Viva le SAMR (Blog Post No. 8)

You know I had to fax something this year? FAX! Do you know what that is? I had to explain what a fax was to a student last month, as well as videotapes, typewriters, and butter churns. There are so many outdated things we use that creep back sometimes, and some things seem to never go away like mildew in the corner of a musty room. Well, education can be like that sometimes.

Dr. Ruben Puentedura has a name that makes me hungry, but also came up with the model on using this thing technology to shift what students are learning to a different level. Oh, the model is called the SAMR = (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) x (sam- arrrr), and the good Doctor with the viva revolution beard gives a little bit of an explanation in this video over here. 

One thing I recognized from watching him talk was how much I love using technology to substitute. Using technology to substituting analog tools for fancy-looking digital tools is kind of common in these parts. If I was pressed for an opinion as to why, I would look at the lack of M and R level integration might be language and established practice.

Sometimes when you are and teacher looking at trying a “new” thing in class, it can feel like plotting the trek up Mt. Everest. Some people just count the obstacles. Teaching students in an L2 (Second language) can push teachers away from a technical tool they might feel is difficult for them, at least initially.  Using it in class, for class, would feel iffy at best.

Not all teachers are pioneers. I know! Surprising, right? In addition, even if they are pioneers, doesn’t mean they are pioneers in the latest technological applications and best practices for learning. It might not be their focus in life. However, if you had a pioneer at your school before you got to the school, and the trail was already blazed before you, M and R level education might be more attainable, maybe.

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