Technology use “…if it’s appropriate.”

SAMR-Puentedura

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I was checking out some of the video on the teachingchannel.org site in preparation for several workshops with teachers on Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR Model of Technology Integration. Here are two that got me thinking about how to move from the enhancement stages to the transformation stages within the SAMR Model:

Last week, I was planning for the workshops with several administrative colleagues. In reflecting on our planning session, my brain kept coming back to a comment that was frequently shared, “…if it’s appropriate.” I feel this phrase is a cop out, an excuse for us not to have to change anything in the learning environment. The two examples linked above support my thinking. Neither of the examples is poor or low level teaching/learning. However, they do reflect a learning environment with LIMITED to NO student technology access. We don’t have that kind of environment in our schools; every student has access to a laptop computer 24/7. (See our TL2014.org site to learn more about our initiative.)

This kind of access REQUIRES teaching and learning to be different since students now have access to every kind of information and idea, inside and outside the classroom. How do we get teachers (and administrators) to realize that because of 24/7 access to technology, changes in teaching and learning must occur. I understand this kind of change is going to happen piecemeal, but it has to happen…it needs to be a non-negotiable.

As a result of my thinking, I would like to work toward the following outcome of our SAMR workshops…

GIVEN:  Teachers and administrators must think deeply about how we change teaching and learning practices when all of our students have ubiquitous access to technology.
OUTCOME: As a result of understanding the SAMR framework, teachers (and administrators) are able to THINK about and DESIGN rich learning opportunities for students in a technology-rich environment. Can the workshop participants commit to 1 or 2 lesson redesigns before the end of the year?

As school leaders we need to make sure that we set the expectation and engage teachers in conversations that transform the practices of teaching and learning. We cannot allow the “..if it’s appropriate” thinking to creep into the conversation. It is really nothing more than a block and an excuse, deliberate or not.

What other frameworks or models do you use to engage teachers and school leadership in the conversation about transforming teaching and learning in technology-rich environments?

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