Sunday, May 29, 2016

SAMR and TPACK explained

Why are there 2 theories that essentially point to the same thing?  What do they mean?  Just frickin break it down for me.  Sound like you, read on.

I have found that my idea of SAMR and TPACK is very simple and that it makes sense to most teachers.  what it requires is thinking like a teacher, got that... If so, you should be fine.  In simple, you plan lessons with TPACK, you reflect on student performance with SAMR

Planning your lesson with TPACK

Teachers plan lessons, they think of the thing that they are going to teach and how they are going to teach it.  NOTE: teaching does not mean talking, teaching means there is learning.

TPACK - Technology, Pedagogy, And Content Knowledge (yep, its an acronym)
Technology - the things that you and the students are going to use in the lesson to support learning.
Pedagogy - what are your methods, how are students grouped.  (teacher stuff)
- think, pair, share and stuff like that.
Content Knowledge - the thing that you want the kids to learn (content objective if you want to be all hoity-toity about it)

So when you make a lesson, you teach some stuff, using some methods.  With TPACK the idea is that you teach some stuff, using some methods, and you have technology to support it.
It is a 3 circle venn diagram.  The difference between this model and "normal teaching" (which is just the bottom 2 circles) is that you integrate technology into a lesson to raise the level of the lesson.  Understand that it does not always mean that the lesson will be better.  That is for you, the teacher, to determine in the context (dotted blue circle) of your class.

Reflecting on the lesson with SAMR
I can only hope that as a teacher you reflect on your lessons.  If not formally, then informally as you are driving home, prepping the lesson for next year, or whatever.  The idea is that you think about what the students did, how they performed, how engaged they were with the topic, and did they learn.  In thinking about what students did during the lesson/activity, that is where you use SAMR.

Ask yourself with a lesson, could the students have done this without the technology?

Yes - then you just substituted the use of tech for something else.
Kinda - then you augmented the lesson with the use of technology, made it different in some way.
Not really - then you modified the lesson.  Students could have done some, but it would be very difficult to get similar products.
Heck No - then you transformed the lesson to something that would be impossible without technology.

I know what you are thinking... why not use my acronym YKNH?  Not as catchy.  Whatever.

Now, just because you can do it, does not mean that you should.  There are times when redefining your lessons are what students need to learn the material.  There are other times when that is not what they need and you are just creating a long project that is drawn out and unengaging.  That is up to you to decide with your teacher powers.

The point of TPACK is to help you plan lessons that integrate technology more.  The point of SAMR is for you to refine you technology integration and get you to think about how to make your activities and lessons more transformative and engage your students in activities that require higher orders of thinking and deeper technology integration to create a product.

hope this helps.

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