Redefining Teaching & Learning with Technology

This year the West London Apple RTC is running a Teacher Learning Community focused on "Redefining Teaching and Learning with Technology." The community meets face-to-face once per half term to discuss recent research related to educational technologies.

First Meeting: October 2018

summary by Jonathan White

In mid-October, shortly before breaking up for half-term, our Teacher Learning Community met for the first time. Our goal for the year is to examine the impact of educational technology on the classroom, specifically focusing on how it can be used to "redefine" teaching and learning. Each meeting is preceded by a some assigned pre-reading. If you're not familiar with TLCs, below (at the bottom of the page) you can find the presentation about them that I shared with the UK & Ireland's RTC managers and facilitators at our June conference.

For this meeting, our topic was "Revisiting SAMR," and there were two articles assigned for pre-reading:

During the meeting I also introduced members to the "SAMR Swimming Pool," originated by Carl Hooker on his blog, and refined by Jacelyn Stevens, who removed the divider between the "deep" and "shallow" ends of the pool, and encouraged swimming laps.

What does all of this mean? We discussed how the original SAMR model seems to imply a judgement that S<A<M<R, and we are forever pushed towards R. A look at the readings and the SAMR Swimming Pool ideas, though, allowed us to broaden our thoughts on the topic to consider whether we must really always be pushing ourselves to "Redefinition," or whether there is value in the "earlier" or "shallower" stages of educational technology use.

Supplementary reading/viewing was available for those not yet familiar with SAMR, in the form of Michael Gorman's explanatory article, "The SAMR Model of Technology Integration," two videos by Ruben Puetedura, originator of the model, and one further video on the SAMR Swimming Pool by Jacelyn Stevens, all of which you can view here:

Three key videos on SAMR

Members of the TLC contributed examples of activities at all levels of SAMR to a shared spreadsheet. We also spent some time discussing the "depth vs breadth" approach of hierarchical SAMR vs. Jacelyn Stevens' lap pool. Members of the community are largely keen ed tech users themselves, so were all keen to find ways to "redefine" teaching and learning in our classrooms. However, we acknowledged the idea that this "infinity pool" model, where as soon as we redefine, we've got to push on to re-redefine, may be exhausting and certainly not for everyone. There was general agreement that there is still value in the shallow end of the pool, and that we should continue to seek ways to encourage and support colleagues in who are more augmenting than redefining in their classrooms. We've all formulated our action plans, and now look forward to our next meeting in December, where we will be looking at Apple's "Everyone Can Create" theme and materials and a broader theme of creativity across the curriculum supported by technology.

If you're interested to follow along more closely, the slides from our meeting are below left, and below right are my slides from the Apple RTC conference on Teacher Learning Communities.

RTC "Redefining T&L" TLC Meeting Slides, October '18

Redefining Teaching & Learning with Technology Meeting 1 (for web)

TLCs Presentation to Apple RTC Conference, June '18