I was fortunate enough to attend a GREAT conference (21CL EduLAN) in my own backyard (it was hosted at my school) back in October. What made it so great, at least for me, was the the Pre-Conference. There was a small number of us in attendance and Kim (Cofino, duh!) was great to cater her knowledge to meet the needs of the group. She talked to us a bit about SAMR and TPACK and then had us go through a unit, with an activity/project in mind, and go through each level of SAMR with the specific activity in mind. We created a specific task for substitution, then augmentation, onto modification, and finally ended with redefinition.

I remember going into this activity thinking “Oh no. This is going to be quite the challenge to tackle.” Thankfully, I was wrong. Kim, in her gentle encouraging ways, set-up the activity so that everyone had the support they needed to be successful. I’m also the queen of self-doubt and always thought that any technology I incorporated into my lessons never went past substitution or augmentation. Rather, instead what was happening was that I didn’t fully understand everything that SAMR entails. After going through Kim’s exercise, I slowly started to realize that I used technology as a modification or to redefine a lesson way more than I thought. Is there room for improvement? Oh, for sure, without a doubt! It’s just nice to know that I’m on the right track.

It was also comforting to hear that our lessons don’t necessarily have to always hit redefinition of SAMR, but to instead to always modify, change, and challenge ourselves with the more technology that we integrate. Challenge accepted!

I loved the Edutopia article! The reading gave me further validation that I’m on the right track. I am not a master, by any means– rather, I’m still learning, sometimes right along with my students. Being in a support position, I’ve found that it’s actually a challenge to create authentic learning tasks using technology for the students that I work it. I never know what/who I’m going to be that day. I may be pulled to sub for another class, or my session with a student gets canceled because of other events. I started creating videos/screencasts for students to refer to on day our sessions are canceled. The challenge with that was students actually using the videos in their own homeroom class. I checked in with students, electronically and in person. I asked students to create their own screencasts to show me what they were learning and areas they felt they needed extra support on, especially in writing. This led to great student-driven conferring times during Writer’s Workshop! This is another great example of ways students can use apps to screencasts– a huge reason why I’m excited to get back into the classroom next year. I want to HEAR and SEE students thoughts and learning processes!