SAMR: Simple Start to #EdTech

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June 6, 2017 by Dr. Robbie Barber

SAMR tweet

Image created by Jonathan Brubaker (@mia_sarx)

Recently, in a Twitter convo, I use the example picture from Kathy Schrock’s website for SAMR.  Lots of people saw and retweeted or liked or such.  (My favorite was the spammer who doesn’t like Pumpkin Spice, but then I have a weird sense of humor.) But it’s important to understand a few things.

First, SAMR is not as well-researched as TPACK (Technological, Pedagogical and Content Knowledge).  TPACK has been thoroughly researched and vetted. CommonSense Media has created a short video to explain TPACK which involves  six areas that are a mix of independent and dependent knowledge domains of a teacher.  Likewise, Bloom’s Taxonomy has been around since 1956.  Bloom’s Taxonomy has six major categories that build upon each other.

Second, SAMR has been used in some research.  Most recently, studies evaluating iPads in classrooms have used the SAMR model to identify how the devices were being employed (Aiyegbayo, 2015).  Farrell and Rushby (2016) looked at how to do assessments when technology is involved.  Another study used TPACK to provide a framework for teachers in the study but used the levels of SAMR “to represent the interconnection of technology, pedagogy, and content” (Cavanaugh, Hargis, Kamali & Soto, 2013, p. 271).

Last, the reason the post was so well-liked had to do with simplicity of the imagery.  If I were introducing teachers to a one-to-one environment, the SAMR model is not complex enough to be effective.  But, if I am trying to get one teacher to employ one piece of #edtech in their classroom, this may be the best start.  You have to start somewhere and img_0239I’m here to help my teachers.


Aiyegbayo, O. (2015). How and why academics do and do not use i Pads for academic teaching?. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 46(6), 1324-1332.

Cavanaugh, C., Hargis, J., Kamali, T., & Soto, M. (2013) “Substitution to augmentation: faculty adoption of iPad mobile learning in higher education”,Interactive Technology and Smart Education, 10 (4), pp.270-284.

Farrell, T., & Rushby, N. (2016). Assessment and learning technologies: An overview. British Journal Of Educational Technology, 47(1), 106-120. doi:10.1111/bjet.12348


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