Tech Tuesday 8.12.14 – Teaching with Tech? Learn about SAMR

This post was co-written by Judy Van Alstyne.

Image from Jonathan Brubaker’s blog Tech Tips for Education

What does SAMR stand for?

Substitution • Augmentation • Modification • Redefinition

What is SAMR?

A model, by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D., which shows four levels of how technology is used in the classroom from the simple exchange of tools (Substitution) to the sophisticated development of new tasks conceived and created in novel ways (Redefinition).

Example:

Notetaking

S: taking notes with a word processing application

A: taking notes with a word processing application and using built in dictionary and thesaurus tools

M: students create shared notes that allows them to collaborate with peers to create the ultimate study guide

R: study guide is shared with the teacher, peers in another school and/or other experts for feedback and revision to create a presentation (for example, an American Revolution study guide is exchanged with one created by a class in Great Britain)

Why SAMR?

to help educators integrate technology into teaching and learning… to enable teachers to design, develop, and integrate digital learning experiences that utilize technology to transform learning experiences to lead to high levels of achievement for students.”
(Quote from: http://msad75summertechnologyinstitute.wordpress.com/beyond-substitution/)

Does this mean I have to completely redesign every lesson plan to achieve the most sophisticated use of technology?

No! Understanding the SAMR model allows you to choose effectively which lessons are worth redefinition, which lessons work fine with simple augmentation, or which are simple substitutions that might even be better without technology at all.

Where do I start?

Check out Kathy Schrock’s site for a wealth of resources. Our favorite from her site: A flow chart for deciding where a given lesson falls within the SAMR model.

If you work at AC, come to the library after school on Tuesday, March 18th at 3:30 for a special SAMR workshop. Be prepared with lessons or tasks to share, analyze, and potentially redefine!

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Tech Tuesday 7.15.14 Technology SAMR Model for Administrators – Part 1: Staff Presentations Via Edutopia

Image from Jonathan Brubaker's blog Tech Tips for Education

Image from Jonathan Brubaker’s blog Tech Tips for Education

In a previous Tech Tuesday post, Teaching with Tech? Learn about SAMR, colleague Judy Van Alstyne and I attempted to summarize what SAMR is for teachers. We also encouraged teachers to visit Kathy Shrock’s SAMR site to get started with implementation.  Recently, Judy found an excellent post on Edutopia by Joshua Work. The focus is for administrators, but the key elements apply to everyone. Happy reading!

Technology SAMR Model for Administrators – Part 1: Staff Presentations | Edutopia.

Tech Tuesday 6.10.14 – Makey Makey and May Term

At Allendale Columbia School, Friday, June 6th was our last day of the school. We finished the year with a three week mini-term called May Term. May Term takes students out of the traditional classroom environment and gives them a chance to take project-based classes that are not traditional course offerings. To learn more about our Middle School May Term offerings, click here. Ending the school year with May Term was amazing! The atmosphere of the campus and the excitement of the students gave the school a different kind of buzz and energy that was invigorating for everyone! A student told me that his mother offered to let him stay home one day and he said “No, I want to go to school.” He also told me that if May Term weren’t going on, he would have stayed home. I had students that chose to continue working on their projects during breaks and optional work times. They wanted to work and continue to learn. I had to lock the door in order to get them to take a break! Why doesn’t school capture that kind of excitement, energy and passion all the time? What if May Term/project-based classes were taught all year long and not just for three weeks at the end of the school year? Is there any doubt that passionate, excited and happy learners will learn more and push themselves harder?

Here are links to pictures and videos to help summarize the Makey Makey classes that I taught during May Term.

Click on the picture to see the entire Makey Makey photo album!

Click here to see the Makey Makey Session 1 overview video.

Click here to see the Makey Makey Session 2 overview video.

 

Tech Tuesday 6.3.14 – Makey Makey May Term Session 1

On May 28th, we completed session 1 of our May Term program at Allendale Columbia School. Without a doubt, it has been an overwhelming success. Below is a write up and a short video overview of what happened during the Makey Makey (if you aren’t sure what a Makey Makey is click here) session that I co-taught with AC Senior, Martjin Appelo (he is assisting as part of his Senior Study Project).

Post written by 8th Grader, Caroline.

Makey Makey was a fun way to use everyday objects in different ways. We plug in alligator clips to a key, the key is hooked up to the computer and anything you hook up to the alligator clips will work as a keyboard on a computer. This allowed us to be creative and use use our imagination to invent something with common objects. Some of us got a view of reprogramming the Makey Makey (using Arduino software). The group I was in, made a band out of fruit, water, old cans, and cardboard. Other groups made controllers for video games. One group made a one hand controller for Pokemon for people that are disabled and hungry. Two boys made a life size Minecraft controller, and another boy made a motorcycle game controller that looked like the handlebars of a bike. All of these ideas wouldn’t have been possible without the Makey Makey. The Makey Makey was a fun way to use our imagination, and I would take the course again to create even more complex devices.

 

All the music playing in this recording was created using Makey Makey instruments!

Tech Tuesday 5.20.14 – Chromebooks in 2nd Grade

Recently, our second graders received Chromebooks to use in their classroom. Lower school Digital Literacy Instructor, Kristen McKenzie, and I guided the children through the process of creating a Student Code of Conduct for Technology Use. Because the second graders were the first students in our lower school to use Chromebooks in a 1:1 environment, they were charged with helping to create the Code of Conduct for Technology Use for all lower school (K-5) students. After finalizing their Code, students presented it to John Sullivan for approval. The same group of students are creating plans for sharing the Code with other lower school classes in the fall. Here is the Student Code of Conduct for Technology Use that they created.

Tech Tuesday 5.13.14 – Protecing Digital Learners

Too often, Internet safety is presented to kids in a way that only shows the negative side. Kids are told what not to do, and often they don’t understand why. There is a positive side to the web, and learning to navigate it safely is easy. This is so critical, as the term “digital native” is thrown around too often as we assume our young people will innately understand the ins and outs of their online footprint. This assumption causes frustration for educators and students alike. We, as teachers and parents, need to be role models for our children. There is great power in the Internet and with that power comes great responsibility. There is more truth to this now than ever before. We all have a great resource, the Internet, and like any super power, some people don’t know how to wield it. We must be taught. Our children DO NOT possess this ability just by being born. If anything, children and adolescents need more guidance than ever. Scaring kids into believing that the Internet is a bad place where bad things happen is not going to teach them anything. We need to be proactive and teach responsibility. Being safe online is really no different than being safe in your neighborhood.

Below is a link to some excellent resources collected in a post published on the website Educators Technology and Mobile Learning. If you end up using any of the information from this post or if you have any other great ideas or resources, please share in the comments sections. I would love to know what people are trying and how they are using these tools in the classroom or at home with your families.

Tools to Protect and Raise Digital Learners ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning.

Tech Tuesday 5.6.14 – What should 21st Century Teachers Know?

Educator and blogger Terry Heick, the director of Teach Thought, wrote a post entitled 36 Things Every 21st Century Teacher Should  Be Able To Do.  My colleagues and I have enjoyed discussing the merits of the items on this list. While we agree with many (model Digital Citizenship, plan around a lack of technology elegantly), there are some we don’t feel are as important (casually name drop Reddit, appreciate memes). What do you think? Take the poll below. What are your top five and what would you remove?