What is the SAMR model of technology?

SAMR Model Musings

Schrock, K. (2013, November 21, 2013). SAMR model musings. Retrieved from http://blog.kathyschrock.net/2013/11/sarm-model-musings.html

Kathy Shrock has an innovative method of explaining the SAMR Model. She states, “My feeling is this model supports teachers as they design, develop, and integrate digital learning experiences that utilize technology to transform learning experiences. Along the continuum, the student engagement becomes more of the focus and students are then able to advance their own learning in a transformational manner.” Each part of the SAMR model is explained in detail and has pictures to further elucidate the model.

Understanding by Design

Hertz-Newman, Jenny


Bowen, Ryan S., (2017). Understanding by Design. Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching. Retrieved May 2018 from https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/understanding-by-design/.

This is almost like a mini-class in the backwards design model for constructing courses and units of study.  It reminds me of standards based planning/instruction in which instruction is based on the goal of students mastering the standard and lesson follows from that end goal.  This site has both text and video and the main aspects of backwards design are broken down clearly and in an interesting way.  There are also lesson planning templates and ideas for assessment.  I appreciate the focus on design for understanding and critical thinking in this model.


Education and the Mediated Subject

Mary Fobbs-Guillory


Saul, R. (2016). Education and the mediated subject: What today’s teachers need most from researchers of youth and media. Journal of Children and Media, 10(2). Pp.156-163

Roger Saul discusses how the education system that is still in place in most schools around or country is operating on old understandings of how children work and what they need from schools. He says that researchers can help bridge the divide of where were are now to where we should be by helping educators see the untapped potential of their students and the valuable skills they can contribute to their education. He states that there has been a “mass imposition and perpetuation of a constructed reality…embedded in power relations that have operated to deny in young people a range of options for self-understanding and expression that they might otherwise be entitled to” p.158. Teachers may not even realize they are marginalizing students because they are also being robbed of their agency.

This article echoed a lot of sentiments that I’ve been learning about in my Young Adults library class and that I have felt as an educator. Students can be very bored with the low level work they are often assigned. They need more of a challenge and they are more committed to that challenge when they have input and autonomy. There are a lot of studies that show the value and importance of inquiry and constructed knowledge, yet it is still not the norm in most schools. I sincerely hope that changes.

The Understanding by Design Handbook

McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. (1999). The understanding by design handbook. Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Once you have a basic understanding of the Understanding By Design method, this book really helps with the design and implementation of the method.  The book begins with an overview of the key concepts to UBD, then provides worksheets, models and examples to guide a teacher through the process.  There is a chapter to help teachers extract enduring understandings from the standards–recognizing that there is just too much to teach if we try to include every single standards.  Then the next chapters help with: identifying evidence of understanding, turning understandings into performances, designing a performance task, and designing a rubric.  That is followed by materials to plan the learning experiences needed to gain the understandings. The authors, in the introduction, said this handbook was necessary because they saw that teachers were still struggling after reading the introductory book to UBD, and they even saw that some of what they told teachers to do in the original books just did not work in practice.

This book is great because it is practical.  So many times as teachers were are expected to read the literature about best practices and then are left to figure out how to apply them on our own.  Having said that, even though UBD is considered good practice, so much so that the new Teacher Performance Expectations for California even mention a new teacher will use UBD as one of several strategies in the classroom, it is hard to find current examples of its use.  There used to be a website that had model lessons, but I went to the site and the items have been taken down.  Thus, it seems unlikely someone will use this book from beginning to end, but it will help you with learning how to write essential questions and with identifying those essential understandings your students should know.

School Libraries and Innovation

Debbie Gibbons

ET – Understanding by Design

McGrath, K. G. (2015). School libraries & innovation. Knowledge Quest, 43(3), 54-61. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/ecollab/kq/v43no3

The Common Core Standards call for a shift to process and problem-solving. There is a movement to transition traditional school libraries into learning commons. This article proposes a model that combines both trends by engaging students in design thinking and evidence-based practice to transform a school library space. Students interviewed users of the library to develop empathy and define needs. They brainstormed creative solutions and then return to the users for feedback. Working in groups, the students built prototypes of one or more of their designs and shared them with the clients, leading to further revision. After gathering feedback from students, faculty, and the community, design groups read the latest research to identify local libraries where innovation had been embraced and visited those sites. By engaging in learning with purpose, students were motivated to become design experts. The article goes on to describe the essential learning spaces and the role of the librarian in innovative libraries.

This article explains the concepts of design thinking illustrated by concrete examples of student learning. In a school where a learning commons already exists, this practice could be applied to many other projects. It could also adapted on a smaller scale to younger grade levels. I found this article to be a good combination of theoretical and practical.

Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Is Racial Bias Harmless? Derek Wing Sue

Faulk, M
Info 250                                                                                                                                              

Racial Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Is Racial Bias Harmless? Derek Wing Sue
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/microaggressions-in-everyday-life/201010/racial-microaggressions-in-everyday-life (Links to an external site.)

