Models of technology integration and potential downfalls #educ5105
We’ve spent some time looking at a couple different frameworks supporting the implementation of technology into education in #educ5105. In my mind, each framework has merit, but they are not all encompassing. Change is personal and what drives it and what is needed to support it will be different for each person. I do believe that having an understanding of a variety of frameworks is helpful to help understand reluctance to change and to help plan for situations in which you are expecting people to change. For example, in professional development. However, I do think it is naive and hazardous to only focus on one model with the assumption it will provide all the answers.
As an example, I could use the TPaCK model to help explain what I needed as a teacher to change my grade 10 science biology unit into a case study learning activity. I certainly required a knowledge of the content. I needed to have an understanding of the human body and cell specialization in order to create appropriate case studies and to anticipate the pathways of learning that students would take. I also needed a strong understanding of the possible technologies students may use to support this. What tools could they use to collaborate on their research? What tools to create digital archives of their learning to share with classmates? Lastly, I needed a strong knowledge of pedagogy to create the framework of learning to ensure all learners were engaged, met at their current level of understanding and able to move forward.
What the framework is missing however, is WHY did I change? What motivated me to use the technology to change how I addressed the unit? Why did I not choose to do a lesson about cell specialization? Just because I have the knowledge in these three areas does not mean that I will always implement the technology. On the flip side, as long as the personal and motivation aspect is being looked at I most certainly do need to have those three areas of knowledge to make it happen.
The SAMR model would classify how I used that technology to change the teaching and learning in my classroom. I fully agree with the premise that we need to use technology as a catalyst for change in education. These tools can be transformative instead of simply allowing us to continue to teach the same way with technology infused. For example, the sheer act of using a SMART Board or interactive white board, does not transform my teaching. If the board is still at the front of the room and the teacher is the one with their hands on it, the learning activity is still the same from the students point of view. However, the same tool could be used transormatively. I have seen SMART Boards being used to change how learning happens in a classroom.
The framework of SAMR rings true with me on many levels, however, I worry about those times any framework or model is taken too far. It is necessary for us to be cognizant of the differences on how technology is used. When we start thinking that every situation will fit neatly into this little graphic, there is a problem. And, yet again, the question of WHY needs to be addressed. Why do I need to transform my classroom? What proof is there that learning will improve if I transform?
Take a look at this poster created to classify a variety of iPad apps into the levels of the SAMR model. This is incredibly problematic for me. It is not the tool that transforms the learning, but how it is used. For example, iMovie could be used by the teacher to create a video version of the lesson and played for students in class. Is that anywhere near as transformative as students creating video representations of their own knowledge? When models or frameworks are taken as gospel instead of as intended (a framework) I begin to worry.