It is cool to use technology in class. But all to often computers, tablets and smartphones are only being used for that coolness. The SAMR-model can provide a tool to analyse if the use of technology helps the learning process.
This model was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura.
SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition. Those words represent the way that IT can adjust a learning activity from substituting an existing tool up to creating completely new activities.
The model also contains a horizontal dividing line that has enhanced activities below the line and transformed activities above it. Enhancement means that IT can improve existing learning activities. Transformational activities are significantly modified are completely new activities that can only be accomplished through the use of technology.
In this video the students of fellow ADE Richard Colosi explain the SAMR model.
I don’t see the model as a ladder where you should try to avoid the steps below the dividing line. An example: the use of a word processor as a substitution for pencil and paper can have added value. In my personal case a big one: saving the text file will prevent me from losing my work. A paper will almost certainly get lost …
Nevertheless, it’s my opinion that when all your learning activities remain under the dividing line, the technology is not innovational and it is not really worth the effort in time and money.