Recently, I stumbled upon a fantastic blog, NeelaBell.com. Neela shares thought-provoking ideas for gamification, eLearning, and how to design inspiring courses in Moodle. Through humour and solid examples, she gets educators thinking about what it means to design with intention.
If you are inspired by Neela’s work, I recommend checking out her Twitter account. It was here that I discovered this fantastic graphic:
Start with SAMR
This chart reminds me of a classic ed tech model called SAMR, which stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition. Oftentimes, when educators incorporate ed tech into their classroom, they focus on substituting a traditional paper and pencil method of learning with a digital one. For example, instead of writing responses on paper, students type their answers into a Word document. Unfortunately, this doesn’t elevate students’ learning experience; rather, it is just another way to collect information.
When we have a good sense of the lesson’s objectives and then focus on how to augment, modify, and redefine the lesson by using technology, we can extend what learning is possible. We can excite students and engage them in their own learning.
Looking for some ways to move past substitution? Check out the EmergingEdTech website for inspiration!
Integrate Rather than Use
I love to reflect on the graphic above because it focuses on student-centred learning. It helps me picture the kinds of experiences I think are important for students to have. Best of all, it helps me focus less on myself and more on the students.
While the SAMR model gets us to think about how we want to incorporate ed tech, the graphic challenges us to answer the why. Using the SAMR model along with this chart is a deadly duo.
Try it Yourself
When designing an ed tech lesson, I recommend starting with the lesson objectives, then using the SAMR model (A is ok, but M and R are even better), and finally reflecting on this chart to ensure appropriate ed tech integration.