Working with the SAMR (Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition) Model

Ruben R. Puentedura’s blog offers an absolute wealth of information on teaching, pedgagogy and use of technology (more broadly, along with iPads in particular).

Today I started reading (it’s 64 pages long) his article (PDF) on the SAMR model for using technology:

Redefinition: Tech allows for the creation of new tasks, previously inconceivable

Modification: Tech allows for significant task redesign

Augmentation: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement

Substitution: Tech acts as a direct tool substitute, with no functional change

The stages are hierarchical, with Substitution and Augmentation forming the Enhancing phase, whilst Modification and Redefinition are part of the Transformation phase.

Reading the article made me realise that, although the iClass has come a long way, there is still a long way to go before our use of the iPads is truly transformative.

We have used the iPads to complete maths questions which could be worked out mentally or on paper (Substitution, albeit with extremely high engagement).

In the first or second week we started to tailor maths apps to skills needs (Augmentation).

Later on, we have used multimedia to record our learning in ways we could not have done without the iPads (Augmentation), with the children working on tasks which could not have been planned for without our 1:1 scheme (Modification).

There you have it, a brief summary of (very few) of the ways we have employed our tablets. For me, the next step is to move more of the technological use to transformation, as I really think we have cracked Enhancement.  This is a very exciting time and the children are sure to agree 🙂

I envisage outlining for them the content and/or skills we need to cover and facilitating a protracted discussion of the many ways of demonstrating this with a range of apps, ideally in ways which were “previously inconceivable”, possibly by introducing apps separately in skill-building workshops.

It’s going to be a lot of fun!


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