Substitution • Augmentation • Modification • Redefinition
The SAMR model for technology integration allows teachers to invest technology into their classrooms in a structured way, by introducing basic building blocks of accessibility and scaling up to redefining the method in which assignments are taught. At each level, the infusion of technology resources increases and differentiates strategies for more robust and interactive outcomes that help to ingrain lessons into the deeper consciousness of students learning.
Restructuring the classroom environment to emulate proven accessibility found in gaming environments. Gamification isn’t about playing games in classrooms, but actually restructuring the classroom to become more game-like. There is a heavy investment from children into the mechanics and details of game systems, and that is due to their holistic nature of tapping into desires of playstyle. It takes concepts such as progression and elimination and builds narratives that engross students into the educational process. Additionally, it focuses more on creating positive growth perception rather than the standard model found in percentile grading which always indicates a less than whole mentality.
Less common of a concept in education, I believe the actual act of introducing roleplay into the educational structure helps tremendously to create a sense of ownership and reward while instilling character education infused into the subject matter. Expending time towards roleplaying games in the classroom is not wasted. Teambuilding, public speaking, strategy, problem-solving, narrative building, mathematics, and flexibility are all deep set tactile characteristics of roleplaying games, and the introduction of it as an endcap to Gamification and SAMR use really creates a full balanced execution that matches known incentive for learning, to a structured system of deployment.
Access to technology is important. In diversified environments the Technology GAP goes hand in hand with the Income Gap. Schools have a means of reducing that GAP through inclusion of programs that afford low cost solutions to ensure access to technology both in school and at home. Examples of such applications include:
- Investment in communication with Municipal Libraries
- Coordinating Parent Organization donations
- Federal Grants such as ConnectEd
- 1 to 1 programs using low-cost technology
- Communication with local businesses for safe space wifi access
- Mobile Hotspot and Tablet lease and purchase programs
Technology much like any engine requires fuel. Educators handed technology without consideration towards providing them a means for learning on that device are being shortchanged. Providing professional development can be done locally through shared support and fellow teachers, or through coursework. However educating staff members on the proper use and implementation saves technician overhead, and increases accessibility for both staff and students.