The ITF Connection

December 2016


Welcome to the ITF Connection. This newsletter will include information on instructional strategies for the classroom as well as technology tools to integrate into lessons. I hope you'll take the time to read through to the end and will be able to find at least one new idea to implement with your students.

District Tool

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iCurio is a district provided resource that has many benefits for the classroom. Students can log into iCurio to access a safe place to search for internet resources on a topic. Teachers can create and share resource folders for students on a given topic. Teachers are also able to find differentiated resources for students. This will allow students to access the same topic, but on their reading level. For grades 3-5, resource folders can be shared within an assignment in Canvas placing all the tools students need to be successful at their fingertips.

If you are interested in how you can get the most out of iCurio in your classroom, schedule a time with me to show you all it can do. I will also be glad to create collections for you if you let me know your topic.


Instructional Strategies

Technology Tools


What is SAMR?

The SAMR model looks at how technology is being integrated into the classroom. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. The goal is to move into more meaningful technology integration. As you start integrating technology, your activities may include Substitution and Augmentation which are enhancing your instruction, but the goal is to transform learning for your students through Modification and Redefinition.

The SAMR model provides a technique for moving through degrees of technology adoption to find more meaningful uses of technology in teaching and move away from simply using “tech for tech’s sake”.

The picture below illustrates this concept through coffee. Below the picture, you will find examples of what these levels of technology integration look like in the classroom.

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S - Substitution

Technology acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change. (Cup of Coffee)


  • A word processor replaces pen/pencil in writing assignment.
  • Use presentation software (like Powerpoint or Prezi) to construct a presentation providing information about a selected locale.
  • Read Shakespeare texts online.
  • Distribute the quiz in a Word Processor file format and have student fill in answers on a computer.

Examples taken from this article.

A - Augmentation

Technology acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement. (Latte)


  • A Word Processor and text-to-speech function are used to improve the writing process.
  • Incorporate interactive multimedia – audio, video, hyperlinks – in the presentation to give more depth and provide more engaging presentation.
  • Use online dictionaries, study guides, history sites, to supplement reading.
  • Use a Google Form to deliver and complete the quiz. “There is some functional benefit here in that paper is being saved, students and teacher can receive almost immediate feedback on student level of understanding of material. This level starts to move along the teacher / student centric continuum. The impact of immediate feedback is that students may begin to become more engaged in learning."

Examples taken from this article.

M - Modification

Technology allows for significant task redesign. (Caramel Macchiato)


  • The document created using the Word Processor and text-to-speech function is shared on a blog where feedback can be received and incorporated to help improve the quality of writing.
  • Create a digital travel brochure that incorporates multimedia and student created video.
  • Use multimedia resources like text, audio, and video tools to jointly construct knowledge, learning, and understanding of a portion of a play, or a character, as a group project.
  • As an alternative form of assessment, students could be asked to write an essay around a relevant theme. The written essay could then be narrated and captured as vocal recording.

Examples taken from this article.

R - Redefinition

Technology allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable. (Pumpkin Spice)


  • Instead of a written assignment, students convey analytic thought using multimedia tools.
  • Explore the locale with Google Earth; seek out and include interviews with people who have visited the local.
  • Answer the Question, “What did the culture of the time have on the writing of Shakespeare’s plays” my using a Concept Mapping tool and constructing a mind map demonstrating key elements through words and images.
  • “A classroom is asked to create a documentary video answering an essential question related to important concepts. Teams of students take on different subtopics and collaborate to create one final product. Teams are expected to contact outside sources for information.”

Examples taken from this article.

Are you still reading?

I hope you're still reading :-). If you've made it until the end there are a few things you can choose to do and maybe a surprise will come your way. Read and act on the bullet points and see what treasure awaits for you.

  • SOMETHING SWEET = Email me. In the subject line type "READ IT!" and in the email body type "I made to the end."
  • SOMETHING STICKY = Take Action - Use an instructional strategy or technology tool from this newsletter in your classroom. Email me a short paragraph that gives me the plus/delta of what went well and what you would change from trying the new tool in your classroom.
  • SOMETHING BLUE = Collaborate - Invite me to collaborate with you and co-teach a lesson integrating tools from this newsletter. I'd love to come along side you as you aim for the higher levels of SAMR and support you and your students through a project.