Discussion – SAMR Model

The discussions between Yvonne, Mo and Cathy have never focused on the SAMR model.

Yvonne has ben very clear throughout the project that the focus of the iPads has been on using the maths apps, and giving the students the opportunity to explore these apps independently in the class.

Student- Led ApproachesWhen Mo joined the project this was an approach she also took with her groups. She asked the students what apps they would like to use and how they would help them with their English.

Cathy did use some ESOL apps with her group, but this was never a big focus in her lessons. However, she did take a student-led approach in some lessons. In these classes, the iPads were be available for the students to use at any time during a task, and the students could choose whether or when to use them.

In these instances it is difficult to see how these uses fit with the SAMR model. Could it be argued that giving students 20-30 minutes ‘down time’ at the end of the lesson to explore and play maths app fits with the idea of Augmentation? This task could certainly be done with other resources – whether these are paper based or PC based – but the mobile aspects of the iPads and the enclosed nature of apps adds functionality.

However, I would argue here that the added functionality is significant, so much so that the benefits of undertaking this activity needs a new model which recognises the role of student-choice.

Where the SAMR model is useful is in describing the teacher-led activities. For Teacher Led Activitiesexample, student’s using Google Images to find and discuss houses in their own countries adds functionality to a freer practice activity in an ESOL class. Using a WhiteBoard App such as ShowMe as a controlled practice activity for the present simple is Modification.

Regardless of whether a learning model fully fits or not, it has been clear throughout the project that we have become more informed, as tutors, about what is available to support our learners, as stated in the ETAG report (p.7)

Additionally, digital technology adds to the pedagogic repertoire available to support learners and learning. To make informed decisions about what uses of digital technologies might make learning better everyone, from teachers and students to policymakers, need to properly understand the portfolio of possibilities on offer. That might include informed decisions to not use digital technology of course.

 

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