Published: Dec. 16, 2019

Portrait of Erin Sunday Erin Sunday is a certificate student and Spanish teacher in Portland, Orgeon. At the end of the fall 2019 Tools in Practice course (LGTC 5030), students were offered to critically examine the SAMR model and offer their own alternative model. 

I like the SAMR model because it pushes me to use technology with more innovation. When I evaluate activities based on the SAMR model, I often find areas where I can make better use of technology to help my students be creative, reach a wider audience, and engage in more authentic work. However, the SAMR model falls short for three reasons: 1) it equates success with what students are doing rather than what they are learning, 2) it doesn't take good pedagogy into account, and 3) there doesn't seem to be a lot of research supporting its use.  first circles has best teaching practices, second has digital affordances and in the middle (intersecting parts)  there is "redefinition, modification, augmentation)

I would prefer a model that incorporates best teaching practices and acknowledges students' language proficiency and academic needs. Therefore, I propose the following model:

In my model, the best use of technology occurs when best teaching practices (as defined by ACFTL, current research, etc.) intersect with one or more digital affordance (recursive feedback, ubiquitous learning, etc.). The intersection of these two frameworks may have a powerful impact on our students' learning. 

Additionally, my diagram takes the SAMR model into account without evaluating the success of an activity based on the SAMR level. At the center of the Venn, I include augmentation, modification, and redefinition to demonstrate the potential outcomes of combining good pedagogy and technology. Modification and redefinition encourage teachers to be innovative and think outside of the box. However, an activity at the augmentation level may be effective, depending on the learning goals and the students' needs. I did not include the "substitution" level because, if an activity is truly only at substitution, I question whether it's worth the effort to put the activity online. 

My model resolves my criticisms of SAMR because: 1) best practices ensure that learning outcomes determine the effectiveness of an activity, 2) good pedagogy is an essential component of my model, and 3) my model encourages modification and redefinition but acknowledges that, in some cases, augmentation may best meet students' needs.