It's already June and the end of the school year is finally upon us! Reflecting back, it was an exciting and challenging year in the arena of technology integration. As a school-wide Instructional Technology Specialist, I had the opportunity to visit classrooms and view outstanding teaching and learning throughout the K-12 districts! Dedicated teachers collaborated with motivated students in an effort to create a robust teaching and learning environment and their energy and hard work was certainly evident. So where do we go from here? It is no surprise that use of technology in education has quickly transformed how teachers teach and students learn. The content is the same; but the pedagogy is shifting towards a more student-centered, personalized learning platform.
Recently, I met with my fellow tech integrators/librarians to set our technology integration goals for next year. Since we are increasing our BYOD program on the secondary level, we needed to identify how to approach the increase of different types of mobile devices in the classrooms. Offering PD and training on iPads and specific apps, flipping the classroom, and blended learning is helpful, but how do we address the technology level of teachers and help them to be comfortable with this new approach to teaching? One great resource that I found helpful was the SAMR Model created by educational consultant, Ruben Puentedura. His concept of four levels (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition) truly shows where we need to assist teachers in adapting some of their lessons to meet the differentiation in student learning. Not everyone needs to be at the "redefinition" level all the time, but at this level, students become more accountable for their learning by using higher order thinking skills to create new tasks that were "previously inconceivable."
Here is an example of what his concept looks like:
Working at our own pace, we can eventually step up to the "redefinition" stage to transform education. Our students are eager to participate in this experience and we are fortunate enough to guide them through.
I welcome summer and look forward to next year, to embrace greater challenges and welcome more change. As educators, we can offer the best teaching and learning experiences to support students and prepare them for opportunities throughout our global society.