The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition Model offers a method of seeing how technology might impact teaching and learning. It also shows a progression that adopters of educational technology often follow as they progress through teaching and learning with technology.
While one might argue over whether an activity can be defined as one level or another, the important concept to grasp here is the level of student engagement. One might well measure progression along these levels by looking at who is asking the important questions. As one moves along the continuum, computer technology becomes more important in the classroom but at the same time becomes more invisibly woven into the demands of good teaching and learning.
Technology is used to perform the same task as was done before the use of computers.
No functional change in teaching and learning. There may well be times when this the appropriate level of work as there is no real gain to be had from computer technology. One needs to decide computer use based on any other possible benefits. This area tends to be teacher centric where the instructor is guiding all aspects of a lesson.
Technology offers an effective tool to perform common tasks.
There is some functional benefit here in that paper is being saved, students and teacher can receive almost immediate feedback on student level of understanding of material. This level starts to move along the teacher / student centric continuum. The impact of immediate feedback is that students may begin to become more engaged in learning.
This is the first step over the line between enhancing the traditional goings-on of the classroom and transforming the classroom. Common classroom tasks are being accomplished through the use of computer technology.
There is significant functional change in the classroom. While all students are learning similar writing skills, the reality of an authentic audience gives each student has a personal stake in the quality of the work. Computer technology is necessary for this classroom to function allowing peer and teacher feedback, easy rewriting, and audio recording. Questions about writing skills increasingly come from the students themselves.
Technology allows for new tasks that were previously inconceivable.
At this level, common classroom tasks and computer technology exist not as ends but as supports for student centered learning. Students learn content and skills in support of important concepts as they pursue the challenge of creating a professional quality video. Collaboration becomes necessary and technology allows such communications to occur. Questions and discussion are increasingly student generated.
What skills are developing in our students?
+ Learners develop the skills to state a problem clearly in their minds and then ask the questions that will help them solve it.
+ Knowing how to ask good questions enhances comprehension, and allows students to focus on making connections among ideas. Communication and Collaboration Skills
+ Learners use a range of digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.
+ Respect for the ideas and learning styles of others is necessary for effective communication and collaboration.
Creative Thinking Skills
+ Creative thinking is the creation or generation of ideas.
+ Learners demonstrate creative thinking, construction of knowledge, and development of innovative products and processes.
+ Prediction, analogies, elaboration and brainstorming are useful strategies for teaching creative and critical thinking skills to students.
+ Learners reflect on the practices that they are engaged in.
+ Effective reflection allows learners to identify areas for improvement in their knowledge or skills, and encourages further exploration and development of deep knowledge.
+ Reflection assists the learner to evaluate successful and unsuccessful strategies.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
+ Learners use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.
+ Critical thinking and problem solving activities require planning and scaffolding.
+ Learners need to be aware that they are thinking (meta-cognition) and that different thinking strategies are required for different problems.
Multimodal Literacy Skills
+ Learning involves the use of both print based and digital texts and involves learners listening, reading, viewing, talking and interacting with texts and with others.
+ When developing multimodal literacy skills learners have opportunities to read, view, respond to, design and produce texts in both print and digital forms.