Skip to main content

Start with SAMR ... Not the Tools

Andrew Shauver, an instructional technologist here in Michigan like myself, recently published a blogpost entitled 'The Truth About Instructional Tech.'  It was timed perfectly for my own learning.  The gist of the post is that we must acknowledge that technology tools alone do not solve many classroom issues.  They are not a magic bullet.

I'm not looking to diminish the role of an instructional technology coach like myself, or the tools we help others use - I've got four kids, I need the job.  What I am trying to say, and I believe I'm echoing Andrew's thoughts, is that we must have a solid understanding of what we want the technology to do, and understanding the learning goal we expect it to satisfy, before we implement.  Or better yet, before purchase.

I agree with him when he writes "The poor classroom manager isn't going to become a better classroom manager simply because they use Class Dojo."  I believe that most technology tools are able to amplify, more than they transform.  Class Dojo can both expose the weaknesses of a classroom teachers management issues, as well as increase the reach of a strong classroom manager.  I don't think it transformed either classroom.

Recently, in the 21 Things session I am co-teaching, we discussed emerging technologies.  I stressed to the class to rely on a framework such as SAMR when evaluating the use of technology in their room.  No time is that more important than with new technology.  The size, shape, cost and promise of the technology can be alluring, but as educators we must keep the learning first.

You might think, with the role that I am in, that I'd be the first to embrace a new technology.  I admit that I have found myself under the 'tech spell.'  But  I'm proud to say I have developed a healthy skepticism with technology.  This skepticism has kept me from the bleeding edge of a learning curve more often than not.  As emerging technology matures, like 3D printing, it's now on us to find, develop, and curate the curricular connections.

In short, thinking about the teaching, before the technology, is how I strive to do my job.  It is the most meaningful for the students, and it also honors the skills a teacher brings to the classroom.  Thanks for the reminder Andrew, and for making me think on a Friday!

Comments

  1. "No time is more important than with new technology..." Excellent point. Energy and enthusiasm requires wisdom and SAMR does a nice job of creating a familiar way to evaluate how a new bit of technology fits.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As a lot of business owners follow your blog , thus I would like to draw your attention to data rooms. It is kind of a cloud where you can store and share your data and even make business deals.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Interesting article! Thank you for sharing : usefull site

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Getting Started with 3D Printing: Part 1

By now, it is likely that you have seen or heard of the concept of 3D printing.  The easiest way to think of it is taking a 3D model off of the computer and turning it into a real life product.  3D printing is an additive manufacturing process so there is very little waste when you make objects.

When you decide to get started yourself, it can be VERY overwhelming trying to figure out which 3D printer to buy and how to even begin.  In this series of blog posts, I intend to share some first hand tips on how to make that process easier and help you avoid some mistakes that I have made.

Finding a Printer

Congratulations, you have examined your educational goals and figured out that a 3D printer would be a good fit for you and your students!  Expect that you will need to have a budget of approx. $700 to $1000 to get started.  That would include the cost of the machine, and a spool of filament.

Here at the RESA we have a RoStock MAX v2 ($1000 for the kit) and a Polar 3D printer ($600.) There…

Google My Maps

You may have noticed that 'Google My Maps' have shown up in your google drive.  I was able to attend a session at MACUL's Googlefest this past month and picked up some great tips from Kelly Kermode, a technology coach for Forest Hills Schools.  
Below is an overview on how to import data into a Google My Map.  Once you have mastered this skill there are numerous practical uses to explore! ______________________________________________________________________________
Here is what the finished map looked like based on the data that I imported.  I was alerted that there were several rows unable to be mapped - I went in and checked for grammar and was able to resolve this issue.  I could also have chosen to place the pins manually by selecting one from above and placing it where I wanted. _________________________________________________________________________

Google My Maps provide a great tool for building geographic awareness.  Students could create a walking tour of thei…

How one C.I. Classroom approached Robotics - and What I Learned from Them

I learned today that the state of Michigan has 411 teams registered for the just launched FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics season.  California is in a distant second place with 258 teams.  The robots these teams create are designed, built, and tested by students to complete a challenge while competing against other teams.  They are impressive to see in person.  Maybe too impressive.

I think that teachers often hear the term 'robotics' and believe they do not possess the skills needed to teach students this concept.  Some see a shiny finished product and forget the process involved.  Some are afraid to learn alongside their students.  And some just do not know where to start.  Hopefully this post will give you some ideas.

Steve Swenson and Cindy Chaney teach a cognitively impaired classroom in Berrien Springs Middle School.  They reached out to Berrien RESA inquiring about materials we had to support robotics.  I sat down and talked abo…