Tech This Out!
An Online Digital Toolkit of Resources for Teachers
Welcome to Education, the world of acronyms! A profession unique in its own, in that we as teachers, literally speak our own language. So, when Dr. Ruben Puentedura took the ideas of content, pedagogy and technology and put them together, what better way to share his overview of technology integration than to use an acronym! Insert SAMR. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. 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. The slight controversy is that Carl Hooker, author of the blog Hooked On Innovation sees SAMR in a different way. His approach to SAMR is more simple: It isn't a ladder that we should try to climb, but instead a pool that we need to be swimming in.
So, instead of feeling the pressure to work your way up to the top of the ladder, you can now relax and know that it's ok to wade in the water. In fact, It's also ok to get out of the water (just no running!)
Enhancement Shallow End
Think about the moment right before we enter into a swimming pool. I don't know about you, but for me personally, I always dip my toes in first to check the temperature! If it's not the ideal temperature, I'm more than likely going to enter in slowly (on my tip toes). Some teachers jump right in with integrating technology into instruction, the curriculum and with assessment no matter what the temperature. Others need time to walk step by step until they can adjust to the "depths of new pedagogical practice."
The majority of teachers want to test the water several times before fully submerging into technology integration and that is ok! Eventually, they will get comfortable wading in the shallow end and want to "venture out past the rope into the depths beyond basic technology integration."
Transformative Deep End
Carl Hooker will say, and I too have seen this to be true in my coaching experience, that without practice "stumbling around in the shallow end of the pool" teachers can drown when diving head first into the deep end to quickly. It's important to think about the purpose of swimming here!
"Some teachers may decide to jump off the diving board straight into the deep end and learn how to integrate from day one with a particular learning objective. Others, elect to take swimming lessons (Professional Development) and use the occasional swim noodle (instructional technology integrators) to help them stay afloat. In addition, they will want to make sure that a lifeguard (Principal) is on hand should they begin to really struggle and possibly blow the whistle when they need to take a break." - Excerpt from Carl Hooker's Blog Post on Taking a Dip in the SAMR Swimming Pool
The thing both Carl Hooker and I want you to take away this year is that without practice, support and motivation rarely would a teacher venture into the deep end of the SAMR swimming pool and it is also ok to wade in the water in the Enhancement Shallow End. In fact, it's ok to cross back and forth over the rope based on the outcomes of your lessons. However, once you do cross over that rope you may realize that you aren't swimming alone.
" Swimming in the Transformative Deep End doesn’t mean the students are on the side of the pool cheering you on. It means they are in the pool with you – working, collaborating, problem-solving, and creating their future with you at their side." - Excerpt from Carl Hooker's Blog Post on Taking a Dip in the SAMR Swimming Pool
Swimming In The Deep End!
The Search Is Over!
- App Flows - App Flows are five part lessons created with integrated digital tools and content with pedagogical insight. They have been designed to help you think with purpose about why, where and how you can integrate digital tools into each lesson.
- Top Picks - Browse Top Pick apps, games and websites by subject or skill.
- Free Live Webinars and Recording!
- December 3rd: How to Get Started With the Hour of Code
- December 9th: Creating and Collaborating on eBooks
- December 10th: Beyond the Hour of Code: Coding by Design
Teacher Spotlight! Creating a Digital Sharing Wall
We are surrounded with endless apps and web tools that help enhance these learning experiences for our students however, often times the final product or digital path in which our students took to get there becomes locked inside the device. Having to think outside the box, several of our 1:1 5th grade teachers had their students create Digital Sharing Walls for them to display their thinking and learning with others. The students are then able to archive and build an ongoing portfolio of their work.
This year students in Wendy Penn's 5th grade class at Promise Road Elementary were empowered to lead student led conferences. Using the web tool Padlet students shared their work with their parents who have access to their child's private Padlet "Digital Sharing Wall" throughout the year.
Hannah's Digital Sharing Wall
Padlet allows you to capture learning as it happens over time and immediately share a window into the classroom!
Baylee's Digital Sharing Wall
Upcoming Topics for January Include:
- Making Thinking Visual
- Inquiry Circles with Tech Integration
- I-Step: Resources to Support the New Testing Format
- Canvas in the Elementary Classroom
I would love to sit down and chat with you about all of the wonderful things that you are doing in your classroom. Let's discuss why technology would be a great enhancement and brainstorm ways to integrate it into your learning environment! -Courtney