SAMR Smackdown!

Transforming lessons from "blah" to "ta-da!"

Digging Deeper Into Digital Integration At OHE

This is the beginning of our 3rd year of teaching with devices. WooHooo! To varying degrees, we have become accustom to using devices with students in our classrooms. It's time to begin a dialogue about the QUALITY of our digital integration. SAMR provides a common language for this conversation.

What Did Our Pre-Inservice Survey Reveal?

Do you know what the acronym SAMR stands for?

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How are students using devices and digital tools in our classrooms? A snapshot.
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SAMR Whaaaaaaat?

SAMR, Bloom's Taxonomy, DOK & the 4Cs

As we teach at higher levels on the SAMR model, we are also moving our students to a higher level on Bloom's Taxonomy, DOK and ultimately engaging the 4Cs from 21st Century Learning - Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking and Communication.
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Guiding Questions for Applying SAMR in your lessons:

What do I want my students to know and do?

What learning task will students complete?

Is the task teacher-centered or student-centered?

Can a tech tool enhance or transform the learning task?

Am I comfortable with the tech skills needed to teach my students?

SAMR's Many Metaphors! Which one resonates with you?


This is the traditional representation of the SAMR Model.
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SAMR...The Coffee Metaphor

This image tries to relate your typical coffee shop orders (think Starbucks) with the SAMR model.
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SAMR - The Ladder Metaphor

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SAMR...The Pool Metaphor (My Personal Favorite!)

This image represents the SAMR as a pool with a shallow end (Substitution and Augmentation) and a deep end (Modification and Redefinition). Keep in mind you cannot spend all your time in the deep end of the pool. As the image indicates, the only way to stay afloat in the deep end is to tread water, and after a time, you grow tired and will sink down. Swim laps. Visit both ends of the pool. Decide when is the right time to be in the shallow end and when to be in the deep end.
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Belly Flop, Cannonball or Perfect Diving Form? We All Need Our Floaties

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Tool Set, Skill Set or Mind Set

SAMR is an approach. It's not about which app you choose for students to use as much as how the app is used! With SAMR, teachers and students need to increase their skills along with their approach to digital tools. Finally, it is important to ask if your students spend more of their time consuming or creating content, digital or otherwise?
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Examples of "S", "A", "M" and "R"

Original Assignment : A hand written paper.

  • Substitution: A word processor instead of the typewriter or pen and pencil.
  • Augmentation: Technology now allows for the word processor to have a spell check or even a thesaurus.
  • Modification: Students can now write in a collaborative manner on the same document using Google Docs
  • Redefinition: The word processing document becomes something totally new, as students create videos or web pages relating information that may have been typed.

Original Assignment: An overview of a location consisting of hand written content supplemented with compiled cut-and-pasted magazine clippings.

  • Substitution: Use presentation software (like Powerpoint or Prezi) to construct a presentation providing information about a selected locale.
  • Augmentation: Incorporate interactive multimedia – audio, video, hyperlinks – in the presentation to give more depth and provide more engaging presentation.
  • Modification: Create a digital travel brochure that incorporates multimedia and student created video.
  • Redefinition: Explore the locale with Google Earth; seek out and include interviews with people who have visited the local.


Let's Get Real - SAMR In The Day To Day Of Your Classroom

Raising The Level of "S" Level Web/iPad Apps

  • How can we raise the level of single use or "drill and kill" apps?

  • If possible, use the teacher dashboard to discuss outcomes with students.

  • Use checklists and questions to add accountability to these apps.

  • Narrow the scope of each student's visit in multipurpose apps like Prodigy, and provide instruction to make their time with it more instructive.

Finding SAMR in Weekly Routines & Independent Small Groups

  • Digital Journaling

  • Student Blogging

  • Video Responses & Reactions (Seesaw & FlipGrid)

  • Creative Writing (Storybird)

  • Digital Flashcards for vocab

Let's discuss!

Small Projects, Big Results!

Check out ideas at out DLS Padlet -

Always consider giving students voice and choice! Don't always prescribe the digital tool. Give students the option to demonstrate their learning with their choice of digital tools.

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Thank you so much to these sources!

Video : Common Sense Media YouTube Channel -

Image Sources: