All Articles Education Edtech Tech Tip: 3 keys to remember about SAMR

Tech Tip: 3 keys to remember about SAMR

Integrating technology into instruction using the SAMR model is a marathon, not a sprint says educator Katie Chirhart. Here she offers ways to help ease teachers through the process.

3 min read




The SAMR model was developed by Ruben Puentedura as a way to assess how well teachers are integrating technology into their instruction. The four components are Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, and Redefinition.

Some teachers remain apprehensive about bringing technology into their classrooms. How can we encourage teachers to apply this model? Here are a few ideas.

  1. Let them work the process. Too often, teachers at the lower stages are criticized for not doing enough to incorporate technology into their classrooms. This is hardly fair. How can we expect teachers who rarely use technology to suddenly begin at the top of this teaching model? Administrators and teachers must remember that Substitution, Augmentation and Modification must be mastered before Redefinition can occur.  We should not expect a teacher who has little experience using technology as a teaching tool to plan a lesson where technology “redefines” the child’s educational experience if he or she has not mastered these important first steps.
  2. Understand that it’s a marathon. SAMR is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a long, arduous trek with a starting line and finish line. And it requires time and preparation. A person who has never run a marathon does not say, “I’m going to run a marathon next week,” and then cross the finish line the following week. Instead, he or she makes a commitment and then begins training, often a year or two in advance of the actual event. Give teachers time and training to realize the benefits.
  3. Celebrate the successes. Applaud every step in your teachers’ SAMR journeys. Every step, every mile, every 5K and every half marathon deserves praise. Make sure they know you’re behind them.

Ultimately teachers want what is best for their students. The SAMR marathon is tough, but crossing the finish line is well worth the effort.

Katie Chirhart is a National Board Certified Teacher and has been teaching for sixteen years. Recently, she recently finished her Campus Technology Certification, has been named a “20 to Watch” Leader in Educational Technology by the NSBA, and Elementary Teacher of the Year by LACUE. Chirhart teaches in an elementary iPad Lab. She enjoys working with teachers far and wide, sharing the wonders of technology through her frequent blog posts and by leading professional development sessions. Her current job is a dream come true. Follow her on Twitter.


Tech Tips is a content collaboration between SmartBrief Education and GreyED Solutions. Have a tech tip to share? Contact us at [email protected]


Like this article? Sign up for SmartBrief on EdTech to get news like this in your inbox, or check out all of SmartBrief’s education newsletters, covering career and technical education, educational leadership, math education and more.