Target 2: Leadership in a Student Centered Learning Environment FWSU will foster the development of teacher & student leaders who provide innovative opportunities for local and global student-centered learning.
Action Step – Redefine high performance in a student-centered, collaborative, technologically rich learning environment
Indicator of Success – Creativity and risk-taking will be evident and celebrated as learners embrace new technologies.
The 2013/14 school year is the start of the third year of the current FWSU Action Plan. While we are still implementing our plan, we are also now turning the focus to evaluation – specifically how we are integrating technology in our schools through our action plan. To accomplish this, a small group administrators attended an Apple Education Seminar – What’s Next? Transforming the Future of Learning. At the seminar the team had the opportunity to work with leading education researchers to evaluate the impact of our learning initiative and identify opportunities for growth.
The team recommended using the SAMR Model (Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition) to assist us in determining what level technology is being integrated into our classrooms.
The SAMR Model was created by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, the founder and President of Hippasus, a consulting firm based in Western Massachusetts, focusing on transformative applications of information technologies to education. You can learn more about Dr. Puentedura and SAMR at the Hippasus weblog. The SAMR model offers a method of seeing how technology might impact teaching and learning. It also shows a progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and learning with technology.
When learning occurs at the upper levels of augmentation and redefinition it has more of an impact on learning. Therefore, when you teach above that line, you are now transforming learning, not just enhancing it.
Prior to school starting, the administration team took part in SAMR learning exercises. In doing so, administrators gained a better knowledge of what SAMR looks like in a classroom. Equipped with SAMR background knowledge, administrators can now visit classrooms and give formative feedback to teachers on how technology is being used in the classroom and how it is impacting student learning.
To ensure that all stakeholders understand SAMR, Superintendent Kirsch shared information about SAMR with all of our school boards. Board members were able to actively engage in activities to better understand how technology can be implemented to meet the demands of good teaching and learning.
The final step in implementing SAMR came to the staff at each of the schools. Staff was introduced to the SAMR model in staff meetings. After learning what SAMR is and how it can impact learning, teachers then begin to collaborate with team members at evaluating and designing lesson plans that allows teachers to teach above the line.