Tag Archives: SAMR

SAMR Swimming Lessons

This is a great introduction to the SAMR model of technology integration!

Hooked On Innovation

You want me to do what? You want me to do what with technology?

I’ve received lots of great feedback on my SAMR Swimming Pool analogy (Taking a Dip in the SAMR Swimming Pool).  This was an idea originated by Greg Garner’s take on Dr. Ruben Puentedura’s often referred to “SAMR ladder” and then “remixed” if you will by me.  Well…it’s time for another remix because after reading that original post I realized something.

I got it wrong.

I focused on the teacher’s role in the pool the entire time and didn’t think about the students as much.  So I’ve decided to take another stab at this and was motivated by my recent trip up to Minnesota for iPadpaloozaMN.  They asked me to make my SAMR Swimming pool analogy into an entire 50-minute keynote!  Talk about pressure!  So, here goes.  A remix on the SAMR swimming pool with all new analogies and concepts.


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I’m Excited to Attend the iPad Summit in San Diego

I am so excited for the inaugural West Coast iPad Summit in beautiful San Diego. I have attended all of the iPad Summit since the program’s inception in Massachusetts. Although labeled an “iPad Conference,” it really is a place for professional educators to discuss innovation, creativity, and the future of education in the realm of mobile computing. At past summits, I’ve had the privilege of seeing prominent Keynote speakers, Tony Wagner (the father of innovation in education), Ruben Puentedura  (the father of the SAMR model), the esteemed Jenny Magiera (Ed Tech Pioneer), and many others. I always walk away with new connections and renewed excitement and energy.

Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 8.27.58 AMThis February’s conference promises to be another exciting experience. With keynote speakers Audrey Watters and Mizuko Ito, I’m excited to be further inspired. I will also be presenting on my experiences of retroactively managing an iPad program – in other words, starting with a program and then reigning it in after the fact! Additionally, I have the esteemed privilege of being the official blogger of the conference! I have live blogged all of my experiences at the iPad conference.

You can read my previous live blog posts here.

I will be in another live-blog competition again with Beth Holland. If you would like to see how we do it, check out our article: “5 Great Live-Blogging Tips.”

The conference is February 4-5, with a pre-conference workshop day on February 3. There is still some space left (although the last three conferences have sold out and this one is on track to do the same) and early bird pricing ends January 10. I hope to see you there!

You can register for the iPad Summit San Diego 2014 here.

Taking a Dip in the SAMR Swimming Pool

A great reflection by Carl Hooker on the SAMR model. You can see my previous post on the keynote speech here.

Hooked On Innovation

I recently got to watch the SAMR master himself, Dr. Ruben Puentedura take the stage at iPad Summit Boston.  His SAMR model research is based on years of observing one-to-one technology integration in Maine’s Student Laptop initiative (now called MLTI as we love acronyms in education).  At it’s simplest form, the SAMR model states that when you introduce technology to an environment, like a classroom, generally the first thing the user will do is figure out a way to use technology as a Substitute for an existing task.  As you “climb up the SAMR ladder” you see a shift of pedagogical practice from teacher-centered to student-driven.  This is exemplified by the “R” in SAMR which stands for Redefinition – or, simply put, when technology allows for a creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable.

When researching our own 1:1, I kept running into this research and the more I…

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iPad Summit Keynote Day 2: Ruben Puentedura

SAMR Model of Educational Technology

SAMR Model of Educational Technology

I can hardly contain my excitement for the keynote speaker of day 2, Ruben Puetendura, Ph.D., the father of the SAMR model concept. His topic is: Of Lively Sketchbooks and Curiosity Amplifiers: Thoughts on the iPad and Learning.

Ruben’s primary focus is the implementation of technology in the realm of education – not just in simple ways, but in meaningful and revolutionary ways. Today’s talk focuses specifically on the iPad. Why is the iPad special? One is its ubiquity. We find them everywhere. Another key element is that the iPad is intimate. We can use it without feeling that it gets in the way – it doesn’t have the same barrier that we feel using a laptop for example. The iPad feels like it blends into you. The third feature of the iPad is that it promotes a feeling of embeddedness. For example, you can take a picture of an object in a museum and then use it to look up information online and perhaps write a few notes on that image. It’s a portable recording and research tool that is embedded in how you think and what you expect to do.

Mobile devices, once you’ve had them for a certain amount of time, became a part of lives – they’re expected. We don’t anticipate being out of touch with those around us or not having access to content. The iPad is ubiquitous, intimate, and embedded in our lives; it is always with us, doesn’t get in the way, and can promote broader and deeper understanding and ideas. Ruben believes this has important implications for education.

The Curiosity Amplifier

Ruben highlights several elements pertinent to using the iPad. One is the iPad as curiosity amplifier. The iPad can be used to record not only your own actions/activities (e.g. surfing) but because it is connected to the web you can examine images of others doing the same thing (surfing, snowboarding, etc). You can then take your exploration to another level (what types of exercises should you do to improve your surfing technique?). Handheld devices are curiosity amplifiers – each element that you find or record further drives curiosity and exploration; it feeds off of itself in a circular way. The exploration has not specific end element – you continue until you choose to stop. To learn more about devices as curiosity amplifiers, check out this article

Another element to consider is that social learning encourages curiosity and passion. Learners accomplish more with “more knowledgeable others” than they do alone.

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The device (the iPad) puts you in contact with a community of “more knowledgeable others” that is both real and virtual. It is also available to you all of the time. This is not the same as “I’ll look it up when I go home” or “I’ll catch up with those people at that conference.” No, this is available all of the time. Ruben hypothesizes that the curiosity amplifier effect is a result of the device becoming this ubiquitous, intimate, and embedded object.

