SAMR is a model for educators to use when incorporating technology into teaching and learning. Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, the SAMR model provides educators with a framework and understanding in order to plan, develop, and infuse digital learning experiences that utilize technology.

While the model was created in a linear fashion, it’s important to remember that SAMR doesn’t have to be used as a scale or a ladder. It is not necessarily true that technology used as a substitution (S) is inferior to technology used to modify (M), augment (A), or redefine (R) the learning experience. It will depend on the task at hand, the individual students, and the desired learning outcomes to determine the role technology plays in each lesson. 

The SAMR model can simply be used to help teachers see what the technology can do or what it is doing at a given time and implementation. However, when the intention is actually to modify, augment, or redefine the learning experience, the model shows teachers how it is possible to do so through the use of technology.

I like this particular SAMR model, which illustrates the depth of thinking possible when we use technology to transform learning experiences. This image and more info about SAMR was found here: http://learnmaker.co.uk/blog/2015/04/how-the-samr-model-improves-teaching-with-ipad

Here’s another example that I made, using a newspaper as our subject. Take a look at how various applications of technology can change the experience of “reading” the news.

Original: Newspaper is printed on paper and purchased at a newsstand or delivered to the doorstep.

Substitution: Newspaper is now available in electronic format online; can be subscribed to by email or RSS feed.

Augmentation: In addition to being available online, there are now hyperlinks embedded within the news articles which take the reader to further information about the subjects in the news.

Modification: In addition to additional resources hyperlinked in the online news articles, audio clips and videos are embedded to accompany the news stories as well.

Redefinition: Events and news stories can be streamed live online. (No need to wait until the next day to read all about it!)

The more familiar you become with the SAMR model, the easier it becomes to determine which technology applications to use for which lessons and when.

More resources for learning about the SAMR model:

~What did YOU do in school today?

What did you do in school today? with David Hiraldo

Today, David Hiraldo, an educator from New York City explains the need to further differentiate educational programs for some of our most at risk students — and what he decided to do about it personally — in response to our question: “What did you do in school today?”

This series of blog posts includes contributions from educators from all over the world, of all content areas, in all grade levels, and in various teaching assignments so that together, we will have a better understanding of what is happening TODAY IN SCHOOL. For more information about this series or to write your own response to the question, please visit this page.

Today in school, we are worried about those students who are struggling in high school, and those who are doing “ok” too, those students who are identified as “At Risk Students.” They’re labeled at risk because they may not complete or finish high school in four or six years. We are worried about students who have dropped out, not in school anymore and those who are not doing anything productive for themselves or their communities. We are worried about the juveniles who are released from prison and do not have a fundamental education or skills that may help them to become productive in their communities and this country. We are worried about those students who may not go to college because their parents can not afford to send them, those students who must work to support their family.

There are too many factors that may explain why these students are not excelling in a traditional school setting. Some people may say that the main cause is that these students are coming from dysfunctional families, that there is a language barrier, the state test is too hard, or there are cognitive issues. Whatever the cause, the question that we have to ask is what options are available for those students at risk to become successful in our society? When we see youths committing crimes, getting into gangs, living a life without hope or inspiration, we do not say that these youths failed. We say that we as community failed for not offering enough support for them to obtain decent skills or trade that may help them to do better.

I decided to start Renaissance Technical Institute (RTI) when I saw my former students being arrested for stupid crimes in their own neighborhood, seeing how, in many occasions, some of my former students were breaking into cars and robbing people in our own community. But the most influential factor was when I learned that the US has to hire people from other countries to do the work that Americans can not do. We are talking about jobs that, in the 1920’s, helped to build this country, jobs that offer higher salaries than many professional jobs. For example, an IT person can make $100,000 a year, a plumber can make $68,000 a year, a HVAC person can make $75,000 a year. And the necessary training for these technical careers can be completed in about a year.10921652_775367252570654_6749670473796450061_o

RTI will help these students by offering free vocational trade education in an area that students want to study. We will offer the skills that students need in order for them to be successful and productive to their communities. We will bring to our students the opportunity and the chance that they have been waiting for, for many years. Our classes are differentiated and designed to teach what students need and want to learn in the vocational field they’ve selected. We will support, teach, and find job opportunities for our students.

Our first sessions will be starting soon. We encourage people to get involved by suggesting ideas about technical careers that are in high demand right now and by volunteering to teach technical career classes where they hold a certificate. We are also looking for recruiters to go to different high schools and promote the school, to distribute fliers, and get the word out to students who would like to attend RTI. Please visit our website, Facebook, or Twitter account (@RenaissanceTI) to get more information about our programs.

