Thursday, June 8, 2017

Teaching: Introduction to the SAMR Model and its Connection to Blooms Taxonomy

When I think about modern teaching the SAMR model comes to the forefront. This is a blog post that I have written for the school district. I am also including the Podcast that we made discussing the SAMR model and Blooms. So enjoy this teaching post, leave us comments on iTunes or whatever your favorite podcast platform and let us know what you think!

If you have been around education and technology for any length of time you probably have heard of the SAMR model but you might not know what it means. A quick synopsis of the SAMR model:
  • SAMR is a model designed to help educators infuse technology into teaching and learning. Popularized by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, the model supports and enables teachers to design, develop, and infuse digital learning experiences that utilize technology.
Essentially SAMR is the integration of technology into your lessons and the students' learning. So, you might think great, another thing I have to do. I would caution that train of thought because there are ways to do it without realizing you're doing it. For example: instead of handwriting a story you have your students type it, this would be the S and you're on your way to integrating technology into your lessons. Maybe you're wondering what do the letters mean?
  • Substitution: Computer technology is used to perform the same task as was done before the use of computers.
  • Augmentation: Computer Technology offers an effective tool to perform common tasks.
  • Modification: This is the first step over the line between enhancing the traditional goings-on of the classroom and transforming the classroom. Common classroom tasks are being accomplished through the use of computer technology.
  • Redefinition: Computer technology allows for new tasks that were previously inconceivable.
One way to think about SAMR is that it is a ladder that you climb and the first two steps are the strong, sturdy steps that you take. On a ladder, the first steps are always the easiest because you are still close to the ground. The next two steps are the harder ones, now you're up there and the ground looks so far away. If you need a visual for what this looks like, go to our show notes for a couple of links.

All of this is great in theory and you may even want to add tools to your arsenal, but how do we do that and how do we relate this to Bloom's Taxonomy?

The first thing to note is that these two models aren't perfectly aligned, meaning that the higher end of Blooms can have SAMR tools that are on the first rungs and vice versa. However, for the most part, the top three bloom categories (Create, Evaluate, Analyze) match with the R and M of SAMR and the bottom three-match the S and A of the SAMR model. Why is considering both of these models together important to creating educational experiences?
  • The already-familiar drive to reach the upper levels of Bloom's Taxonomy now also acts as a drive to reach the upper levels of SAMR;
  • The approach outlines a clear set of steps that help guide the introduction of technology in the classroom; and,
  • The approach helps avoid pitfalls of self-deception -- i.e., assuming that a particular task is at a higher level in either the Bloom or SAMR sense than it actually is.
Again, if you need a visual like me go to our podcast show notes and click on the link that says Blooms & SAMR for more information.

If you have anything you want to add or have questions, please leave them in the comment section below.

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