How SAMR is Like a Starbucks Coffee

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By Sara Brosious, DEHS Instructional Coach

Have you heard of SAMR? NO? Ok, neither did I…until Edtech became my sabbatical leave hobby.  SAMR is an acronym that breaks down technology use in education.

We all know and love Bloom’s taxonomy, right?  It helps us to design lessons that push our students toward excellence – through higher order thinking tasks, or at least that is the goal.

So let’s think of SAMR as a model that will help educators to embed digital learning.  The ultimate goal of implementing technology into the classroom is to create and produce new outcomes that are otherwise impossible.

WHAT DO THE FOUR ELEMENTS OF SAMR MEAN?

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Allow me  to break SAMR down for you.  Imagine that you are at Starbucks.  

Substitution

This is the basic level of tech integration….the plain old coffee with a bit of cream and sugar.  In tech terms, you are switching out one way of doing something for another, and the resulting outcome is the same.   The same thing in a new way.  Pretty much the same old joe.

Augmentation

At this point, the digital tool is able to push the task beyond the basic level.  It gives the user a tool that makes the task easier.  Imagine your coffee with a little whipped cream — the coffee is still coffee…just better.

Modification

This is the level where the good stuff starts to happen.  The digital tool enhances the lesson to the point where student creation.  Modification is asking students to do a different kind of task.  Our coffee has been customized to become a new product -like a caramel macchiato.

Redefinition

The task that we are providing our students is completely transformed.  The digital tool is making the assignment a project that would be inconceivable without the technology.

The coffee is now a Starbucks creation – a signature drink that only can be enjoyed at Starbucks…think a Pumpkin Spice Latte or a Frappuccino.

Here are six common tasks applied to the SAMR Model:

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Want help implementing SAMR?  Reach out to your building’s instructional coach.

Because we can “STOP, COLLABORATE, & LISTEN.”

 

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