Leadership magazine March/April 2019 V48 No. 4 - Page 28

Matching technology with teachers to improve and accelerate learning Unleashing the benefits of teaching and learning using technology requires growth of technology availability in the classroom and growth in how those technologies are used. How is learning measured? Where does learning occur? What are the tools of learning? These are profound ques- tions that permeate tacitly in teachers’ heads throughout the day. The former questions are philosophical. However, the later ques- tion is the one that can be explicitly mea- sured and observed in schools. Teachers have the ability in the 21st century to adjust, modify, and incorporate digital tools that will encourage and manipulate students’ learning environments. Through the use of the digital tools technology provides, teach- ers can incorporate high leverage practices that can result in learning for their students that can benefit them for a lifetime. Connecting technology adop- tion to novel thinking and creative approaches: The SAMR Model Along with the advances in technology, our understanding of learning using tech- nology should also expand. The synchronic- ity of technology and educator development can create high leverage practices that im- prove learning. There is a model for describ- ing how technology integration with educa- tion can produce high leverage results. It can be found in the Substitution, Augmenta- tion, Modification Redefinition Model. The SAMR model, developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, offers a method of see- 28 Leadership ing how technology might impact teaching and learning. The SAMR model illustrates a progression of pedagogical practices that adopters of educational technology can use as a guide to monitor progress in teaching and learning with technology. The levels of student engagement and interactions with technology progresses through the SAMR model and can generate authentic learn- ing. The tools of technology already exist; it is the ways to implement and access those tools that require novel thinking and cre- ative approaches. Classroom technology can become interwoven with effective teaching and learning practices to create the high le- verage practices that are a requirement for 21st century learning. Using technology effectively This 21st century has spawned many in- novations in learning and teaching tools. There are more affordable and capable tablets and laptops, Learning Management Systems and software apps for smart phones to name a few. The economics of mass production has contributed to the ability for schools to make technology readily available to students and teachers. In June 1977, about 40 plus years ago, the classic Apple II desktop computer By Thomas Tan, Ed.D., Joseph Calmer, Ed.D. and Ricardo Recinos