With the iPad, there is a broad range of tools and resources that we can throw into the curiosity amplifier: Google Scholar, Image Search, Social Networks, news sites, situated searches (GPS/geographic), etc. There are a world of situated, social, and curated searches available to us based on what we want to explore and where. So it’s important when thinking about how we want to use these devices in learning, we must consider the whole spectrum and dynamic of the device.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 8.34.41 AMRuben brings us back to the basis of the SAMR model. He highlights the levels of the model and its impact on learning and students’ needs. As we move up the ladder, student levels of learning increase and results are more sophisticated and developed. At the top level, redefinition, you are accomplishing tasks that were previously inconceivable and you start to see radical shifts in student outcomes.

Ruben begins to outline how this process works in a concrete, real life example that focuses on math. The substitution level in this scenario involves adopting a “math application,” in this case “the math of sports.” They can see the Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 8.44.54 AMconnections between the sport and mathematic (statistics). At the next level, augmentation, we can use simulation apps for students to tweak angles and force (Angry Birds anyone?). At the modification level, students can use tools like Wolfram Alpha as a curated resource for content. The student can investigate the data and form a broader understanding of content based on their interest (e.g. Michael Jordan’s statistics) and apply it to broader statistical analysis. At the redefinition level, the student engages in a task that was previously not possible. In this case, the student takes their new understanding and makes a project that is tangible. In this case, the student builds a model of a device to throw a ball at the same force and angle of a ball player or perhaps to explore their own skills (in archery) to become a better archer.

The Lively Sketchbook

Ruben notes that the iPad is not designed to use large, prolific apps. Instead, it’s designed for smaller, bite-sized chunks. The students can create sketches, drafts, explorations of their ideas. Sketches help us to examine process and ideas in great detail than the finished product. Learning is a processual journey. For an effective sketchbook, we need tools. For doing good work in a sketchbook, Ruben argues you need tools in five categories: social, mobility, visualization, storytelling, and gaming. This tools allow for a lively and sophisticated sketchbook.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 8.56.43 AMAgain, he takes us through the SAMR model. A the substitution level students visit a museum and take photos and write notes using the iPad. At the augmentation level students use tools like timeline 3D to create a timeline. They may also modify the images or notes to explore their images in greater detail. At the modification level students choose an artist that they are especially interested in and explore them at a deeper level – exploring art through mapping or creation. At the redefinition level students can build their own three dimensional exhibits using the iPad. The exhibition is then shared with other students so that their peers can provide feedback and constructive input. The student creates an embedded narrative in a digital space.

Participatory Culture

Ruben recommends a paper by Clinton, et. al. “Confronting the Challenges of the Participatory Culture.” Students (and adults) belong to a social media environment. It involves expression, affiliation, creation, circulation, and even problem solving! It is not just a consumptive environment. We often think that students are already there and engaging creatively. But the reality is that only about 1/3 of students are engaged fully in this participatory culture (most are consumers or not engaging meaningfully). We need to work with and guide students in terms of how to behave in a participatory culture as well as ethical participation.

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 9.01.36 AMIf we can harness the participatory culture then we can engage it more fully and deeply in our learning environments in the 21st century. Leveraging the participatory culture is key.

The example Ruben provides is a Social Studies project focused on Hurricane Katrina. In substitution, students would simply read content about the Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 9.09.34 AMhurricane or witness other peoples’ work in various media (painting, photography, comics, etc). At the augmentation level students can “remix” and play with the content in interesting ways. At the modification level students choose an element of Hurricane Katrina that they find interesting and explore at a deeper level. To ground the project in an ethical context, the teacher provides data – e.g. the economic impact. At the redefinition level, there is both a group and individual project. Students edit, re-edit, and revise in a group context and then explore new environments as a community.

To learn more about Ruben’s ideas and the SAMR model, visit his blog.

iPads as a Catalyst for Creating a Culture of Inquiry & Collaboration – Jenni Swanson-Voorhees

The next talk I attended was “iPads as a Catalyst for Creating a Culture of Inquiry & Collaboration” by Jenni Swanson-Voorhees and her team (Denise Coffin, Eve Eaton, and Lesley Young) at the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. This talk was less about nuts and bolts and more of a discussion of integrating iPads into the classroom and exploring the question: “What does great learning look like with an iPad?”

What they determined is that in the classroom, the Ipad is a wonderful tool for collaboration across multiple modalities: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.

It is also an excellent tool for creativity, not simply productivity. It allows educators to see how their students think. It allows students to choose multiple methods of presentation. It also encourages risk-taking and trying new technology. The iPad environment “feels safe” as opposed to netbooks and desktop computers. Not only are the products more creative, but the process is as well.

The iPad allows students to share ideas and take control of their own learning. It fosters deep conversations about problem solving and inter-dependence.

  • So what does great teaching with the iPad involve?

Again here, the implementation of the iPad follows the path outlined by Dr. Ruben R. Puentedura’s SAMR model.

The easiest and most comfortable place to start is the substitution phase, which can serve as a launching board for more advanced use.

Augmentation is often the next step after students and faculty feel more comfortable with the tools and start to see how they can be employed.

To go to the higher levels, sometimes you need to push and provide tools for educators and students. This is when it becomes ‘working outside the box.’ At the higher levels, collaboration and peer assistance become more important.

Another great tool application of the iPad as educators is to use it as an assessment tool – you can keep a log of daily work, student projects, and self-constructed assessments. These educators primarily use Evernote as their tool for assessment and organization. It’s an excellent and highly flexible tool in the education arena.

  • So when is the iPad the right tool?

What is the tool that makes the most sense to help students learn and develop skills? These educators determined that the iPad was the most engaging tool for their students. You define the objectives and then determine the tool. Additionally, tool use is not exclusive. You can put down the iPad and pull out another tool if needed. “Let pedagogy lead, iPads follow.”