Thursday, November 21, 2013

SAMR Model Musings

I have been asked to elaborate on my understanding of the SAMR model, a model written about extensively by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. This model suggests a structure for the design of embedded technology use in the classroom to have a significant impact on student outcomes.

My feeling is this model supports teachers as they design, develop, and integrate digital learning experiences that utilize technology to transform learning experiences. Along the continuum, the student engagement becomes more of the focus and students are then able to advance their own learning in a transformational manner.

Puentedura's visual of the SAMR model is self-explanatory, as seen below.

SAMR model

I decided to take the typical classroom process of note taking to demonstrate my thoughts for how the SAMR model might look in a classroom.


Note taking is traditionally done with paper and pen/pencil.

At the substitution level, you first have to think about what will be gained by the use of technology for the task. You want to make sure you are not advocating technology use just for technology's sake.

In the case of note taking, however, the benefit of having notes in a digital format for ease of sharing and uploading, and providing access to them anywhere, any time, is a useful substitution activity. 

At this level, the technology substitution, with no real change in student engagement, would be the use of a stand-alone or cloud-based word processing program.


At the augmentation level, there again is a direct tool substitute, but there is some improvement in student outcomes. At this level, one of the benefits is teachers can receive almost immediate feedback on student level of understanding of material and students can also learn from others.

One way this can occur is by the use of a backchannel tool (such as Today's Meet or Padlet) for whole-class note taking. The augmentation level starts to move along the teacher/student-centric continuum. The impact of this immediate feedback and collaboration is that students should begin to become more engaged in the learning process.


Modification allows for a change in the task redesign. Students can be asked to take notes using a screencasting tool and then later go back and add the audio component and post these online for their peers and anyone else who wants to see them. Because they are working for an public audience with this task, each student has a personal stake in their note taking.

Another modification option for note taking using technology would have students creating mind maps or concept maps as they take notes. Again, these can be easily shared. A collaborative version of this mapping could be implemented as groups of students take notes on certain aspects of the lecture, presentation, reading, etc. and then pull all the maps together to complete the picture. (I call this the "" model!)


With redefinition, the emphasis is on student-centered learning. The student learns new skills and concepts as they complete the task. Sketchnoting, or visual note taking, is a way for students to practice listening as well as planning an organizational strategy for taking notes. There are drawing and note-taking apps for all platforms available for sketchnoting. (A lot more about sketchnoting can be found here.) A redefined task would be for students to sketchnote, share online, and provide answers to questions about the content included in the public venue.


Below is a visual of my initial thoughts on the relationship between Bloom’s and the SAMR model. I feel teachers need to both create tasks that target the higher-order cognitive skills (Bloom's) as well as design tasks that have a significant impact on student outcomes (SAMR). It's as simple as that.

Educators will argue that they have seen redefinition tasks that only target the remembering level or have a creative assessment that is only at the augmentation level. Of course that is true, but I believe we should be planning for technology tasks, activities, and assessments that include both the higher levels of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy and the transformation area of SAMR model.

I have created a page of SAMR resources if you want to learn more and come to your own conclusions about how it might be implemented in your classroom.

Comments? Thoughts?  Email me or find me on Twitter @kathyschrock