Applying the SAMR Model


EDUC 631


Why Integrating Technology at a High Level is Important

Technology has the potential to provide immeasurable benefits in the world of education. Tech provides new pathways for students with all types of disabilities, whether they are physical, emotional, or mental disabilities (Moore & Diehl, 2018). It helps teachers work more efficiently by providing automation to many tasks that once added extra hours to their day, such as grading, record keeping, developing learning activities, and delivering lessons. The question then becomes, how to make the integration of technology into the classroom into a meaningful addition. Dr. Peunterdura developed the SAMR Model to provide “more meaningful uses of technology in teaching and move away from simply using ‘tech for tech’s sake’” (Walsh, 2015).

The first two levels of the SAMR Model, Substitution and Augmentation are considered merely “enhancing” lessons, by providing additional tools to make tasks simpler and to make slight improvements (Walsh, 2017). The second two levels, Modification and Redefinition provide a means to “transform” then entire learning process (Walsh, 2017). When teachers plan lessons in which technology modify or redefine the learning, then they are providing amazing opportunities for students to creatively express their understanding of the content in new ways. They are hitting many higher-order skills such as analysis and application (Walsh, 2015). These higher-order skill are critical components of the Standards (Common Core Learning Standards, 2021).

The key to redefinition is that teachers plan activities that “were previously inconceivable without the use of technology” (Fastiggi, 2014). These activities provide students with the opportunities to create their own product to demonstrate their understanding of the material or to collaborate with others from around the world. In the modern world, where devices are redefining the way that people understand their world, integrating technology at the highest level is more important than ever before. Students must be prepared to meet the challenges of our technology-enhanced society and develop skills that will allow them to successfully compete in today’s global job market. Teachers must be prepared to ensure that they “use technology to expose students to the outside world” (Fastiggi, 2014). When teachers provide opportunities for students to transform their learning, then they are preparing students to survive and thrive in the modern world.

Original Activity

One of the best strategies to improve reading skills, is to practice reading. Students can simply read books, of any genre, based on their current reading level. Through the use of the Accelerated Reading program, students can take comprehension quizzes on the books they have read (Renaissance Learning, 2021). Students can also answer questions presented by the teacher, either orally or written, by identifying main points, characters, and events from the book. They can discuss the things that they might have liked, learned, or disliked about the book.

Redefinition Stage

When looking at the SAMR Model, the simple activity of reading a book and answering questions could be redefined as a video book report, that could be shared with the class, and beyond the classroom to the student’s family and friends. Once students have read the book, they can then use a web-based video program, such as Screencastify, to record themselves in a three-part video report (Screencastify, 2021). In the recording, students would be asked to provide a verbal introduction to the book, including title, author, the main theme, characters, and events. Next, the video would include the student reading the book on camera. For a larger novel or text, the student would just choose a single chapter to read, but for a shorter picture book, the student would read the whole book, while presenting any pictures to the camera.

In the final segment of the video, the student would critique the book by providing information about what was their favorite or least favorite part and explaining why they feel that way about it. Students would also talk about what they think the character learned in the story and how that lesson might be applied to the student’s own life. They would discuss what they think might happen next in the character’s life and how well the character learned the lesson he or she was taught in the story. Once this video has been completed, students would be asked to post it on their Google Classroom discussion board for their classmates to see (Google, 2021). At this point, students would collaborate with each other on different ways to edit the video, or provide suggestions on the report itself. Students could edit the videos as needed based on the collaboration with classmates. Then, they would also post the video to Vimeo, which would allow students to expand their viewership to their family and friends, while also protecting the student’s privacy (Vimeo, 2021).

The new video book report would fit into the Redefinition category of integrating technology, because it is allowing the student to present their knowledge in a new way that was previously not possible (Fastiggi, 2014). Videography is right in the student’s fingertips through the use of cell phones, tablets, or laptop computers. Through the process of creating the video, they are not only reading and proving their understanding of the text, they are also learning how to present themselves in front of an audience and how to post projects to make them available to their audience. They are also learning how to record, edit, and produce a short video clip using Screencastify, how to collaborate with coworkers and understand and apply feedback from collaborators to improve their product. They are learning how to post videos on Google Classroom and Vimeo (Google, 2021; Vimeo, 2021). The book report, that was once a simple oral or written report with some comprehension questions has been redefined into a multimedia presentation that can be shared outside the school environment.




Common Core State Standards Initiative, (2021). Common Core State Standards.

Fastiggi, W. (2014). The SAMR model. Technology for Learners.

Google. (2020). Google Classroom [Computer software]. Google for Education.

Moore, M.G., & Diehl, W.C. (Eds.). (2018). Handbook of Distance Education (4th ed.). Routledge.

Renaissance Learning, Inc. (2021). Accelerated Reading [Computer software]. Renaissance Learning.

Screencastify. (2021). Screencastify [Computer software]. Screencastify., Inc. (2021). Vimeo [Computer software].

Walsh, J. (2017). Models of technology integration TPACK and SAMR. TLN Journal, 24(2), 28–32.

Walsh, K. (2015, April 20). Eight examples of transforming lessons through the SAMR cycle. Emerging Ed Tech.


EDUC 631

Created by:  Casey Jo Burrus © 2021
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updated: October 3, 2021

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