The SAMR Model

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SAMR Model by Sylvia Duckworth

S.A.M.R. stands for SUBSTITION, AUGMENTATION, MODIFICATION and REDEFINITION AND is a model that shows the stages of integration of technology in teaching and learning.  It links how technology is used in the classroom with the desired outcomes for student learning.  It is an effective tool for teachers to transform learning using current technology.

The first two phases, Substitution and Augmentation, are an enhancement of teaching and learning through technology.


In this first phase of integrating technology into the classroom, the technology is used as a direct substitute for traditional teaching and learning methods.  This includes tasks like accessing textbooks in an ebook version, rather than an actual book; taking notes or writing up paragraphs and essays; and researching information.

Technology as substitution is always going to be part of the learning process and is a necessary first step towards transforming student learning.


As a second phase, augmentation is still about directly substituting technology for traditional tasks, but there is some functional improvement, allowing tasks to be completed more efficiently.  Applications that replace traditional question-and-answer testing allow for instant collation and sharing of information, which in turn enables quick formative assessment and feedback.  Video technology opens up the possibilities of students recording responses and reflections, or sharing their understanding.  Teachers can record explained concepts and make these available to students before or after lessons, as appropriate.

The second two phases, Modification and Redefinition, are where the transformation of traditional teaching and learning in the classroom occur.


In this phase there is a significant redesign of tasks, which is the first step in truly transforming how students learn and interact.  Students can collaborate with each other online, the scope for peer editing and feedback (from peers and teachers) is broadly accessible; they can use curatorial tools (like Pinterest) to share valid and authentic resources;  they can interact with experts in the outside world; and they can share their research and work with peers or with the rest of the world.


This culminating phase of technology integration allows for the creation of tasks with ICT that were previously inconceivable using traditional teaching methods.  Here the approach is more student-centered and student-driven.  Students can explore the creation of documentaries to share what they know, or visual narratives through the use of camera and image editing software; they can explore algebra and other concepts through programming or robotics; they can explore blogs as a way to critically reflect or write for an audience; they can create websites with specific design briefs or for the purpose of educating others; they can talk with or conduct interviews in a different language with students in another country through Skype or Google hangouts.

The tasks related to redefinition simply wouldn’t be possible without technology.


S.A.M.R. (2015). Retrieved 29 October 2015, from Christian Brothers' High School Lewisham

SAMR model - Bing images. (n.d.). Retrieved 29 October 2015

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