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8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle

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SAMR-model

Examples of Applying the SAMR Model can Help Teachers Understand and Embrace it

The SAMR Model for integrating technology into teaching, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, has gained a good deal of exposure in recent years. “SAMR” is an acronym that stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. The SAMR model provides a technique for moving through degrees of technology adoption to find more meaningful uses of technology in teaching and move away from simply using “tech for tech’s sake”.

We recently discussed the SAMR model during an Academic Technology Work Group meeting at The College of Westchester. We examined the video, SAMR in 120 Seconds. One thing that really struck me is how much the example helped, so I made it a point to gather and/or create some more examples.

Following are 8 examples of the SAMR process, each taking an example of a typical classroom exercise that does not use technology and walking it through each phase of SAMR. For half of these, I searched and borrowed from examples that teachers had written about online (original sources are provided – in some cases I tweaked the example a bit). I also created examples of my own. In working through this, it became apparent to me that while Substitution and Augmentation can be relatively straightforward conceptually, there is even more room for interpretation when it comes to Modification and Redefinition.

The goal of this exercise was to help me (and readers) better understand the SAMR model, and to really see how lessons and assessments can be transformed while considering the benefits of evolving them through these stages. I find it particularly interesting to see the vast difference in between the original lesson and the redefined lesson … there is often a much wider range of skills required in the latter stages, and lessons can become much more engaging and collaborative when modified or redefined.

Lesson: Writing a Short Paper

Taken from: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/08/samr-model-explained-through-examples.html.

Original Assignment: A hand written paper.

  • Substitution: A Word Processor replaces a Pen/Pencil in a Writing Assignment.
  • Augmentation: A Word Processor and text-to-speech function are used to improve the writing process.
  • Modification: The document created using the Word Processor and text-to-speech function is shared on a blog where feedback can be received and incorporated to help improve the quality of writing.
  • Redefinition: Instead of a written assignment, students convey analytic thought using multimedia tools.

Lesson: Geography & Travel

A modification of an idea found at https://edofict.wikispaces.com/SAMR+Examples.

Original Assignment: An overview of a location consisting of hand written content supplemented with compiled cut-and-pasted magazine clippings.

  • Substitution: Use presentation software (like Powerpoint or Prezi) to construct a presentation providing information about a selected locale.
  • Augmentation: Incorporate interactive multimedia – audio, video, hyperlinks – in the presentation to give more depth and provide more engaging presentation.
  • Modification: Create a digital travel brochure that incorporates multimedia and student created video.
  • Redefinition: Explore the locale with Google Earth; seek out and include interviews with people who have visited the local.

Lesson: Understanding Shakespeare

Taken from: https://edofict.wikispaces.com/SAMR+Examples and modified.

Original Assignment: Read a Shakespeare play in traditional printed format.

  • Substitution: Read Shakespeare texts online.
  • Augmentation: Use online dictionaries, study guides, history sites, to supplement reading.
  • Modification: Use multimedia resources like text, audio, and video tools to jointly construct knowledge, learning, and understanding of a portion of a play, or a character, as a group project.
  • Redefinition: Answer the Question, “What did the culture of the time have on the writing of Shakespeare’s plays” my using a Concept Mapping tool and constructing a mind map demonstrating key elements through words and images.

An Assessment Exercise

Idea taken from: https://sites.google.com/a/msad60.org/technology-is-learning/samr-model and slightly modified. In this example, we take a simple form of assessment and evolve it into a collaborative group project.

Original Assignment: Take a quiz, answers handwritten in a printed form.

  • Substitution: Distribute the quiz in a Word Processor file format and have student fill in answers on a computer.
  • Augmentation: Use a Google Form to deliver and complete the quiz. “There is some functional benefit here in that paper is being saved, students and teacher can receive almost immediate feedback on student level of understanding of material.  This level starts to move along the teacher / student centric continuum. The impact of immediate feedback is that students may begin to become more engaged in learning.“
  • Modification: As an alternative form of assessment, students could be asked to write an essay around a relevant theme. The written essay could then be narrated and captured as vocal recording.
  • Redefinition: “A classroom is asked to create a documentary video answering an essential question related to important concepts. Teams of students take on different subtopics and collaborate to create one final product.  Teams are expected to contact outside sources for information.”


Following are some example lessons, evolved through the SAMR model, that I have tried my hand at creating.
It's easy to get caught up in worrying about how effectively an approach constitutes “modification” or “redefinition”, but that's not the point of the exercise. To my way of thinking, it's more about understanding the difference between a just replacing or augmenting a “paper” lesson with a “digital” one and actually evolving it in a beneficial way and exploring new possibilities.

