Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Thinking about SAMR

The SAMR model developed by Dr Ruben Puentedura has been around for some time now and three separate events have led me to take another look at it recently.

First our research report for the Manaiakalani Programme was presented to our schools at the beginning of July for the 2012 academic year. It was the first year all the children in our cluster from years 5-13 had owned their own digital device AND the first year all our teachers had been required to create a digital learning environment.  The overall picture was very positive, but in the 100+ pages of data there were also concerns. In her oral feedback Dr Rebecca Jesson pointed out that 2012 was the first year the research data included all children and all teachers, rather than volunteer and lead teachers as in previous years. It is clear that the PLD team has work to do yet, and my thinking turned to the SAMR model.

Secondly, I caught up with a friend I haven't see for a couple of years and she asked my advise about the 'hard to shift' teachers she works with, those who are not prepared to step onto the bottom rung of the SAMR ladder. A recent experience came to mind of digitising some family papers and I suggested she try using a new feature of Google Docs with them to at least entice them onto the Substitution rung. 
Did you know that if you photograph a page of text (any basic camera or phone camera will do - just get the lighting crisp) and upload the photo to your Google Drive with all the conversion options checked, you will then get a Doc that not only has the photo embedded in it but also has copied all the text and pasted it below in the Document ready to use? 

Delete the photo from the Doc and the text remains in your Document ready to process, and no scanner or complicated technology needed.
I know what you are thinking here!  A filing cabinet of worksheets about to be converted to Docs! It is not my preferred option for teaching either , but in 2013 if a teacher has not yet made an attempt to use technology this could be a hook to get started.

Thirdly, we have been investigating Modern Learning Environments and a month ago went overseas to look at some fabulous schools and classrooms.  Everyone in the group agreed that our Manaiakalani schools (most built in the 1950s) would love to have had any of them and our teachers and young people would thrive implementing our pedagogy.  We were intrigued to see that in some instances the very expensive modern buildings were being used in ways that surely hadn't been intended.  And so the SAMR model popped into my mind again.
We saw a multi million dollar building being used at the Substitution level ie young people seated in rows, facing lecturing teachers, but inside a space designed for personalisation, collaboration etc etc. We also saw Augmentation and Modification but mostly we saw Redefinition and were envious :)

Finally, I came across this image below by Susan Oxnevad and thought it was worth sharing with our team.

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