In educational technology circles, Dr. Ruben Puentedura is a rock star of sorts.
The creator of the SAMR model for selecting, using and evaluating technology in education was the keynote speaker at the LHRIC’s TLI Tech Summit Oct. 27 held at the Edith Macy Conference Center in Briarcliff Manor.
In his keynote presentation before local school district administrators and teachers, Dr. Puentedura talked about the ways instructors can enhance teaching and learning in the classroom.
When he created SAMR, which stands for Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition model, he wanted to offer a method of seeing how computer technology might impact teaching and learning. The various steps show that when teachers are comfortable using technology in their classrooms, it can make a significant impact on their students’ success.
At its very basic level, Substitution refers to the stage when technology has been introduced to the classroom but as a direct substitute for more traditional teaching. Having students print out a worksheet, complete it and then hand it in is a good example of this. There is no functional change in the teaching and learning of the subject matter, and the instructor is guiding all aspects of the lesson, he explained.
By contrast, Augmentation takes the instruction a step further, with technology acting as a substitute to traditional teaching methods but with some functional improvements. Asking students to take a quiz using a Google Form instead of using pencil and paper is indicative of this stage in the SAMR model.
The Modification phase is when common classroom tasks are accomplished through the use of computer technology and when technology allows for significant task redesign, said Dr. Puentedura.
Redefinition, which is the final stage of the SAMR model, refers to the classroom where computer technology allows for new tasks that were previously inconceivable. Of all the stages, this one offers the most transformative experience for students, he said.
“If a class is only ready to go to Augmentation, that’s fine,” said Dr. Puentedura. “Teachers can introduce the other aspects of SAMR as they feel comfortable, without having to reinvent the wheel.”
To help educators move through the SAMR model, Dr. Puentedura suggested they embrace what he referred to as the “SAMR Ladder Project,” a series of questions he designed to help educators reflect on where they are in the process and where they want to be. The project highlights the types of skills they will need to create successful lesson plans for the 21st-century classroom.
When implementing a SAMR model, Dr. Puentedura said that teachers need to think about the topics that best serve their students’ interests and how knowledge of those topics might impact their future studies.Adding to the value of this year’s Summit was the vendor “Ignite” sessions, giving participants the chance to hear about the latest products and services from companies like Achieve 3000, Aimsweb, Annese, Blackboard, CatchOn, Custom Computer Specialists, Cisco, Dell, eChalk, Edgenuity, Ensemble Video, Finalsite, Frontline, Microsoft and more.
The daylong event ended with a “Model Schools Town Hall” meeting, led by the LHRIC’s Manager of Instructional Technology, Sarah Martabano, and Model Schools Coordinator Leslie Accardo.
The basis for the discussion was to gain feedback from local school districts in an effort to best serve their needs.
“One thing about our program is that we are agile,” said Ms. Accardo. “We will entertain any idea and will continue to stay in conversation with you until we find something that is the best fit for all 51 districts we serve.”
The Bedford and North Salem school districts recently became members of the Model Schools Program as did Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains.