might have a perfectly good reason for not making that change.

The SAMR Model as a Framework for Evaluating mLearning.

Frey, Jennifer

ET

Romrell, D., Kidder, L. C., & Wood, E. (2014). The SAMR Model as a Framework for Evaluating              mLearning. Journal Of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 18(2), 79-93.

Summary:

This article uses the SAMR model as a framework for learning via a mobile device. It states that substitution is made without functional change, Augmentation is made with functional improvements, Modification occurs since learning activities are redesigned and redefinition occurs since it allows for the creation of tasks that could not have been done without this technology. The SAMR model can be used to assist with decisions regarding how to use mobile devices in education.

Evaluation:

I initially read this article because I had never heard of mLearning and wanted to know what it was. This article not only defined it but gave a great example of how one of the learning models is used to help educators. I liked this article since it went into depth about the use of mobile devices and how the SAMR model relates.

SAMR and Bloom’s

McClanahan, Lydia
ET

SAMR. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.schrockguide.net/samr.html

 
Kathy Schrock’s SAMR + Bloom’s article emphasizes the need for teachers to plan and align redefinition tasks with higher order thinking skills as outlined in Bloom’s. She argues that creative tasks outlined in the modification and redefinition levels of SAME  are often limited by the lower order thinking skills on Bloom’s, knowledge and recall.  The higher level tech tasks must  be matched by higher order thinking skills for creation and assessement according to Schrock as indicated by the image above.

Schrock’s article not only helped my understanding of the SAMR model, but it also reminded
me that in creating rigorous instruction, a variety of  tasks, assessments and types of thinking must be considered.   Schrock’s article pushes for a synthesizing of the familiar with what might be considered unfamiliar for many teachers. Introducing technology for some is unfamiliar and Substitution is a comfortable place to stay. Schrock however, helps those of us veterans, who might be used to pen and paper, the traditional, consider how we can use what we know, what we are comfortable with to push towards more innovative, 21st century thinking and instruction.
Douthit, Chris
ET
Taking notes by hand for better long-term comprehension. (2014, April 24). Association for Psychological Science. Retrieved on April 24, 2014 from http://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/releases/take-notes-by-hand-for-better-long-term-comprehension.html
Summary: According to psychologists Mueller and Oppenheimer, students who took notes via laptop did worse on tests than did students who took notes long hand.  While laptop users were more accurate in transcription and did just as well with questions regarding recall, their conceptual understanding was not as strong, causing them to fare worse on bigger picture questions.  For the study, students used computers only for taking notes—they were not connected to the internet.  The researchers think that those who take notes by hand do more processing and, therefore, develop better understanding.   Even when allowed to review notes, the laptop note-takers did worse. 
Evaluation: I would very much like to read the actual study, but I cannot access it.  While I am in favor of using technology as a tool in student learning, it is important to remember that old-fashioned methods sometimes have a place in our pedagogy.   This study goes to show that as educators we need to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each tool we ask our students to use while we also develop ways for students to integrate various levels of technology into their work.  Students need to be able to discern when paper and pencil is superior to a computer and visa versa. (This study is also covered in this article https://www.psychologicalscience.org/index.php/news/were-only-human/ink-on-paper-some-notes-on-note-taking.html)

SAMR Exemplified

Besich, Lauren

Oxnevad, S. (2013, July 4). “Using SAMR to teach above the line.” Getting Smart. Retrieved from http://gettingsmart.com/2013/07/using-samr-to-teach-above-the-line/
ET
Summary
In this article, Susan Oxnevard explains why teaching above the line in the SAMR model is important.  Typically when teachers begin technology integration they use it at the substitute or augmentation level. For example, the students would type their essay instead of writing it, or students would look for definitions in an online dictionary instead of the physical one sitting on the bookshelf.  Those substitution tasks don’t really boost learning.  The real benefit to technology integration is when it is used to complete tasks that were impossible before (modification and redefinition). 
Oxnevard said that teachers need to find digital tools that are appropriate for the task, and provides an example toolkit she assembled to encourage student-driven learning experiences around research, writing and the Common Core. 
One particularly helpful portion of the article was Oxnevard’s lesson sample of each SAMR level.  This helps teachers visualize and understand the differences between the different levels.
Evaluation
I’m so glad I read this article, because I now have a better grasp of the SAMR model.  The examples Oxnevard provided were most beneficial, as they provide me a framework to reference in the future.  The big push in the article is to teach above the line at the modification and redefinition levels, which will only be possible if the teacher makes time to discover and explore the ever-increasing pool of Web 2.0 tools.  Oxnevard even utilizes ThingLinks in her example toolkit demonstrating one of the many ways they can be implemented into the classroom.  Check out this article!