The SAMR Model

Substitution, augmentation, modification, and redefinition. These are the four building blocks, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, to help educators understand how technology can be used to benefit education. According to Youki Terada’s “A Powerful Model for Understanding Good Tech Integration” using the newest or most expensive technology won’t translate to the most efficient integration. Good integration is about understanding what options you have and how you can correctly implement them into the class.

Currently, most educators understand or are already implementing substitution and augmentation from the SAMR Model into their classes. However, modification and redefinition are not being integrated because this will transform the learning experience rather than just enhance online learning, like substitution and augmentation do. But what is the SAMR model and what is its purpose? Substitution doesn’t change the learning materials but rather how they are delivered. Such as scanning traditional paper  worksheets into a pdf and posting them online or posting a recording of the lecture instead of a traditional in-person lecture. Augmentation also doesn’t change the content but it does allow the students to enhance their digital learning by taking advantage of digital tools available to them. These can be simple hyperlinks to more information about a certain topic or they can also be virtual bulletin boards to allow the students to maintain connection with their peers by posting questions and talking to each other. Modification is when a learning management system should be implemented to help the educator and the students. These systems can be Zoom, Canvas, Google Classroom, or a combination of these. Correctly implementing these systems will assist the educator in managing and organizing lesson materials, grades, and assignments. This will also help the students by allowing them to ask questions with a chat feature and not interrupt the class during a lesson. Redefinition transforms learning by creating activities that were previously difficult to do in a traditional setting. Such as visiting distant and interesting locations where students once thought they would never get to see without the help of virtual field trips. Or inviting local members of the community to teach them about events going on around them or social issues in their community that they may not be aware of. The SAMR model should be used as a toolbox to help educators and students enhance and transform their online learning.

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