Summary of SAMR

SAMR is an useful model for educators who want to implement more technology into their curriculum. SAMR is not a learning theory exactly, nor is is a methodology. It's more of a hierarchy to help guide instructors. In this approximately four and a half minute recording, I describe SAMR, how it can be applied to your learning experience, and why its important to follow in order to utilize technology in education. 

Below is a transcript of the recording.


This video describes the SAMR model in one minute and was created for my INTE 5680, Producing Media for Learning course.

"The SAMR model isn’t exactly a type of methodology for instruction. Actually, it is a more of scale, or spectrum, representing how you can transform students’ learning experiences using technology. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. 

Each area of SAMR represent a way learning materials can be enhanced by technology, starting from simple substitution of learning objects, to an overhaul of the learning experience. 

My observation is that the more technological enhancement and transformation is implemented in a learning experience, the more technology increases the amount of skills being digital literacies being taught. Here is a SAMR breakdown:
SAMR is separated into two stages. The first is Enhancement, which includes Substitution and Augmentation. The second is Transformation, which includes Modification and Redefinition.

Let’s start with Enhancement. These stages of SAMR describe how learning experiences can be improved by technology, but not re-defined. Technology has an assisting role, but does not take center stage.

Substitution, as the name suggests, is where the original learning objects or activities are substituted with technology, producing equal results. A basic example is instead of having students write an essay in a notebook, students write their essays on a word processing program, like Microsoft Word. 

Moving into Augmentation; this is where technology is used to create some functional benefits. It replaces learning objects and activities, while also improving the instruction for the students (and even the instructor!). For example, a quiz on paper can be reproduced on Google Forms. Furthermore, this Google Forms quiz decreases the effort level for grading because the grading is automated, and it supplies immediate feedback to the students. Another example would be having students publish their essays on blogs so they can read, critique, and respond to each other’s essays.

Now, we getting into the Transformation stages. In these stages, technology changes the learning experiences into something different. Technology does not just aid in reproducing similar results, but outright generates new results and additional learning objectives.

The mmm, in SAMR is Modification. Technology takes more of a role in the instruction. Instead of turning in a written piece, students could record audio of themselves reading their essay. Or students could create a collage of visual representations of the subject matter being taught on social media platforms like Instagram or Pinterest.

Finally, we reach Redefinition, which is my favorite. Technology changes the learning experience entirely.  Not only do learning objectives include retention of subject matter, collaboration skills, and enforcement of critical and creative thinking, but it also fosters digital literacies, and adaptation to new technology. For instance, students work in groups to create documentaries using clips found on the internet, video cameras, phones, and video editing software. These videos can be uploaded to the internet and shared through social media and blogs. Redefinition requires more project-based learning, which I like, but it also requires the most amount of time and resources.

If you’re planning to integrate more technology into your curriculum, review the SAMR model, and evaluate how certain assignments and projects can be enhanced or transformed.

Personally, I think it is important to include more technology into today’s learning environment since technology is and has been increasingly more important in our daily lives. Let SAMR be your guide to opening your students’ minds to technology and improving their digital literacies. They’ll need these abilities to adapt quickly to a fast-paced changing technological job market."

Mitchell WollComment