Lesson: Art/Painting

Original Assignment: Drawing a picture using traditional brush, paint, paper. Of course, there is a a big difference between doing this “by hand” in the traditional manner and doing it digitally – digitally is by no means “better”, it is just different and opens up some interesting possibilities.

  • Substitution: Use a digital drawing/painting program (like MS Paint) to draw/paint a picture.
  • Augmentation: Use a tool that allows the creation of your masterpiece to be “played back” (like Educreations, for example).
  • Modification: Pull a background image to use as a “canvas” – you could even scan something hand drawn and use that.
  • Redefinition: Create Artwork Collaboratively using a Collaborative Online Whiteboard (like Twiddla or one of these other tools).

Lesson: Email Etiquette

Original lesson: Review printed copies of Email Etiquette concepts and guidelines.

  • Substitution: Students read an online article discussing Email Etiquette concepts and guidelines.
  • Augmentation: Student read an online article discussing Email Etiquette concepts and guidelines that includes links to examples, and offer comments online indicating their top 5 favorite tips.
  • Modification: Student watch a video discussing Email Etiquette concepts and guidelines and after reviewing the guidelines, they create a Twitter account and Tweet their top 5 tips.
  • Redefinition: Student watch the guidelines video, then assess examples of Email Etiquette ‘violations’ and indicate which guidelines should be applied to correct/improve on the examples.

Lesson: Learning Fractions

Original Assignment: Show understanding of fractions on a worksheet by coloring in blocks.

  • Substitution: Use an Excel Worksheet to let students “color in” the blocks.
  • Augmentation: Use Google Sheet to let students “color in” the blocks, where the teacher can offer feedback directly on Google Sheet.
  • Modification: Use Google Sheet and direct students to online examples and supplementary learning materials for areas that they might struggle with.
  • Redefinition: Use a Fractions App instead (here’s a handful of examples for iOS devices).

Lesson: Phys Ed – Learning To Hit a Baseball Well

Original Assignment: Learning how to hit a baseball by watching and listening to a Coach or Phys Ed instructor show you and then trying it yourself.

  • Substitution: The coach/teacher videos the training exercise and uses this as the lesson.
  • Augmentation: The coach/teacher videos the training exercise and provides links to other training content (videos and articles from other coaches, etc).
  • Modification: The coach/teacher videos the training exercise and “flips” the lesson, having students watch it as homework, and using class time to practice and reinforce techniques.
  • Redefinition: Students watch video examples and practice the techniques, then the coach/teacher videos them hitting balls and provides feedback about their technique.

 

Hopefully these example of lessons modified through the SAMR cycle help to encourage you to think about how you leverage technology to make some of your lessons more interactive, collaborative, and engaging with some of the many great technology tools available today! Here’s a set of tools that may be helpful when working to evolve your lessons: 10 of the Most Engaging Uses of Instructional Technology (with Dozens of Resources and Tools).

Creative Commons license image source.

 

87 COMMENTS

  1. […] This postDr. Ruben R. PuentaduraAnyone familiar with these acronyms? Up until four weeks ago, these two combinations of letters were a complete mystery to me. I don’t claim to be an expert on TPACK or SAMR, but I’d love to share what I do know with fellow teachers or anyone else interested in integrating technology for educational purposes. Be prepared, there are even more acronyms heading your way! […]

  2. I am a kindergarten teacher and would like to use technology purposefully and in a more meaningful way. I would appreciate if you could suggest any ideas. Thanks in advance!

  3. […] The SAMR model is all about technological integration into the classroom.  SAMR is an acronym that describes the four ways a lesson can be changed with technology.  The “S” is for substitution, the most basic form of technological integration.  The “A” represents augmentation.  Those first two are considered to enhance what can be done without technology.  The next two rely on technology and cannot be done without it.  The third level is modification which seeks to drastically change how a task is performed.  The last level is redefinition, this level of integration creates whole new tasks that were not even possible before.  (http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/04/examples-of-transforming-lessons-through-samr/) […]

  4. […] Meaningful uses of EdTech: I started 2016 with this theme, and want to keep returning to it. It is too easy to simply grasp at various tools and techniques and mistake doing so for worthwhile technology integration. We need to be more thoughtful and focused in our efforts to use technology in a meaningful way in our classrooms and courses. Just because we can doesn’t always mean we should, and when we do, it should provide benefits (and not just leave us dangling at the bottom of the SAMR scale). […]

  5. […] 8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle. The SAMR Model for integrating technology into teaching, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, has gained a good deal of exposure in recent years. “SAMR” is an acronym that stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. The SAMR model provides a technique for moving through degrees of technology adoption to find more meaningful uses of technology in teaching and move away from simply using “tech for tech’s sake”. […]

  6. I found the article interesting and helpful, however, I would take issue with calling using an app for teaching fractions as redefinition. Basically the apps are more of a substitution for fraction activities and or games. I think a higher level for redefinition would be creating a fraction lesson related to (i.e. making pizza fractions from pizza that students made, then doing a Google hangout with a pizza making expert or another class with mystery fraction numbers).