Summary:Space does not allow me to elaborate the harmful impact of racial microaggressions, but I summarize what the research literature reveals. Although they may appear like insignificant slights, or banal and trivial in nature, studies reveal that racial microaggressions have powerful detrimental consequences to people of color. They have been found to: (a) assail the mental health of recipients, (b) create a hostile and invalidating work or campus climate, (c) perpetuate stereotype threat, (d) create physical health problems, (e) saturate the broader society with cues that signal devaluation of social group identities, (f) lower work productivity and problem solving abilities, and (g) be partially responsible for creating inequities in education, employment and health care.

Evaluation: An eye-opening article about the “little” things (slights) that may happen each day in the classroom, possibly, to any student. The perspective is from an Asian American’s viewpoint who speaks to what he sees going on around him and incidents that draw attention to this very real problem.

Understanding By Design Framework

Friel, Holly
McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. Understanding By Design Framework. ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development). Retrieved from
This Understanding By Design (UBD) introduction provides an overview of the guiding principles behind this pedagogical framework, the six facets of understanding, and the three-stage design process.  First, UBD is informed by two main principles: 1) “Focus on teaching and assessing for understanding and learning transfer,” and 2) Backwards planning (start planning process with learning goals rather than starting with the learning activities). Secondly, the six facets of understanding include “the capacity to explain, interpret, apply, shift perspective, empathize, and self-assess.” Finally, UBD’s three-step process for lesson or unit planning includes: 1) Identify desired results, 2) Determine assessment evidence, and 3) Plan learning experiences and instruction.   
I found this guide helpful in providing background on UBD.  Identification of learning goals and essential questions at the start of the planning process can help to shape a deeper learning experience for students.   I also appreciate that the assessments are not just tests, as there are so many other ways that students can demonstrate understanding or mastery of a subject.  This guide includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section which provides ideas for implementation of the UBD framework in different disciplines. 

Redesigning and Organizational Behavior Class Using the Understanding by Design Framework

Michael Ayala

Marshall, C.R. and Matesi, L. (2013). Redesigning and Organizational Behavior Class Using the Understanding by Design Framework. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice,    13 (3/4), 85-92.


Link: http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eft&AN=94485419&site=ehost-live

A research article explaining Backwards Design, it reveals to readers how educators using this concept decide what they want students to take from the lesson from the long term, figure out how that will be assessed, and design the coursework last. The article explains educators must write “Enduring Understandings” before working through the process, and gives suggestions on how to write effective understanding statements. The Understanding by Design Framework then suggests, according to the article, to take a moment and decide what parts of the lesson are absolutely critical to learning, what is important to know, and what is worth having an idea about. Doing so enables the educator to develop effective lessons that get the point across quickly and effectively.

This is a useful article to learn about backwards design, as the concept is explained early on and several examples of how it works are provided. It is also useful for readers who are familiar with the subject, but are seeking ways to evaluate it and implement it in class.

Grant WIggins on Understanding by Design

Besich, Lauren 

AVENUESdoeORG. (2013, February 28). Understanding by design (1 of 2) [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4isSHf3SBuQ
AVENUESdoeORG. (2013, March 7). Understanding by design (2 of 2) [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgNODvvsgxM


These two videos document a presentation given by Grant Wiggins about Understanding by Design.  In a nutshell, Understanding by Design is a planning framework in which you plan your unit with the end goal in mind.  This is also called backward planning.  As teachers plan the unit with the end goal in mind, they can design assessments that measure desired results, and create learning experiences that help students achieve that goal. 
After watching these two videos, I think this is the framework my last school used—I just didn’t know it had a name.  The videos are informative about the Understanding by Design Framework, and Wiggins gives examples that demonstrate how to implement Understanding by Design.  While these videos serve more as an introduction than as a complete training, they do contain applicable tips anyone can implement right away. 

Where Do TLs Fit in

Jennifer Brickey
Morris, R. (2012). Find where you fit in the common core, or the time I forgot about librarians and reading. Teacher Librarian, 39(5), 8-12. Retrieved from http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=5e332207-1bc6-4a7d-8ce1-01b678060ecf
Morris begins by reflecting on all the things she does as a teacher-librarian: technology leader, information specialist, program specialist, etc. During her reflection, she is surprised she forgot about her role as a reading advisor. In this article, Morris asks librarians to evaluate how reading fits into the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). She provides an overview of the CCSS being sure to address that media and research skills are integrated throughout the standards. For this reason, Morris believes that literacy, more than ever, will not only help students meet the expectations of CCSS, but also “the literacies required of 21st-century college programs and workforce training” (p.10). School libraries are central to school programs, however, by making reading central in curriculum development for the CCSS, librarians can support literacy across all disciplines.
ET—Educational Theory
CA—Curriculum Assessment