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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Introducing technology in the classroom

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 below.

Some teachers are willing to use technology in their classrooms as long as they don't need to change their teaching strategies. So, iPads may become digital worksheet machines while laptops function as PowerPoint creators or word processors. But with technology in our classrooms, there are so many more options that can be done with today's ever changing technology.

So the question arises, Is it wise to allow teachers to take "baby steps" initially by only implementing technology at the lower levels of SAMR, or should peers and administrators insist that educators examine and adapt their teaching methods to include more engaging uses for technology, too? 

Well, here are my thoughts...

Like all humans, teachers are creatures of habit and for teachers established in this profession for 5 or 10+ years, I would assume it would be very difficult for most teachers to "flip the switch" and immediately begin using technology and teaching at the redefinition level. Especially those teachers that have filing cabinets full of lessons and worksheets that have been used year and year with fidelity. If this is the case, I would believe the best way is to use baby steps for some teachers. Nevertheless, the goal of baby steps is to allow teachers to examine lessons and methods so in the future all teachers are able to include engaging uses of technology.

However, I believe with the baby steps approach, we can't be content or put limitations on ourselves or our students (I have a feeling students are going to be jumping right it.) Once we get Chromebooks next Fall, I know some teachers are going to be able to jump right in, while some will be taking baby steps. 

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