WATESOL News Winter/Spring 2015

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Winter/Spring 2015 Edition

Gettin’ Techie with Becky! By Becky Shiring (Resident Technology Integration Guru) Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School eslbecky3@gmail.com

Tech Integration: It’s as easy as S-A-M-R Integrating technology into the classroom can feel intimidating. As an instructional coach, I am often asked, “with all of these tech tools out there, how do I even know where to start!?” The answer is pretty simple. Think about a really great lesson you already have, one that is tried and true, and find a place to enhance that lesson with technology. But please don’t use technology just for technology’s sake (or because it just makes you look so cool teaching with an iPad!). It is important that classroom technology integration is done in a thoughtful way. Look for ways to augment, enhance or redefine that tried and true lesson with technology. Still trying to figure out where to start? Enter the SAMR model. SAMR stands for Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition and was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. The model helps support teachers in planning for technology integration. In the substitution phase, the technology acts as a direct tool substitute, for example, using word processing software to type an essay instead of pen and paper. The augmentation phase allows for the technology to act as direct substitute with some functional improvement, like using an online dictionary with word pronunciation. The modification phase allows for task redesign, such as, creating an animated comic strip out of a dialogue. Finally, the redefinition phase allows for creation of new tasks previously inconceivable, like using Google Docs to create a collaborative story in which three students can be writing at the same time while the teacher also has access and can comment on the work. The SAMR model works like Bloom’s taxonomy where the tasks increasingly get more challenging and meaningful as you move from substitution to redefinition. Additionally, teachers themselves often follow this progression as they move forward and become more comfortable in teaching and learning with technology. Take a moment to think about your experience and level of comfort with technology. If you're new to teaching with technology, start simple by substituting and augmenting. Let’s consider some of those tried and true lessons and how we can substitute, augment, modify and redefine the learning with technology. Starting simple, instead of using a big clunky dictionary, have students use an online dictionary such as Merriam-Webster’s Learner's Dictionary or download the free Dictionary.com app. These tools allow students to listen to word pronunciation and see synonyms, grammar tips, common idioms and many other cool features. I bet the old 10,000 page Oxford collecting dust on your shelf can’t do that! What do we do now with all of these newly acquired vocabulary words? Some might stick them in a coffee-stained vocabulary notebook. Why not keep track of new vocabulary words in a Google Spreadsheet or with Frayer model-esque slides in Google Presentations. Because these tools are cloud based and have accompanying smartphone apps, students can have access anytime, anywhere to add new words or study old ones.

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