  7. Mr. Walsh,

    I would like to add my name to the list of presenters who would like to include your examples (with credit to you) in a training module for instructors. They will be pulled from their categories, and instructors will be required to sort them back in as a learner-centered exercise.

    I will share the files I create here for printing by others, if desired.

    Thanks,
    Dean P.

  8. […] flipped classroom? 1. 2. 3. 1. Using SAMR to Transform the classroom Tutorial. SAMR in 120 Seconds. 8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle. The SAMR Model for integrating technology into teaching, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, has […]

  9. […] That Work. WeAreTeachers – Get Lesson Plans – Teacher Grants – Teaching Resources and More. 8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle. The SAMR Model for integrating technology into teaching, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, has […]

  10. Hi Kelly,
    Your examples here really helped me better under the SAMR model. I had searched online repeatedly for a clearer, straight-to-the-point explanation until I came across this. Thanks for sharing.
    Kindly grant me permission to use some of the examples here in a presentation to a faculty here in Nigeria. I will definitely give you credit if you allow me to share your examples. Thanks in anticipation of positive response.

  11. […] The SAMR Model helps individuals understand their level of technology use. There are four levels of technology implementation. Each level goes one step beyond in using technology. The  example shown does a good job of delineating the differences.  Here is a website that shows examples that uses this model. SAMR […]

  12. […] Examples of Applying the SAMR Model can Help Teachers Understand and Embrace it The SAMR Model for integrating technology into teaching, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, has gained a good deal of exposure in recent years. “SAMR” is an acronym Examples of Applying the SAMR Model can Help Teachers Understand and Embrace it The SAMR Model for integrating technology into teaching, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, has gained a good deal of exposure in recent years. “SAMR” is an acronym  […]

  13. Thank you for your post. I would like to use your examples in a presentation to our teachers. I will definitely give you credit if you allow me to share your ideas. Thank you in advance.

  14. […] – TOPIC 3: SPACES AND EXCHANGES – JACOBANGLAIS, le blog d'anglais du Lycée Jacob Holtzer. 8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle — Emerging Education Technologies. CCDMD – Page d'accueil. Ordonnance n° 82-296 du 31 mars 1982 relative à l'exercice de […]

  15. […] Districts usually provide teachers with easy to use Learning Management Systems (LMS) that can facilitate new learning opportunities with technology. However, the greatest potential of learning with technology tools is that teachers and students can transform the traditional learning environment, processes, and products. Just providing teachers with an organizational tool, such as an LMS, will not lead to transformative practices. Teachers need on-going support if they are to truly transform their classrooms into ecosystems for digital age learning. A Model for Redefining Learning The SAMR Model developed by Dr. Digitized Learning Digitized learning encompasses the first two levels of the SAMR Model – Substitution and Augmentation. Digital Learning Next Steps… Like this: Like Loading… 8 Examples of Transforming Lessons Through the SAMR Cycle. […]

  16. Response to Linda Ausley & Kelly Walsh: I agree that Redefinition isn’t the goal for all lessons. Especially for the younger grade levels, students need to get some basic technology literacy (substitution, augmentation) before they can really function well in the other layers of the model effectively. Not to say PreK-3 can’t use the technology in Modification/Redefinition, but it’s just going to look a bit different than for students who are a bit more mature in their skillsets. Some schools ignore the lower grades in terms of helping younger students develop basic tech. literacies and make it harder for them and their teachers to implement higher levels of tech. integration. Something to reflect on…

    I also like the video “Introduction to the SAMR Model” (https://goo.gl/XWYVmg) by Common Sense Media. The video presents a very clear description of each level, the purpose of the model, and some questions to engage teachers as they evaluate their use of technology integration. One of the better videos on the SAMR model, in my opinion.

  17. Hi Kelly
    Great examples. Can I use these examples in a document that I am creating on incorporating the SAMR model into technology integration decisions for my college?

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