David Hiraldo is an entrepreneurial-minded leader and dedicated professional with over 7 years of teaching experience.  Mr. Hiraldo holds dual Master’s Degrees in Administration & Supervision and Special Education in Cross Categories from University of Phoenix, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Design & Multimedia from City College of New York.  His New Yorkunnamed Certifications include: School Building Leader, Students With Disabilities (Grades 1-6), Students With Disabilities (Birth-Grade 2), and Childhood Education (Grades 1-6).

David is fluent in Spanish and proficient in Italian.  He is also well-versed in key educational approaches and programs, such as: Wilson Foundations, Wilson Reading System, I-Ready, DRA2, Fountas & Pinnel, Math in Focus, and Story of Unit Math.  Currently, Mr. Hiraldo is a Special Education Learning Specialist and Site Supervisor for the Special Education and English Language Learner programs for Promise Academy, an I Lower Elementary charter School in New York City, where he has worked since 2008.


What did you do in school today? with Dan Gallagher

Today I am asking our question: “What did you do in school today?” of a friend and colleague of mine. His response will be the first of a series of responses to this same question from many educators. This series will include responses from educators from all over the world, of all content areas, in all grade levels, and in various teaching assignments. To write your own response to the question, please visit this page for more information.

A Day in the Life of an Elementary Teacher Resource Specialist for Technology

I don’t have a typical day.  Any given day may have me presenting to a group of teachers, meeting one on one with an educator, demonstrating or co-teaching a lesson, pulling students to finish a project, etc.  I’m writing this post around the end of the school year; It’s a Monday.  

My day started in a shared office space with other teacher resource specialists for technology.  I spent some time working on my parts of planning for summer training. We will be rolling out Chromebooks, to students in 7th grade, next year.  Our summer trainings are focusing on shifting the instruction to be more student centered with creation as a main factor.  I researched various tools, which the attendees will have time to “play” with and explore how it could fit their curricular area(s).

Around midday I met with a teacher to assist him with adding items to his webpage. Now this marks the fourth time I have met with him on this same topic.  He has taken hand-written notes, each time, and refers back to them, but, in my opinion, he likes having someone there to verify each step.  I’ve noticed, at least in terms of teachers who are not digital natives (grew up with the technology), that there is a fear.  A big portion of my job is spent trying to relieve the fear of technology.  One of the biggest differences between students and teachers in terms of technology is fear.  Students have no fear, they are what I like to call, wreckless clickers (tappers if it is a mobile device).  I strive to have our educators move past the fear of technology and embrace how it can impact instructional outcomes.

My afternoon, on this particular day, was more hands-on!  I became a ‘commercial producer’ for a third grade project called Biz World.  Students were placed in groups and formed a company.  They needed to select job positions, create a product (friendship bracelets), apply for bank loans, pitch venture capitalist to invest in their company, maintain a ledger of deposits/withdraws and of course design a marketing campaign.  That’s where I came in!  I met with this particular class previously to discuss techniques and show options on how they could create their commercial. Today we took their plans and produced a final, under one-minute spot.  I’m always amazed at student creativity.  A couple of companies understood the concept of getting their message across to their audience and some just wanted to be funny.  

Even though my school day ended, as a connected educator, I’m still actively involved in the digital world.  This night, I moderated a Twitter chat which I had created for educators who utilize a web tool called ThingLink.  Unfortunately, I was the lone tweeter.  Even though it wasn’t as successful as I would have liked, I keep trying to reach out with other educators and share ideas, techniques, experiences,etc.  It’s all about connecting!

Dan Gallagher is currently a teacher resource specialist for technology with a school district in New Jersey.  Previously, he has been a classroom teacher in both elementary and middle school as well as an elementary technology special area teacher and at one time, in PA, a technnsuaCFwN_400x400ology coach.  He is also an online adjunct professor for Instructional Technology.

Dan has a BS in Elementary Education from Lebanon Valley College and a M.Ed. in Instructional Technology from Arcadia University.  He is involved in several different educational programs such as SMART Exemplary Educators, ThingLink Expert Educators, Nearpod Authors, Seesaw Ambassadors and Symbaloo Professional Development Pros.  

Feel free to connect with him either by following him on Twitter @Gallagher_Tech or subscribe to his blog – http://gallaghertech.edublogs.org/

~What did YOU do in school today?