How to Tech? . . . That is the Question! by Janine M. Firmender (@jjmmff)


How to Tech? . . . That is the Question! 

by Janine M. Firmender (@jjmmff)

Has your school recently purchased sets of iPads or Chromebooks? Does your school have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) or 1-to-1 policy? If so, then you have the stuff (e.g.: the hardware), now what do you do with it? Standard responses might be that students can capture pictures, audio, and video; create animations; share documents on Dropbox; or collaborate via Google Drive and Hangouts. The possibilities are probably limited to only our imaginations as educators (or maybe the wi-fi speed or firewalls). Which of these unlimited possibilities to pursue with students, however, is a choice that every time-crunched teacher needs to make. Here I offer one perspective with which we can navigate the purposeful integration of technology – the SAMR Model.


Licensed under Creative Commons with Attribution: Puentedura, 2014;

SAMR was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura as a model for how we can integrate technology with instruction in meaningful ways. SAMR stands for the Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition of an instructional or student task by using technology.

To demonstrate this model, let’s consider the classic call-and-response instructional strategy frequently used during lessons to elicit students’ responses. Traditionally, teachers ask questions, students raise their hands, and one student – or sometimes more than one – is asked to provide a response. Using the SAMR Model as a framework we can consider how technology can enhance or transform this task.

Substitution – Instead of calling on individual students, the teacher can use PollEverywhere  as a substitute. . Using PollEverywhere, the teacher can pose a multiple-choice or true/false type question and all students (instead of just a few) can participate by logging their answer through text message or a web browser. The teacher can then view and display a graph of the students’ anonymous responses for further discussion with the class. In this way, PollEverywhere serves as a direct substitute for students raising their hands to answer questions.

Augmentation – Instead of calling on individual students, the teacher can augment or extend the call-and-response practice by asking all students to respond using the Socrative app, which gives the option of downloading a record of responses to multiple question types, including short answer. Teachers can display graphical representations of student responses and download a report of students’ responses. In this way, the call-and-response practice is augmented because the teacher can pose additional question types and have a record of student responses.

Modification – By using the Nearpod app, teachers can modify the call-and-response practice by engaging students through this interactive app. Teachers can push information to students and embed interactive features, such as polls, questions, drawings, etc., all of which can be sent back to the teacher’s device. The teacher can then verbally provide students with feedback or display student work for further discussion. In this way, the call-and-response practice is modified because students are no longer limited to verbal responses; teachers can ask students to draw responses as well and the student responses are submitted to the teacher electronically.

Redefinition – Teachers can redefine the call-and-response practice by using the new Classkick app. With this app teachers create lessons that can include information, pictures, web links, videos, and tasks that are pushed to students’ devices. As students are working through the tasks, the teacher can monitor student work in real-time and provide instant, electronic feedback from the teacher’s device back to the student’s device. Teachers even have the option of allowing students to provide peer-to-peer feedback within the app. In this way, the call-and-response practice is redefined because feedback is no longer only the job of the teacher; students are able to provide feedback to one another.

As the integration of technology continues to be a focus in today’s education environment, the SAMR Model provides teachers and instructional leaders with a lens through which to view the engagement of students with technology and evaluate the ways in which technology tools are being integrated to enhance or transform instruction.

Do you have a favorite technology tool to use with students? How does the tool enhance or transform the task students engage in according to the SAMR Model? Leave a comment and/or join us at NAGC for Speed Geeking on Friday, November 14 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

SAMR Resources:

Ruben R. Puentedura’s Weblog –

Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything –

Janine M. Firmender is an assistant professor in the Department of Teacher Education, Dr. Janine Firmender teaches courses in mathematics education and early childhood (preschool – grade 4) education. She earned her PhD. in Educational Psychology from the University of Connecticut. Dr. Firmender’s research interests focus on gifted education and mathematics education, including gifted and mathematics pedagogy, the instructional experiences that can change teachers’ practice and expectations, and how teachers’ expectations effect their instructional decisions and the learning opportunities they provide for students. Dr. Firmender is a member of and has presented at the annual meetings of the American Educational Research Association, the National Association for Gifted Children, and the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics.

Follow the C&T Network Blog at #NAGCtech and Janine M. Firmender at #jjmmff

About Dallas Price

Dallas Price is a teacher in Anchorage, Alaska.
This entry was posted in #NAGCTechNet, Blended Learning, C&T Network Blog, Firmender, NAGC Convention, New to Technology, SAMR, Speed Geeking and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How to Tech? . . . That is the Question! by Janine M. Firmender (@jjmmff)

  1. Joe Rogan says:

    I loved what you shared.
    Joe Rogan
    Misericordia University (which is proud of you)

  2. hisheets says:

    Thanks, Janine! Great example.

  3. Joe Helbling says:

    very cool. something of a SCAMPER for technology integration. At first I thought, “SAMR….what’s that?…..Schoolwide App Model – Reading framework?”. 🙂
    Looking forward to getting caught up in Baltimore!

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