The key to powerful and authentic technology integration is selecting digital tools that are appropriate for the task. One way to measure this is through the SAMR Model, which was developed by Ruben Puentedura to provide educators with a framework for successful technology integration. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. The SAMR model allows you the opportunity to evaluate why you are using a specific technology, design tasks that enable higher-order thinking skills, and engage students in rich learning experiences.

Active Learning with Digital Natives

Authentic learning does not fit in a one-size fits all type of learning environment. The role of the teacher changes in a modern classroom, as our students can be curators and producers of content too. This involves a mind-shift on both ends.

When you think about how you will use technology in your classroom, ask yourself these questions to determine where it lies on the SAMR Model.


Go Beyond replacing paper and pencil with APPS

Augmentation: Improve The Task With New Features

At the Augmentation level, you are taking the task and making it better. Same task, more features. Skitch or PicCollage are both great apps that allow you to augment learning by annotating images. Students can find objects in the classroom, take pictures, then label their work, whether it be math, word work, or science. Using a video camera app students could complete a fluency bootcamp, where they would record themselves reading a passage, and play it back checking for fluency and expression. Although these examples enhance learning, the tasks do not change.

Modification: Changing The Task

At this level, technology allows for significant task redesign, like collaborating in real-time

Students are motivated to write for their peers and engage with a global network. To use technology to modify learning, we add multimedia through video, sound and audio. Students could create a soundtrack in Garageband for a multimedia presentation. Students could use iMovie App to create iMovie Book Trailers, or digital stories using the Videolicious app. Modification involves changing the task, and personalizing the project.

Redefinition: A Whole New Task

We are completing a task that cannot be done without the use of technology. I compare redefinition to the higher order thinking levels in Bloom’s Taxonomy like analyzing, creating, and evaluation.

Teachers are going beyond the four walls of their classrooms through virtual book club discussions through Hangouts, taking Virtual Field Trips to visit the white House kitchen to learn about nutrition, or talking with astronauts from Nasa to complement their space unit throughGoogle Connected Classrooms. Students are developing mapping, critical thinking, and problem solving skills through Mystery Skypes, completing collaborative writing through Kidblog, and connecting to the world through social media like Twitter.

Our school used QR codes and Augmented Reality to make our annual art show interactive. Using a whiteboard app like Educreations, a teacher created an Array Hunt lesson to help her fourth grade students make a real-world connection with arrays by finding arrays around their school, then created a video to show their learning. Students are usingiBook Author, or Storybook Maker to create their own digital books are more ways students can reach redefinition levels.

Resources & Apps