Skip to main content

Substitute your pen for tech

You cannot run until you can walk...

There are a number of acronyms that get bandied around a great deal when discussing education.  Dr Ruben Puentedura's SAMR model is one that merits discussion.  SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition and is a useful acronym to consider when implementing technology use in the classroom. Here is a helpful visual that explains each of the initials in relation to technology:


The goal, when using technology in the classroom, is to transform the education process and not simply to enhance it.   The ideal is to move beyond Substitution and Augmentation otherwise what is the point of using technology, what extra will the use of technology bring to a student?  Accessing this ideal of transformative teaching can be a cause of concern for many colleagues who are not comfortable or confident using technology.  Puentedura (2012) suggests that it can take up to three years for an institution to transform teaching by using technology to modify and redefine tasks. 

As a school that is in the process of embedding use of Surface Pro and Microsoft's Office 365 I have recently had the pleasure of helping colleagues become comfortable using OneNote, Class Notebook and other Office 365 tools.    I have enjoyed this challenge and it has become apparent to me that in the first instance, when a colleague is not confident about the technology, we should not disparage the first step of Substitution.  Enabling teachers to be confident to use Class Notebook or any other tool is a very important first step even if their students are not doing anything more than they can do with pen and paper.  

If in Redefining tasks colleagues are finally running with technology, Substitution represents learning to walk.  As the adage goes - you can not run until you can walk.  Once colleagues are able to Substitute their pen for technology and are confident to use technology, they can then learn how to be confident about when and how to use technology efficiently to Redefine tasks.  However, that’s a whole new blogpost.


Image & Photo credits:
SAMR diagram: Wikimedia commons - https://goo.gl/images/u8rnrw
Photo: https://pixabay.com/en/people-kid-girl-baby-child-man-2603224/

References:
Puentedura, R. (2012). Thinking About Change in Learning and Technology. Presentation given September 25, 2012 at the 1st Global Mobile Learning Conference,  Al Ain, UAE.

Popular posts from this blog

First steps with OneNote

In all my years of teaching I have always written to-do lists to help me keep organised and have had a lovely black academic diary that I have refilled each year.  However, over time I have relied increasingly on my outlook calendar for important dates and deadlines.  Last April, knowing that as a school we would be implementing Office 365 tools in the classroom in the near future, I saw that One Note would be a good place for me to start learning.  I could cut my teeth on my own Notebook and be ready to introduce Class Notebook in September.

I started using my notebook as a personal organiser in late May and by the end of June I had made my decision to give up my old ways of organising my busy working life.  As time has gone on I have become more adept at using the tool and have organised my Notebook accordingly.

Firstly some OneNote Notebook clarification:

A Notebook has sectionsWithin sections there are pagesPages can have sub-pages. In plain language, imagine that a Notebook is lik…

3 Core Principles to consider when using Tablets & Office 365

Technology must not cloud the pedagogical intent.Having made a start at explaining how I use Microsoft in Education in these three posts here (Learning to teach with Microsoft in Education, First steps with OneNote and Tags & Templates) I want to take a step back and outline my thinking behind using this technology in the first place. I am teaching at a school where a decision has been made to commit to using Microsoft Surface Pro and the suite of Office 365 tools and although this has meant learning about a new set of tools essentially I am in favour of the decision and all its implications.  In fact, use of technology to enhance what pupils are able to learn and achieve in the classroom very much fits in with my intrinsic teaching methods and my ideology.  I have posted on many occasions about technology use.  This post from last June clearly outlines how technology can have an impact on the different stages of teaching.  
As I embark on my second term with my Surface Pro and O…

Does education really need technology?

There may be many with a view on what makes for a good lesson.  Most would not argue with the ideas clearly expounded upon by Hattie and Yates (1) that a good lesson starts with an initial review of knowledge, moves on to a formal presentation, guided practice, initial feedback, independent practice and a follow-up review.  In terms of my own practice this is a model that I follow.  Not via any particular tools because I know that my target audience need variety and must not settle into any type of formulaic process.  Thus, I follow the steps but use different methods. Far be it for me to claim that this effective lesson cannot be achieved without technology.  Having started my teaching career over 20 years ago I know that it is possible to be an effective practitioner and deliver a lesson where progress is made using old-fashioned methods that may well have included some worksheets created on the trusty (rusty?) Banda machine.  Nor am I here to advocate that this process is more effe…