The last 2 weeks have been filled with amazing opportunities to spend quality time with passionate Ontario educators: the WRDSB CATC by the Water annual summer PD session, the OSAPAC summer planning session and a full day event focused on the SAMR technology integration model — talk about awesome!
The SAMR day was very exciting as the presentation given by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura, the researcher and author of this model. The SAMR model defines 4 levels of technology use for learning as described in the diagram below. The focus of the day was to look at the SAMR model in the context of many different grade levels and subject disciplines.
Personally, I found the day fascinating. Dr. Puentedura presented many excellent examples of SAMR within the context of Ontario curriculum. One example that particularly resonated with me was around the idea of reading. In terms of the substitute level, one can read on paper or read on a screen, highlight on paper or highlight on the screen etc. This shift really only serves to set the stage for the A, M and R levels. The augmentation level might include using an e-reader auto read feature to improve the experience and understanding. The modification level might include a task redesign such as extracting the highlighted notes and using them in new contexts such as word processing, wikis or in social media contexts such as twitter. The redefinition could include blogging by engaging students in reading circles, providing meaningful comments on other’s work and asking probing questions. This could be extended for deeper meaning by replacing an essay with a digital video production. Video components would include narrative, images, context etc. Students could further engage by providing meaningful comments on other videos and asking probing questions. Other examples I appreciated centred around social technologies (a range of tools from email to Facebook) and story telling.
The bonus in the day was that Dr. Puentedura joined our table for lunch – yes!!! We enjoyed a great free flowing discussion about his research – many contexts, environments and countries. There is no real way to capture all of the things we talked about in our rich discussion, but here are a few highlights:
- technology is important in a participatory culture of learning (power to connect and collaborate)
- 1 : 1 – not absolutely essential but it does make a huge difference, so desirable
- laptops vs tablets … drum roll … tablets
The day was truly amazing, and I couldn’t help but leave feeling energized and wondering about a practical way to put this into action.
Suggestion for Ontario elementary teachers: Check out the new social studies curriculum document (or choose a curriculum relevant to you) with an eye to technology integration and the SAMR model. I personally see many possibilities with the included citizenship framework of active participation, identity, structures and attributes. Some of the possibilities I see are inquiry based research, writing/blogging, collaboration tools, wikis, digital maps, digital timelines, presenting (posters, videos etc.) and age appropriate social media tools. Wonder, and ponder. What possibilities do you see? Share your great idea(s) by leaving a comment to this blog post.
Happy learning and integrating.
Note: Cross posted to VoicED.ca