Quick Tip: Modeling SAMR in Faculty Meetings and Observation

Quick Tip: Modeling SAMR in Faculty Meetings and Observation
Contributed By

Dylan Rodgers

Content Strategy Manager and Editor in Chief of the Schoology Exchange

Quick Tip: Modeling SAMR in Faculty Meetings and Observation

Posted in Pro Tips | December 01, 2017

Did you know that the SAMR Model doesn't have to be relegated to the classroom? In fact, it can be a useful tool for modeling technology integration best practices in all kinds of scenarios.

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This is the topic we (briefly) tackle in our first BrainBite, a video series that packages big ideas into smart, quick insights to feed your intellect. While this episode is a bit longer than anticipated and we're still working out some of the kinks, we are finding our groove and will be bringing you some excellent content in the coming weeks.

We're also teaming up with the Schoology Champions to bring you the BrainBites Community Edition. More on that soon. For now, enjoy this episode on modeling SAMR beyond the classroom.

Quick Tip: Modeling SAMR in Faculty Meetings and Observation

Full Transcript

Dylan Rodgers—When we're talk SAMR, we're mostly talking about what's inside the classroom. But did you know that admin can model SAMR in meetings and other everyday activities turning everything into a mini PD opportunity? This is your Brain Bite.

Kellie Ady—If you're an administrator or an instructional coach or whatever, the importance of modeling something, obviously, is huge. I think that there is a lot of talk of SAMR, as you said. It's focused on what's happening at the classroom level. I don't know that we've really been pushing the envelope in terms of ... But are we seeing that happening across the system. Are we seeing administrators doing it? Are we seeing people that are PD? Let's say PD professionals or PD coaches or maybe they're part of a PLC model. I think that one of things that we could be looking at a little bit with more depth, maybe, is how could somebody change what they're doing functionally to model that shift on the ladder with intention. Not for the sake of using technology just to use it and do something more with it, but to really think about what your goals are. "Which part of the ladder makes the most sense for what I'm about to do?"

You and I talk about ... One of the challenges that we see often is the challenge of the ever-present faculty meeting where sometimes we have a lot of time that maybe isn't being leveraged to its full extent because we're stuck doing some things that we could be doing differently in terms of, maybe, blending that meeting. So one idea I had was: could we look at that structure of meeting and think about that on the SAMR ladder and where we could probably look at different ways that that ladder is represented within that structure?

Dylan—There's meetings. Are there any other areas that SAMR could kind of leak into in the administrative side?

Kellie—You could actually use the SAMR model to change how you're doing evaluations in the evaluation process as an administrator. So there are things that you would do whether or not you had technology or not. There are other things that you really could only do in terms of observation and data collection if you're using technology and really changing the way you think about what does observation really mean.

Dylan—Just to give an example. If you were doing observation, the substitution of that would be what? I'm a little unclear sometimes on where that line is between those steps in that ladder.

Kellie—Well, I don't think it's a very clear line. I think it's part of the reason why it causes conversation. What is augmented versus pure substitution? Almost by the sheer nature of technology, the minute something is digital, it's kind of already got some things that you couldn't have it was hard copy. Right? Now, that's talking about now, as a lot of people think about SAMR in terms of verbs.

Let's say you got a checklist, an evaluation checklist. Instead of carrying out a clipboard that you're marking things down, and you have one sheet per teacher. Let's say it's for a walkthrough. You could have, basically, a Word version of that, which represents those same tables where you check off those same boxes. And functionally, you're not doing much that's different. You're still observing. You're still marking off categories based on a grid. If you wanted to augment that, you might do that in something like a Google Form where, yes, you're still doing that same process, but it's collecting all that data for you into a spreadsheet that then you can actually take that information and do something more with it than just have a one sheet that just everything's contained in there without any way of looking at it in a larger way.

Dylan—Right. Okay. It seems to me that it's a good idea to have a very specific definition of, maybe, where those lines are for an institution. Would you agree with that? That maybe SAMR ... SAMR does leave some of that ambiguous. And so as long as everyone's on the same page. If you are going to use the SAMR model in your institution, then making sure that there are relatively clear lines between those so people understand where they are and make sure that everyone's speaking the same language.

Kellie—Maybe. Or, if it really is being used as a tool for reflection, make a case for why you think this is beyond substitution. Or, where do you think it made the leap to augmentation? I don't know that definite for people always lends itself very well to really thinking about your own practice. But when you have to question things and you have think about, "Okay, so ..." If you think about Bloom's Taxonomy, you're going from, "I remember what the definition is and what the exact lanes are." To, "I'm going to have to apply this now and think about, really, where this does ... I have to evaluate where that fits within a category or a structure." Yeah. I think that there are some things you could clearly, maybe, define. I think there is value, though, in ambiguity.

Dylan—Right. Wow. Okay. That's a lot of great info. So modeling SAMR in your faculty meetings is not a bad idea.

Kellie—May be a good place to start.

Dylan—Yeah, definitely. Modeling needs to happen, and that is a good place to start. So quit passing out papers. Start substituting, augmenting, modifying, and redefining. Maybe have a "teacher stay home day" and do the web conferencing. They'll love that.

Kellie—Work from home.

Dylan—Yeah, exactly. Work from home. The teacher stay home day.  I'm on the marketing team and all. That's terrible. Terrible marketing. Well, Kellie, thank you so much.

Kellie—Sure.

Dylan—Let's do this again soon.

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