Thursday, April 3, 2014

What's Next? Transforming the Future of Learning- SAMR Reflection

I had the lucky opportunity of attending Apple's What's Next? Transforming the Future of Learning event in Chicago these past 2 days. There were about 70 educators across 8 states, 20 Apple employees, and researchers Dr. Ruben Puentedura and Dr. Damien Bebell. The South Berwyn team included Superintendent Dr. Stan Fields, Elementary Principal Jeremy Majeski, Middle School Assistant Principal Lindsey Lahr, and Instructional Director Shannon Soger, myself.

SAMR Reflections:

I have been learning about Dr. Ruben Puentedura's SAMR model for almost 4 years. I've listened to presentations at Apple Academy in Cupertino, CA, during district hosted Apple Profesional Development, at conferences from various educators like +Sue Gorman+Caroline Haebig, & +Jennifer Magiera, and from reading through a plethora of digital materials via bloggers & tweeters like +Lisa Johnson+Susan Oxnevad+Carl Hooker, and many more! I've taken +Mark Anderson's SAMR flow chart and integrated into assessing teachers' lessons to see where they land on the model. My colleagues would consider me "pretty well-rounded" or slightly obsessed when it comes to talking SAMR.
4/2/14, Apple Executive Briefing Center, Chicago, IL

HOWEVER, nothing can compare to hearing +Ruben Puentedura talk SAMR himself. Ruben is a brillant man; you can hear his intellectuality in just a few minutes of him speaking. He's very personable, cracks jokes during his presentation, and can really connect with educators. He walks you through his slides, and elaborates in an easy to understand manner. (Although my brain hurt from concentrating so hard, trying to soak up every bit of his knowledge.)

I'm going to summarize what I learned at each level. When we use the SAMR model, we can't forget about the technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge behind the task, or TPACK. ( Often times you hear, "I'm blogging with my students, that's redefinition." It's not just about the technology; what is the pedagogy and content knowledge behind the task of blogging? Why did the teacher choose to use blogging? What are students blogging about?

Substitution- This is NOT a "bad" level to be at. I'm still making gains in my classroom if I'm having students read facts (the content) from a digital PDF (the technology), recording notes, and summarizing them in Pages (the pedagogy). This is setting the stage to further move above the line.

Augmentation- "I made an iBook that has the vocabulary words linked within the book from students' notes in Pages. That's augmentation." NOT. How have you set the stage for this? What directions were students given? By having the glossary available, students aren't naturally going to click each word to see its meaning.

Instead, set the stage by telling students, "As you read this class iBook, (the content) you will come across some glossary terms that each of you wrote. Be sure to tap the vocabulary word, read the definition, and look at the image to determine if the word makes sense in that context. (The pedagogy is to understand the meaning of the vocabulary.) Highlight each vocabulary word, and add a sticky note (within iBooks, the technology) explaining your thoughts."

Modification- After students read the class iBook (the content), allow them to choose their "favorite chapter," the chapter that sparked their interest. (The pedagogy is to have students retell a story in their own words.) Next, have students create a digital story using GarageBand (the technology) to record their voice, making edits where needed. Give them the option to add music or images by bringing their voice recordings into an iMovie. Finally, upload all digital stories to a website.

Redefinition- (Hopefully you didn't just skip to this section first, because a task at the redefinition level is one that comes out of all previous tasks in the SAMR ladder.) Choose a website (the technology) that allows for continuous feedback and have students listen to the digital stories (the content) and provide digital feedback. Be sure to model how to give feedback (the pedagogy). "Good job" doesn't cut it.

The site shouldn't remain stagnate after feedback is given and received in 1 post. Most likely, this continuous feedback will allow significant task redesign (redefinition). A student might say, "Jose wrote that my audio recording was hard to hear because my background music was too loud. Can I create a visual to enhance my digital story? I'd like to make a Wordle, so when you look at the picture you can tell my story was about the Siberian Tiger."  (The task has changed; students are now revising, evaluating, and creating new digital stories.)

Redefinition continued- It's common for you see social collaboration at the redefinition level, but it is NOT necessary in determining a lesson as redefinition. For help, ask these questions Ruben includes in his SAMR: A Leadership Perspective presentation slides.

What is the new task? (Revising/Editing digital stories)
Will any portion of the original task be retained? (The content from writing stories in the Pages document was retained)
How is the new task uniquely made possible by the new technology? (Students were able to revise/edit/create a new digital story because of the student feedback provided on the website.)
How does it contribute to my design? (Pieces of the new task all came from previous technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge.)

Finally, I learned about the "EdTech Quintet." I've seen the image in Ruben's slides, but can now make more meaning out it it. This will help in assessing SAMR ladders.

The quintet includes Social (twitter, wikis, discussions), Mobility (anytime, anyplace, resources in the cloud), Visualization (mapping, wordles, timelines), Storytelling (iMovie, Comic Life), and Gaming (continuous feedback). If your SAMR ladder includes the EdTech Quinet, most likely it'll be above the line.

I would love to hear feedback from my SAMR reflection. Thank you!