Monday, May 19, 2014

Moving Through SAMR Part 2

While writing the post "Moving Through SAMR" I was extremely frustrated that I was capitulating to the proponents who feel we must ease our way into technology use in the classroom.  Swayed by the desire to: not add fuel to the nay-sayers' fire, or intimidate the tech newcomer, or implement "topdown" mandates and make people feel that tech is "one more thing" that is being put on their already overflowing plate; I felt like I needed to betray my gut feeling and not only allow, but promote an easing into technology integration by utilizing the Substitution and Augmentation of SAMR.

However, I recently came to the realization that the effort needed to Substitute and Augment is far greater than the effort needed for Modification and Redefinition.  Not only is the effort greater, the effort is also placed directly on the educator while the student simply continues to be passive and "complete" assignments.

Take for example a simple worksheet, I would argue that in an effort impact matrix of changing a paper worksheet with SAMR results in something like this:

  • Substitution
    • Teacher- High Effort/Low Impact 
    • Student- Low Effort/Low Impact 
  • Augmentation
    • Teacher- High Effort/Low Impact
    • Student- Low Effort/Low Impact 
  • Modification
    • Teacher- Low Effort/High Impact
    • Student- High Effort/High Impact
  • Redefinition
    • Teacher- Low Effort/High Impact
    • Student- Low Effort/High Impact
Two things:

  1. Obviously the above is an oversimplification, (using a worksheet as a starting point does help skew the argument)
  2. Who is doing the "work" and what type of "work" is being done shifts as we move up the SAMR ladder
So what gives?
It actually has more to do with solid pedagogy than it does the technology integration.  The gains in impact (albeit theoretical) achieved in Modification and Redefinition occur because of the personalization that must occur. Getting to M&R requires fostering individualized relationships and talents between the triumvirate of the designed learning experience- student, teacher, and task. Such a meaningful symbiotic relationship can only occur when we put our efforts into designing experiences that are never just able to be checked off as "complete".