I’ve been a little uninspired lately. I’ve been trying to figure out what my Technology Coach position actually looks like (it’s a brand new position this year). We’ve spent most of this year going with the flow of our “1:1” iPad program (it’s quite far from 1:1 and we’ve had several stumbling blocks). Most of the PD we’ve offered at our school has been app specific. Teachers want to know how to incorporate the iPad into their lessons and the questions usually ends up being “What’s the best app for xyz?” or “What can I do with this new app?” This kind of technology integration has never been my style…but I’ve gotten sucked in and am now dealing with the consequences. It seems that much of our staff see integrating technology as “How can I use the iPad?” and view it as an extra, something special. I don’t blame them as (it seems that) this is how the majority of educators worldwide view technology.

Last week I’d had enough and decided we needed to re-focus on how we are integrating technology. I wanted to (finally) introduce SAMR. I had a great brainstorming session with Christina, read some great blog posts (more on that later) and was inspired…ready to get moving, shaking and changing!

The SAMR PD plan (just an idea right now)…

1. Share this article with all staff and ask them to read it prior to coming to PD.
2. Spend 20 minutes introducing SAMR in the elementary and high school divisional meetings and the middle school grade-level meetings. (Idea: In groups ask them to come up with everything they know about SAMR – prior knowledge, info from NASSP article, Google searches, etc. Come together and share out about it. Would love to use Jeff‘s circular SAMR visual. Give them division specific examples of what SAMR looks like in the classroom, making sure they align with the IB philosophy. In closing, ask teachers to brainstorm how they have/could integrate(d) technology at the SUBSTITUTION level for our next meeting.)
3. Spend time in the MS/HS department meetings and the ES grade level meetings (small group). Ask teachers to share how they have integrated technology at the substitution level. Lead a brainstorm/workshop session for how they could start transforming their lessons.
4. Start weekly (bi-weekly?) PD sessions for all staff focusing on technology integration through the lens of SAMR. Example: A workshop on what formative assessment looks like at the 4 SAMR stages. What might that then look like using an iPad? A laptop? Some other session topic ideas: summative assessment, projects, etc. The goal would be to make the curriculum the focus, NOT the technology.

We’ve gotten the okay to introduce SAMR to the middle and elementary schools next week. The rest is still a work in progress. This school year has been a work in progress. I’m excited to move forward and see some transformation of the education at our school.

I would love any ideas for my above plan. Have you introduced SAMR to your staff? Have you ever been in a PD workshop about SAMR? How can I best get my staff to move away from ‘there’s an app for that’ to redefining their lessons?