Locust Grove Tech Tidbits

By Denise O'Brien, LMS/STC

SAMR Model of Technology Use

For those that might not have heard of, the SAMR model describes the use of technology in four levels – Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.

The SAMR Model was introduced by Ruben Puentedura in 2006 in collaboration with the Maine Department of Education and their learning technology initiative. The model describes the life cycle of technology integration. It is a good framework to refer to when reflecting on how well we use technology to enhance learning.

In the first two stages, called substitution and augmentation, technology acts as a direct substitute for the original tool, with either no or little functional change or improvement. In the third and fourth stages, called modification and redefinition, technology allows for modification of the task through to complete redefinition – the technology allows for a completely new learning experience.

In the next few Tech Tidbits, I will be focuses on apps and web tools that can be used to integrate these four levels of the SAMR model into your teaching.

Big image
SAMR Model: Explained
Click here to visit ThingLink on SAMR

This is a ThingLink that was created on the SAMR model that provides LOTS more Apps that can be utilized for the various SAMR levels.

Apps and Web for Substitution - Remembering & Understanding

Simple Mind

SimpleMind+ is free (for the version on the iPhone, iPod, and iPad). SimpleMind (full version) is $6.99. Also, there is a desktop version of the software that can be purchased for your computer. You do not need to purchase the desktop version to use this app effectively in the classroom. SimpleMind+ is a mind mapping app.

Can be used to:

Language Arts:

  • Describe a character from a story.
  • Describe the setting of a story.
  • Describe the events of a story.
  • Create a map of facts gathered from reading an expository text.
  • Vocabulary development: write the vocabulary word in the middle and branch out with the meaning, parts of speech, synonym, antonym, and use it in a sentence.
  • Create a map of a phonics skill (such as words that have ow or ou, etc.).


  • Brainstorm details for your writing topic.
  • Create a mind map of alternative words for words that are used too often (like good, fun, etc.).

Science/Social Studies:

  • Create maps of the topics of study.
  • Create maps using science and social studies vocabulary.


  • Create a mind map of math vocabulary.
  • Use to describe shapes.
  • Create a map that shows the key words for problem solving.
Big image

Felt Board App

This app is exactly what it says - a virutal felt board. Great features including:

- A simple user interface that allows independent exploration
- A wide variety of characters and settings to encourage creativity and imaginative play
- Fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination skills are developed while dragging, placing and pinching objects to scale
- Colorful shapes, Letters and Numbers are included as an educational resource
- Pattern block shapes that can be rotated to make geometric designs
- Varied facial expressions to discuss emotions of characters
- Community helpers characters and vehicles
- Pieces for popular preschool and nursery songs, stories and rhymes including 5 Little Monkeys, Old MacDonald, Itsy Bitsy Spider, 3 Billy Goats Gruff and more

Examples for use:

Literature: Key Ideas and Details RL.K.2, RL.1.2, RL.2.2

Use Felt Board to retell familiar stories, fables or folktales, demonstrating an understanding of its message or lesson. Whether one on one, in small groups, or projected on a screen, children can create characters and select appropriate backgrounds, costumes and accessories to illustrate key parts of a story. The camera feature will allow children to take a screenshot that can be printed in a book or displayed in the photo library.

Speaking and Listening Standards: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas SL.K.5, SL.1.5, SL.2.5

Create colorful illustrations with Felt Board to serve as a visual display when sharing stories, poems, thoughts and feelings. Short captions can be created using letters in the app for each page, or the illustrations can be printed and attached to illustrate written text. Felt Board pictures can be shown via projector during speaking exercises.

Mathematics: Counting and Cardinality K.CC.4, K.CC.5, K.CC.6

Use Felt Board to show the relationship between numbers and quantities. Objects can be arranged on the screen for children to answer questions like “How many?” Children can identify whether one group of objects is greater than, less than or equal to another group of objects. Additionally, children can use the app to count out a given number of objects and assign the correct number to that group of objects.

More Uses for Felt Board App

For more uses/examples of using Felt Board App including lesson plans....

Trading Cards (Free App)

Create Trading Cards for Historical and Fictional People, Places, and Events with this great app!

This wonderful iPad app from Read Write Think allows students to create trading cards about people, places, and events both real and fictional. Example: Use the app to create a trading card about Winston Churchill. To create a Winston Churchill trading card simply select a "real person" from the list of trading card options, uploaded a picture of Winston Churchill from the web, and then filled in the details that the trading card template asked for. The completed trading card can be shared via email, printed, or saved to my iPad's camera roll.

Other uses:

- Create a set of trading cards about characters in a novel

- Create a set of cards about people of historical significance

-Create cards about places that they're studying in their geography lessons.