SAMR Model Infusing Technology into teaching and learning

Why SAMR? Why do we need a philosophy to guide the infusion of technology into our teaching and learning? Isn't what we are currently doing enough?

We have to move beyond having our students come to class and "take it" for an hour and move into a more engaging and constructive manner of teaching. Technology is only a tool and SAMR allows us to infuse the technology into a fluid and active environment, the classroom. SAMR if adapted and used allows students to become responsible for their learning and give a full commitment to themselves. Salman Kahn shared a further insight into the role technology plays in education by stating:

“Personal responsibility is not only undervalued but actually discouraged by the standard classroom model, with its enforced passivity and rigid boundaries of curriculum and time. Denied the opportunity to make even the most basic decisions about how and what they will learn, students stop short of full commitment.” ― Salman Khan, The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined

Here we see a key to integrating technology with curriculum. Teachers have to learn to develop choice as they move into the Modification and Redefinition aspects of the SAMR model.

The Padagogy Wheel with SAMR

Examining the Pedagogy Wheel, explain to a partner how you can begin to transform your teaching. Examine which practices you are comfortable substituting with a technology product, which you are going to use Augmentation with and how are you going to move to Modification and Redefinition to provide more choice and more engagement to your students. How will SAMR challenge you as an educator and also make you continue to grow?

Another view of the SAMR Model for reference.

Using Google Search, find an image that shows students using technology. Then using the above diagram show which elements of the SAMR model are being done in that photo. Use the Google Extension Nimbus (you will need to go to the Google Store, search for this extension and add it to your Google Chrome browser) take a screenshot of the image you have chosen to by choosing the selected area in the drop down (Nimbus will be a square with a capital blue N in the middle) and pick the image area below and take a screenshot. Now edit it and point out what levels of SAMR your table is seeing. Pick a spokesperson and be ready to share.

Original of What SAMR Level Do You See?

Here are some possible links to images you could use:









Use the online tool video recorder at and record your answer to these questions. Describe how the Chromebook, iPad or Android Tablet, and Smart Phone can be used to achieve the different levels of the SAMR model. Leave your device open and be prepared to rotate around the room to 2 other teacher stations to view their video.

The question then is how do teachers and educators move from a model dominated by teacher centered instruction to one where educators are facilitators and we use technology as a tool to engage students in higher level learning? How do we transform a dominate instructional method with a newer one? In the image below at your table, discuss what level(s) of SAMR you are observing here. When is/are this/these level(s) appropriate to use in the classroom? Is there a time limit to how long you would use this/these levels?

Using technology as a substitution for how this was delivered in the past.

How does SAMR change Teaching?

How a Library Media Specialist at a High School is adapting SAMR to a lesson on teaching students to evaluate websites.

Put the following URL into your browser and watch a substitution example using the Google Extension Screencastify:

This URL: (copy and paste into your browser) provides examples of lessons in a variety of content areas and some examples of each level of SAMR. Review and pick 2 lessons at your table, click on the URL under the name of the lesson for details, compare and contrast the examples and then discuss why each activity would be or if you differ in your opinion, not be an example of that level of SAMR.

So what does SAMR look like in an elementary school setting? Watch the video above if your at the elementary level for teaching and then discuss two things you learned about teaching with SAMR from the video with your partner next to you.

What does SAMR look like in the secondary schools? Watch the video above about how teachers at the Middle School level use SAMR in their classroom. After watching, summarize to your partner next to you two things that you learned from the video about teaching with SAMR.

Right now, I think teachers feel like just having devices in the classroom and using them to do substitution level tasks is motivation enough and is engaging for students. And at the start, sure! Kids will be excited just because they're allowed to use their devices. But it's not enough. The use of technology in this way just isn't meaningful, and "using technology" in classrooms like that will get stale quickly, which will lead to frustration for both teachers and students. It's going to be hard to convince teachers to let go and let students have freedom of choice... but if they use the SAMR model as a framework to build on, they'll get there. Authentic assessment and true student engagement will naturally follow suit.

This is why we must work at adapting our curriculum, our units and our lessons to ensure that we are using all four levels of the SAMR model and striving to teach above the line, to teach in the modification and redefinition levels of teaching as much as possible. That is where we engage our students by providing choice, maximize their learning and impact their lives.


Take away's from Dr. Ruben Puentedura comments in the video:

There is nothing wrong with a teacher adjusting lessons using substitution and augmentation in their planning. This is where we want teachers to begin and there are times when delivering instruction at these levels is fine.

Students and teachers take ownership of the learning and begin to see new ways to bring information to students, for students to share, and for teachers to retain their passion and excitement for teaching.

What are your two or three takeaways from the video? Take twenty minutes to create a Prezi at to prepare a five minute presentation on what you have learned about teaching using the SAMR model. Be prepared to share and to share your Prezi via Google with the class.


Created with images by Barrett.Discovery - "DSC06179" • US Department of Education - "Greece Odyssey 265" • freephotocc - "laptop ipad organic" • wyldvision - "Computer lab at Norton Elementary -- February 2007"

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