Recently I’ve been involved with studying the concept of technology integration in an educational setting and what qualifies as being distinguished, proficient, or needs improvement in regards to how and which technologies are used. That is where the conversation started. Where did the conversation come from? Well some felt that simply using a projector was “distinguished” while others don’t even put that on the map as having integrated technology into learning. Clearly, we all had different perceptions and understandings of what technology integration in an educational setting to enhance learning was.
Through this study, we stumbled across Ruben R. Puentedura’s SAMR model for educational technology integration. The SAMR model suggests that technology tools are either Substitutions, Augmentations, Modifications, or Redefinitions of how the technology supports and enhances learning. What I love about this model is that it is simple. I also love that it doesn’t suggest that you should always be working at one level over another. Although, I have to admit, that must be reinforced when looking at the SAMR model for the first time. It is easy to think that implementing technology at the Substitution level is bad! But it is not. There is a good place for that type of technology in learning. The challenge is to be diverse and provide enhance learning experiences with technology at all levels.
The discussions are now just beginning. Now that we have a nice definition and framework for what educational technology integration can be, we can begin to reflect and discuss the differences between distinguished, proficient, and needing improvement. Here is a simple introduction to the SAMR model to get those discussions started!