21st Century, Tech

Teaching Above the Line

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My friend Brian recently posted his reflections on Technology Leadership.  One of his points regarded the use of the SAMR model which is an evaluative tool that helps teachers ‘push their teaching above the line’ from enhancement to transformation. This tool is, as Brian points out, very well known in tech circles.  But what about non-tech circles?

SAMR Model

There are three Learning Technology teachers at my school and we all agree that technology should be used to transform student learning in a way that would not be possible without technology.  But what about the teachers we work with?  Do they all share our philosophy? Do they know the SAMR model? Do they care to?

Take a look at this intro to SAMR in 120 seconds or a 4 minute version via Commonsense Media 

So, are we all committed to “teaching above the line”?  I watched this video and still wanted more.  More ideas about how to share this model with teachers in a way that would help them begin to integrate technology in a ‘teach above the line’ kind of way.  A quick search led to the following resources, including one that is really interesting to me on transforming classroom learning blogs:
  NOTE: I like this chart (above) but I am hesitant to label or box apps into one category.  A lot of it depends not only on the app you are using but the way in which you are using it and WHY you are using it.  I’m not saying the above mash-ups are wrong, I am just saying to use this graphic as a guide and think about what you are really doing when you start using technology to transform your teaching and learning. 

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Part of a four step model for lesson planning from Edudemic. Click image for website.

I still think there is a long way to go in working toward school ‘above the line’.  I still have conversations in which people don’t see the difference between Khan Academy and a worksheet.  Really? A website that delivers levelled problems that increase or decrease in complexity given the speed and accuracy of your response with the option of seeing a step-by-step play of how to solve the problem and an embedded, world-class explanation of the problem via video if you are still stuck, and instant feedback on your progress, versus a piece of paper that offers no feedback or differentiation until it has been turned in to a teacher, graded, and returned?

This graphic, while to the point, asks and important question:

Credit: Bill Ferriter @plugusin

I like the ideas in this graphic and the sentiment behind it as described by the author and by another blogger. For me, in addition to this it is a matter of thinking about Starting With Why – what is your why?

Why technology?

Why are you using technology in your classroom?

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