Dr. Ruben Puentedura has created the SAMR model, which is a four-level approach to selecting, using, and evaluating technology in education. His presentation is available on iTunes and is well worth viewing. The acronym is expanded here:
It is interesting to apply this model to the various aspects of my work as an educational administrator.
1. Substitution is apparent in the use of a grading program for recording student work and marks. The use of paper and pencil or pen with a calculator is simply substituted with a software or online program. The function and results are not changed. The only change is in the tools used.
2. Augmentation can come into play when the gradebook is made available online to parents and students. Students can access the information to keep track of missing assignments and complete them to improve their overall marks. Parents become allies of the teacher in reminding students to complete assignments.
3. Modification is possible when the teacher also posts lesson outlines and/or assignment details with feedback from parents and students enabled. This would make it possible for parents and/or students to make suggestions for modifying and/or personalizing particular assignments. It must be admitted that the details of some assignments may not appeal to all students. It would serve to heighten student interest and develop ownership of learning if the teacher made use of this feature.
4. Redefinition would mean doing away with traditional methods of assessment of student learning where the teacher sets a standard and students work to achieve a percentage of that standard. Students could collaborate on setting goals for what they want to learn within the broad spectrum of curriculum goals and standards. Each would be allowed to select the method he/she would like to use to reach a particular learning goal. They could create podcasts, blogs, wikis, multimedia presentations, etc. When one goal is reached they then move on to the next. The teacher becomes a facilitator of learning rather than a source of knowledge.
There are already numerous educational management programs available as software and online tools to make redefinition possible. However, parents and institutions of higher learning would have some difficulty adjusting. The traditional approach of numerical ranking to measure achievement is firmly entrenched in our minds and entrance requirements for many colleges and universities. There are some institutions that are modifying methods of determining suitability for entrance to some programs but wholesale change is likely to be slow unless more pressure for change is exerted by prospective employers.