In2edu I.C.T. Resources Enhancing Education & Learning

SAMR - Critical Review.


There are times when the "flavour" of the month is actually a rebalancing in education as it places an emphasis that is needed as society changes. When I started teaching, setting a prescribed set of values for a school was the biggest no-no, pupils had to 'discover' these for themselves and should not be persuaded by teachers. Today, I believe in many schools values, discussion around values and even the presentation of thoughts about individual values are a high priority in many schools. If we learn anything from Finland's "educational success" it is that their education system seems to run counter to much of the competitive, assessment driven, do more systems and philosophies that have invaded many educational systems. What I especially think is impressive about Finland is that the leadership buy in seems so uniform top to bottom and they are not afraid to keep evolving or changing (there is some debate about whether they rested on their laurels recently) but this comes from the basis of the decades of educational system improvement.

So this leads us to SAMR - seen as model of digital technologies implementation. Here is a presentation with some thinking about the SAMR model in itself and as always, like Chinese whispers we need to look at the source~creator for their feedback on how their model has been implemented and the flaws they see in this or the adaptations in their thinking to the model since it was launched.

The SAMR model was created by Dr Ruben Puentedura. What Ruben would say is that you mix the different tasks, try to work at different levels and use what works. All the levels are defined relevant to your current practice and what is augmentation for one person, can be modification to another. Having said that, people often see it as 'higher is better' therefore you should only aim for "above the line" learning. It is often seen as a model for teachers, for planning, for lessons and therefore not so relevant to PBL, or inquiry types of learning.

My Take: SAMR is a simple tool for both teachers and pupils to plan and reflect on meaningful use of digital technologies in the learning journey. While it is especially more difficult to define clearly for an individual what a modification or redefinition task may look like, the simple thinking about teaching "above the line" is important to help teachers and pupils to quickly evaluate the learning task and integration with technology. It is a bit of chicken and egg scenario, higher level use of digital technologies can lead to deeper learning and deeper learning can lead to higher level use of digital technologies. Aligning SAMR with Blooms may also prove useful in some cases. It is important to keep in mind that SAMR is not a one way journey to a "higher plane", depending on the circumstances a substitution or augmentation may be the best use of digital technologies. Taking the route to deeper thinking is based on good knowledge and skills and it is much harder to have good levels of thinking without digital literacy, the same as it is harder to read to learn if you haven't learned to read! On the other side of the coins there is a reluctance to, "Learn or Teach above the Line" as it will involve change and challenge... so an emphasis on these areas of the SAMR model may be needed to really open up learning opportunities.



  Sources:
  1. Finland's "educational success"
  2. Hattie meets Puentedura on Growth Mindset criticism.
  3. Critical Review of SAMR
  4. SAMR - A model without evidence
  5. The Problem with SAMR
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Contributions to Pond

I have continued having fun placing resources in POND for our 1:1 programs and iPad programmes. I seem to spend more time creating these resources than posting about them online but here is access to many of them.
https://www.pond.co.nz/community/99135/warren-grieve/contributions/1/all
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Digital Citizenship: Cyber Safety at Home

What is the parent's role in this fast moving world of digital media? Are you a guardian, operator, refugee or avoider? I think it is all wrapped up into taking children from a childhood to adulthood, through the teenage angst, taking your child from a more secure environment as you deliberately seek to teach them how to be a digital-citizen.
As a parent the worst things you can do is avoid getting involved, "I don't understand this stuff." If your children are good users then they should be able to teach you what you do need to know, when you need to know it and you can add other knowledge and skills  (i.e. what they are not telling you) from some of the sites listed below.
What is most important is for your children to realise that using digital devices is a privilege (especially if  adults purchased them) and that as a parent you have the right to monitor their use. For the parent, it is important to realise that you are taking your pupils on a journey from a more innocent and protected place to a point when you say goodbye and you know they have learned behaviours, values and skills that they can independently apply to their digital device use and that will enable them to be great digital citizens.
First Steps
Talk about and setup a family home contract (set of negotiated rules) for use at home. Write out, discuss, spend time with your child on this and then all sign. Include items like reserving the right to check your child's Facebook page, laptop account, Internet history email and chat. Here is a sample contract.
Install filter software if you feel it is required.
Next Steps
Check what is happening. Your children will see/hear inappropriate material from time to time and it is important to have lines of communication open so that you can chat to them and discuss issues. Have learning conversations like, "Show me the most interesting recent site you have visited from your Internet history." I expect history to be always tere, part of our school contract, missing means something has been hidden! So a simple question likes this engages you with your child in their learning but gives you a chance to quietly check.
Keep doors open. Do NOT punish the child who saw something inappropriate and told you, that is exactly what you want to encourage, so thank them and either block the site or change the method of searching.
Attend school Workshops or other meetings. If your school has given you oportunities to learn in this area then grab them with both hands. They will have a lot of experience and information to offer you and remember that what you don't quite get you can always follow up later on with your own children as you will at least know where to start. I.E. "I  know you can have more than one Internet browser on our computer. How many do we have? Do we really need four? Let's choose the best two together?"

Other References
NZ Article on K9
Our Delicious Cyber-Digital Citizenship for Parents Stack.
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Pupil and Parent ICT Licences



To provide a benchmark and a positive start to your 1:1 experience, these will guide you to the basic skills that are important for success with your new device. They only focus on important skills and habit not on the learning and learning competencies that will also be part of the 1:1 implementation. Click on the files below to download.

You will be presented with a certificate when you have achieved these Expert or Ultra-Expert levels. There are Skills ladders for most of the programs we use. They help us learn to use the programs better, to pass bronze, silver or gold for the I.C.T. Crew and to set learning goals. Look at the full set of I.C.T. Rubrics here or below .
  • Pupils ICT Skills Ladder (Licence to drive a laptop) [View]
  • Parents ICT Skills Ladder (Licence to be "with it")  [View ]
  • ICT Skills Ladder (Skills you can learn in all programs) [View]
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