Integrating technology in the classroom helps teachers explore ways to enhance student engagement in the classroom. Technology should be used as a tool that teachers can utilize to make their lessons more meaningful to their students. Students will be able to understand the role of technology by making a difference in the world, asking/answering their own questions, and embrace being able to learn together with their peers. This week I will be sharing my thoughts about how teachers approach the use of technology with the SAMR and TPACK models.
Teachers reflect on how effectively they are using technology in the classroom by using Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition, also known as the SAMR model. Teachers can look at a lesson plan they have created and use the SAMR model to figure out different ways to incorporate technology into their lesson. In Kelly Wash’s article “8 Examples of Transforming Lessons through the SAMR Cycle”, Wash provides examples of lessons by that incorporate using the SAMR model. According to Wash (2016), by creating models of different lessons helps readers have a better understanding of what the SAMR model is and how to utilize it. I found having those examples to look at after having a basic background knowledge on the SAMR model to be helpful. I was able look at actual examples of how the model changed the original lesson. I have created lesson plans and have had my teachers give me feedback on how I could have students create a video or write a blog post about the topic and post it online. I never thought of incorporating the use of videos or even making a comic strip as part of a lesson plan. I was able to take those ideas to make my lesson plans more fun and engaging for students. Looking back, I am realizing that the feedback I was receiving probably came from the SAMR model. By having teachers reflect on how they are using technology, teachers are able to recognize any progress made in their lessons, while also looking to make improvements by integrating technology.
According to Matt Kohler (2012), Technological Pedagogical and Content Knowledge (TPACK) is another model teachers use to understand how their different knowledge domains overlap to teach and utilize technology. Teachers are able to use this model to look at what they already know about their content area, how they want to approach teaching a lesson, and how technology is integrated to have a stronger impact on student learning. The TPACK model encourages teachers to have these knowledge areas work together to enhance your teaching more effectively. Technology can be used effectively once all of the knowledge areas are connected together. In Common Sense Education’s video “What is the TPACK Model?”, the TPACK model is explained with specific examples to help show how the model can be applied. As said in the video, teachers should focus on their content and pedagogical knowledge first and then start to incorporate different forms of technology (2016). If teachers design a lesson specifically around technology, main goals and objectives can be lost in the other knowledge areas. I agree with the idea of saving technology integration as the last step in using the TPACK model. In my content area classes, I have been pushed to focus on the content knowledge and the pedagogical knowledge first and then focus on incorporating technology. When making lesson plans for my English classes, I first access my content area knowledge to decide what I want the lesson to be about. After I decide my topic, I shape my lesson about how I want to teach it to the class and then incorporate technology. Using all three areas together would help make a lesson more engaging for students to participate in. Without incorporating the three different areas, my lesson would not be as effective. By focusing on the three knowledge areas on their own first and then bringing those ideas together, teachers will be able to effectively utilize the TPACK model in the classroom.
Using the SAMR and TPACK models to reflect on your teaching and to engage student learning will help build an engaging classroom environment. The use of technology in the classroom, based off of the models, will help students understand why technology is important and how technology makes a difference in the world. I know I will be using the TPACK model to ensure I start my lessons focusing on content and pedagogical knowledge and then incorporate technological tools to enhance learning in the classroom. The SAMR model will help me look at lessons I have already created and think of ways I can improve them by gradually incorporating different technological tools in my instruction practices. Utilizing the SAMR and TPACK models will help teachers integrate technology into their classrooms as a tool to provide additional learning experiences for their students.
CommonSenseEducators. (2016, July 12). What is the TPACK Method? Retrieved September 18, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMQiHJsePOM
Koehler, M. (2012, September 24). TPACK Explained. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://matt-koehler.com/tpack2/tpack-explained/
Walsh, K. (2016, September 17). Kelly Walsh. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.emergingedtech.com/2015/04/examples-of-transforming-lessons-through-samr/