Leading change with SAMR
Posted August 2, 2014on:
Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR model seems to have become a mainstay reference for educational technology coordinators and teachers. It is useful as a means of evaluating technology use or integration efforts. It can also be used to gauge the effectiveness of change management in the area of technology-enabled learning.
The image above is a modified version of SAMR with Gartner’s technology hype cycle superimposed on the phases. It is generally accepted that the first two phases represent non-transformational teaching while the latter two are transformational.
It is easy to define the phases. But it is better to provide examples. I do so with the example of teachers using PowerPoint or Google Slides.
- Substitution: From chalk and talk on black or white boards to pixels and presentations
- Augmentation: Embedding YouTube videos in presentations for richer illustration and activating visual centres
- Modification: Embedding a learner response system in slides for feedback or allowing public comments on slide content
- Redefinition: In the case of Google Slides, immediate sharing via URL and co- or learner-centred authoring of content
I like how the superimposed hype cycle indicates the visibility vs the worth of the effort. The non-transformational efforts are very visible and valued by most teachers. They are low-hanging fruit and relatively easy to do. But they do not really change practice. The teacher is still the central and only user of the technology. The teaching is didactic and delivery-oriented.
The transformational efforts are less obvious but more difficult because learners must get involved. The processes are messier and meaning must be negotiated. The learner is central, the user of technology, and the content creator. Only enlightened educators who implement for the long term and process rigorous educational research realize why this is more important.
Therein lies the value of SAMR for change management. It can reveal the underlying philosophy or mindset of teachers. That is what change agents and managers need to address. Not standalone technology training but pedagogical shifts and creating ownership of the change process.