The SAMR Model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) was designed to help educators integrate technology into teaching and learning. Optimally, we should be striving for Modification and Redefinition, the upper extremes of the SAMR Model. However, many teachers who are still acclimating to the many new tools being presented to them end up using the SMART Board merely as a Substitute whiteboard.
Here are three easy examples of how we can use the SMART Board to Augment the function of the whiteboard with great benefits — preserving students’ work as “almost right” and improving it rather than labeling it as wrong and useless and replacing it.
Johnny circled A instead of B. His circle is in the wrong place. On the SMART Board we can move it.
Johnny circled A instead of ABC. He got part of the answer right, but didn’t include enough information. His circle is too small. On the SMART Board we can resize it.
Johnny wrote BA instead of AB. His answer is in the wrong order. On the SMART Board, we can rearrange his work. The pen strokes that make up what Johnny wrote are automatically grouped. They can be ungrouped and reordered and now Johnny’s work is right.
In each of these examples, instead of labeling Johnny’s work as “wrong” and erasing it and hurting Johnny’s self-esteem, Johnny’s work can still be useful when modified on the SMART Board.
More importantly, in each of these examples the change from wrong to right is an observable process rather than a disjointed “erase and replace”, so students are more likely to follow the change as well as the explanation for it.
There are many utilities and applications for the SMART Board that truly redefine learning in the classroom, but by thinking about and applying these simple examples, we can make the SMART Board much more than a glorified white board.