Asking them to try new ways of teaching is scary for many reasons. First, they are accustomed to achieving results with their many tried and true methods. Our test scores have been solid for a number of years, but test scores cannot be what defines our educational output. Injecting technology into the classroom is not enough to change the traditional norms and practices. Secondly, their pedagogy practices in the past have been steeped in the notion that they are the classroom experts. When almost any question can be found through the use of technology, teachers have to shift their practice from presenters to facilitators in the learning process.
SISD follows a four-step process known as the SAMR model. The “S” in the SAMR model stands for substitution. Many practices that were once done with pen and paper are now moving to an electronic format. This first step or foundational element allows student and teachers to be more efficient at delivering information and gaining lower level knowledge of the material. This step simply moves a teacher directed classroom from textbooks and paper to a device.
Augmentation is the next step in the model and is defined by allowing assignments, tests and class grouping to be accomplished more efficiently through the use of technology as a tool. More efficient use of technology allows teachers and students to interact seamlessly and maximize efficiency.
Modification is the third phase of the process and enables teacher and students to bring a more personalized approach to each student. Multiple students can work on the same project from a variety of perspectives using shared documents, presentations and video clips. This enables them to collaborate and communicate outside of the school day with peers and the teacher. Concept tutorials are also available from a variety of local and web-based programs.
The final piece to the SAMR model is redefinition. Virtual field trips, collaboration with cultures outside of their immediate area and research based projects provide a new and unique way of learning that would not be available without the use of technology. The final two steps of the model are not always attainable in the early years of a “one to one” environment but are our ending goals of an “iChampion” classroom.