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The Worth of SAMR

As the Instructional Technology Coordinator for Pequea Valley School District, it is my job to coach and train our teachers on industry standard, emerging, and any other technology of interest. We are very fortunate to be in a situation where we have a technology rich classrooms and environments! This age of teaching is so cool because we are shaping the future right now!

In our trainings we've been focusing heavily on the SAMR model developed by Ruben Pentedura. It's a great way for you to gauge at what level you are integrating technology to gain the most bang for your buck out of your time and technological investment. Watch the video below for a bit of explanation. 

Teachers are rightfully thinking about how to roll things out best in their classrooms for their students and with the four letter word of school in mind: TIME. SAMR can take time but when you consider the benefits of the global perspective, feedback cycles, authenticity, and myriad of other added benefits, it's really worth the effort and time to make it work. 

One PV teachers experience with SAMR at PV. There are many other amazing examples like it:

Mrs. Collins' class has created a blog where the teacher has posted content the students created to get the content out to the world. The teacher has also connected the students with others around the world through a platform called ePals. This platform allows teachers from around the world to connect their classroom via email, video conferencing, or the ePals platform alone! It's really awesome. 

See what the kids saw and what the teacher said below. This should convince you better than anything I can say about how worthwhile SAMR can be to the classroom environment you are cultivating as a teacher. 

Mrs. Collins says, "So my class iHELP members made some connections with other classrooms around the world using ePALS. One teacher in particular, George, from GHANA, AFRICA. :) They typed the message (from my point of view), and he responded. I thought it was great, because when they were checking the STATS from our blog they found that he actually looked at the blog as did the classroom we connected from in India. They were so proud of themselves. :)"

Christy invested the time, just like all the great teachers at PV do, in the tools that they know can empower the kids' education. She invested time in Blogger and ePals and is now seeing dividends from that time investment. As a teacher you really need the most bang for your buck! Find tools that you can use multiple ways, connect your kids to each others and the world, and will evolve with you as you grow. Master that small set of apps through the levels of SAMR, then move up the ladder with other additional apps that suit the same criteria listed above.

Christy's kids had the opportunity to extend their learning because of these connections and have opportunities for learning they wouldn't have otherwise! That's the coolest things, to be able to provide extended learning and unique opportunities!

This is just one example of how SAMR has helped us evolve education at PV. Our teachers go above and beyond to promote higher learning through multiple modes, such as SAMR and many others. It's why I'm #PVProud.

I hope this example can help you #SAMR and #edtech on! Let me know what else I can do to help. ~ Ryan


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