The SAMR Swimming Pool | Erasing the Line
"The computer stands in for another technological tool without a significant change in the tool’s function." In SUBSTITUTION there’s simply trading out old technology for new technology without any significant change. Using a computer as a typewriter, printing the assignment, and handing it in is substitution. Reading Romeo and Juliet online would be another example. Similarly, having students research online, watch videos, and take notes on the Civil War, planetary motion, or some other topic represents substitution. They are good uses of technology for learning and not unlike addressing Bloom’s lower levels of remembering and understanding.
"The computer replaces another technological tool, with significant functionality increase."The AUGMENTATION level is reached when technology results in some enhancement of teaching and learning, but doesn’t transform how the process happens. Augmentation happens when students use powerful functions of word processing such as embedding charts, graphs, and images in assignments. Using more sophisticated layouts to create brochures, pamphlets, and books would be examples. Students could contribute to online blogs, reading and posting responses to the author’s ideas. Both SUBSTITUTION and AUGMENTATION result in the ENHANCEMENT of teaching and learning. This sets the stage for the next two levels of tech integration leading to TRANSFORMATION of teaching and learning.
"The computer enables the redesign of significant portions of a task."MODIFICATION happens when technology results in significant changes in how teachers and students work on their own or together. For example, e-mail changed how people communicated and collaborated. Administrators, teachers, parents, and even students could connect to share ideas, develop agendas, arrange meetings, share documents, complete and hand in assignments. Another set of technology tools that transformed education are Web 2.0 resources. These tools allowed teachers and students to create, gather, and combine information online.
"The computer allows for the creation of new tasks that would otherwise be inconceivable without the technology."REDEFINITION takes place when technology use results in the creation of new teaching and learning processes that were inconceivable before the technology existed. The development of free online wikis, apps, and video conferencing has made it possible for students to connect with one another around the world, redefining what it takes to be a pen pal. Educators can now collaborate with other educators from the next town, the next state, or another continent. Students can interview authors, researchers, policymakers, and other experts no matter where they are. In addition, teachers and students can create their own multimedia productions to share what they know and are able to do. Moreover, they can create these productions in collaboration with any number of people anywhere in the world.
Encourage yourself and those you work with to identify the "floaties" or supports that best help you traverse the waters of technology integration to support student-centered learning and teaching.
Even if you are ready to jump all in, consider the tools and resources you need to be successful. Remember to SWIM LAPS, treading water every day in the Modification/ Redefinition deep end can wear you, and students, out. Reduce burn out and focus on CONTENT and PEDAGOGY that best engages and supports the Curriculum and Instruction.
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The only modification made to the model is that we ERASED THE LINE between AUGMENTATION AND MODIFICATION, reinforcing that educators need to swim laps and reflect on the level of technology use is happening to support student-centered learning and teaching. Having shared this perspective with dozens of schools and administrations, this modified version is not only making sense but is a means of taking successful...
Blog - A Perspective on the SAMR Model – Erase the Line and Swim Laps! A Perspective on the SAMR Model – Erase the Line and Swim Laps! :: Professional Learning and Leading Collaborative

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