SMARt SAMR in iTunesU

Here is the link:


This month I embarked upon an ambitious task. I decided to create and teach two separate SAMR two and a half hour workshops on one day. The morning workshop was geared towards beginning users or non-users of the technology. The afternoon workshop was geared towards intermediate and advanced users of the technology. I created an iTunes University public course complete with assignments, apps, and tutorial videos. Perhaps you can use this in your learning environment.

Here are five rules or take-always from my experience of creating a differentiated SAMR experience in iTunes U.

SAMR Rule #1 – When Working with Beginners/Novices Aim to Underwhelm rather than Overwhelm
It may sound contradictory but you do not want the beginner to get overwhelmed and shut down during the PD. It is important to focus on a few simple strategies that will add value to their teaching. If you model 26 million strategies for the teachers then you will slowly start to see peoples eyes glaze over.

SAMR Rule #2- When Working with Beginners/Novices Focus on Techniques and Strategies that can be Implemented in the Classroom on a Daily Basis
Don’t waste two hours of a 2.5 hour SAMR PD showing teachers how to make an iMovie. That is something that a teacher would only be able to use for one lesson. Instead focus on a few instructional strategies that the teachers can include as part of their classroom routines on a daily basis: Todays Meet, Padlet, Class Dojo, and Edmodo would all be good examples of technology that teachers can use on a daily basis.

SAMR Rule #3- Don’t Talk About SAMR too much During SAMR PD
The SAMR model is wonderful and I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Ruben Puentedura. However, for the rest of the teaching world who are not ed tech junkies they could be scarred off by what they perceive to be educational jargon: so be SMARt in your use of SAMR so your SAMR does not become scary SAMR for your staff.

SAMR Rule #4- When You Do Talk About SAMR stress the importance of individual progress
In my opinion it is just as exciting to get a non-user using the iPad/device even if it is at the substitution level. I always stress when working with SAMR that it is not about where you start or where you finish but rather it is about the learning process that you go through as you explore different technology learning opportunities that exist within the 21st century classroom.

SAMR Rule #5- Push the advanced students
If a teacher has the confidence to sign up for an advanced SAMR workshop this means that no matter what their skill level is, they at least have the confidence to try new things in the classroom. Use this as an opportunity to push them out of their comfort zone. Today I had eight teachers create augmented reality triggers from scratch that they will use in their classes. They were exhausted and frustrated during the process but at the end of the day they were so happy to have created tools that will redefine their learning environments with Augmented Reality.


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