Seven years and counting in education. How many of you still use PowerPoint as the main ‘technology’ in your classroom? On occasion, I still use PowerPoint as it is a functional and clean cut presenting software. But with advances in technology, it is now not the only one out there. There are so many options in bringing information to our students in a more creative and meaningful way. As an action plan this year, I want to investigate and challenge myself to take digital tools to a new level within my science classroom. To start, some of you might be asking what the #$%@ is the SAMR model, so I will fill you in with a little background information.
The following diagram describes SAMR when applying it to technology in the classroom.
Our goal is to take previous assessments and move them through the SAMR model to transform them to meet our 21st century learners. I think it’s important to point out that you are not going to always need to push things to the top of the system. Some things are good with simple substitution (using PREZI instead of PowerPoint) or Augmentation (Use of collaboration with GoogleDocs or Padlet). However, I do see the importance of bringing some meaningful assessments (Summative in nature) to the higher level of transformation with a redefinition of task.
An example of application of the SAMR model to an English class and Math class by Michael Hornback with the Vancouver Public Schools. He takes tasks that we have commonly asked our students to perform and brings in technology to create deeper thought through the inclusion of creativity, in order to transform a once simpler method of representing learning. In his examples, he uses Apps and digital technology accessible through apple products. Similar online tools and apps can be found for PC’s as well.
How might this be implemented in the science class? Well, for years, the ministry has pushed inquiry based labs within the science classroom. However, they never truly trained or gave even reasonably good examples for teachers to follow. My thought is to take a once cookie cutter lab and use the SAMR model along with new technologies for scientific modelling to scaffold students to make predictions for application to real or virtual inquiry labs.
A quick conversation with Sir Ken Robinson regarding technology in education: Why it’s important to transform education through technology.
I’d love to hear some suggestions from you experienced science folk or SAMRs out there.