For this module of our course, we have been reflecting on how we can help peers co-plan learning activities. We have been working ISTE’s standards for coaches. This module had a few focus standards, but I found myself working mainly with standards 1 and 3. Our question had me thinking of technology integration. With my passion for technology I often find myself looking for ways to digitize most things in my classroom. Sometimes, I have found myself using technology just because I could or wanted to, rather than using it in a meaningful way. As I move into the role of coach where I am helping others improve their practice and use technology in their own teaching, it is important to remember technology should be used to better a lesson and not just to replace paper and pencil.

Levels of Integration

Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/powerful-model-understanding-good-tech-integration

Reflecting on my own use of technology integration, I found myself looking at the SAMR Model. This model is a good place to start when looking at integrating technology into the classroom. There are 4 categories of integration, sorted into “enhancement” or “transformation”. When I think of the SAMR model, I often think of it in relation to levels of thinking. We need all the levels, but our goal is often for the higher levels. When working as a coach, this model is a good place to start to introduce your peers to technology integration. It also allows them to do a self-check to see where they are at in terms of their own practice.

Substitution: this level is as it sounds. You are taking something in the classroom and replacing it with a digital version. This could be digital worksheets, or delivering materials in a different way.            
Examples: digital worksheets, Google Drive, instructional videos

Augmentation: this level enhances the lessons. The content of the lessons does not change, but users can now interact with it. Users would use elements of media such as comments, hyperlinks, or multimedia
Examples: Padlet, Kahoot, digital portfolios

Modification: this level would allow teachers to use a learning management system (LMS). Tasks are redefined. Technology is required for the task to function.
Examples: students use multimedia to create and demonstrate their learning (create a video, use text to speech to write an essay)

Redefinition: learning is fundamentally changed. Things that are not possible in the physical classroom are possible here. At this level students can leverage technology to create.
Examples: virtual field trips, virtual interviews with experts, creating and publishing blogs to the web

Once you have an understanding of the levels of integration, you can start thinking of the tools you may be interested in using. As a coach, this had me thinking what technology tools should I keep in my toolkit that are broad enough to help teachers start integrating technology into their lessons? I know that a lot will depend on what the individual teacher or classroom needs, but being prepared with ideas ahead of time gives a good place to start.

Tools

Padlet is an app that allows users to post digital notes on a digital wall. This can be used with in person school or remotely. Users are able to like other people’s notes and teachers can edit their settings so that they can filter out any inappropriate words. This can also be used across classrooms so that users from different parts of the country or world could comment on the same Padlet. This tool is a good basic or introductory for teachers who are not really comfortable with technology, but want to learn more.

Quizizz is a tool that can be used for formative or summative assessments. It can be done synchronously or asynchronously. There are premade quizzes made from other users, so it can be used with little preplanning. You also have the option of creating your own quiz. Teachers can set it so that students work independently or in a group. There are power-ups and memes that heighten student engagement. This tool is good for teachers who are wanting to up the engagement with their students or are interested in gamifying their assessments. Prep can be as little or as much as they would like, and they get instant feedback on their students’ performance.

Nearpod is a resource that allows teachers to create and use premade lessons and other student engagement materials. Teachers can also assign lessons live or at student paced. It allows for collaboration between students and will create reports for teachers based on student engagement and participation. There are also assessment features that can be used with students. Teachers can also assign virtual field trips that work with VR headsets and other technologies. This is a tool I would recommend to teachers after they feel a little more comfortable as it is a little more complicated to set up. There are so many features and options available that make it a great tool for most lessons.

Concluding Thoughts

Technology integration is here to stay, but it is important to use it for a purpose. Not all lessons will be at a modification or redefinition level and that is okay. As a coach, it will be my job to help educators feel comfortable with the tools available to them. When they feel successful at the basics, they will be more confident to try others and may even teach me how to do something. Do you have any must have tech tools for a classroom? Share below!

Resources

  • Adams, Karri. (2016, December 8). 5 Tech Tools to Integrate Today. Common Sense Education. Retrieved from https://www.commonsense.org/education/articles/5-tech-tools-to-integrate-today
  • Breed, Cathy. (2020, February 25). Technology Use vs. Technology Integration in the Classroom. Kami Blog. Retrieved from https://blog.kamiapp.com/technology-use-vs-technology-integration-in-the-classroom/
  • Edutopia. (2007, November 5). How to Integrate Technology. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-implementation
  • Edutopia. (2007, November 5). What is successful technology integration? Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-description
  • Foltos, Les. Peer Coaching : Unlocking the Power of Collaboration. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin, 2013. Web.
  • Smith, Sarah. (2016, February 26). Integrating Technology In The Classroom: 24 EdTech Tools And 5 Benefits Of Educational Technology Integration. eLearning Industry. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/integrating-technology-in-the-classroom-24-edtech-tools-5-benefits-educational-technology-integration
  • Terada, Youki. (2020, May 4). A Powerful Model for Understanding Good Tech Integration. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/article/powerful-model-understanding-good-tech-integration

2 thoughts on “Coaching & Technology Integration

  1. SAMR can be a useful tool. Do you ever find teachers arguing that SAMR is just one more way of evaluating and worse judging them? If so, how do you respond? In your collaborations with your peers how often does your work have to focus on moving teachers from traitional pegagogy to adopting some new instructional strategies? Your efforts to define one or two resources for each of the stages in SAMR must be something teachers really appreciate. This must have been true before Covid and is even more important today!!

  2. Rachel,

    I really liked how you defined the levels of technology integration using the SAMR model. Reading your explanation of SAMR and your experience using it was very insightful. I also appreciated how you then highlighted technology tools to support these integration levels. It was really interesting to hear you describe tools that I am familiar with, but in ways I hadn’t thought about connecting them to SAMR. Thanks for sharing!

    – Cory

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