6th blog post: Blog post as Learner: The SAMR Model and answers to questions from Week 6

SAMR model

The SAMR Model by Dr Puentedura (common sense media, n.d.)

Like Nikki’s example, my example of SAMR will involve research, but specifically on student use of reference management software. SAMR was created by Dr. Puentedura as a way for teachers to understand how they used technology in classrooms. (A video explaining the above model is found here.) It is a way for teachers to gain whether technology enhances learning (through substitution or augmentation) or transforms learning (through modification and redefinition) to encourage creative and evaluative thinking in students (common sense media, n.d.). Examples of SAMR  in action are provided by Dr Puentedura in the video below.


How to apply the SAMR model with Ruben Puentedura (Common Sense Education, 2016)

My own example follows below:

The situation: When I entered university information gathering occurred through handwritten notes or through photocopy machines and highlighter pens. Notes and journal articles were organised in ring binders according to theme.

S – Substitution now occurs by downloading the pdfs onto my computer, and use of EndNote’s highlighting tool, its research notes field (to remind me of of pertinent points) and folders called “Sets” to allow me to thematically organise my pdfs.

A – In Augmentation, Puentadura states that “technology acts as a direct tool substitute, with functional improvement” (common sense media, n.d.). EndNote augments my note taking skills by allowing me to make annotatations in the research notes field, to find key words contained in pdfs in the EndNote Library and also, to search for each instance of a word within a pdf.

M – With Modification, the “technology allows for significant task redesign” (common sense media, n.d.). In this instance EndNote users are able to share their libraries, online and on networked computing sites.

R – With Redefinition – technology allows for “the creation of entirely new tasks that were previously inconceivable” (common sense media, n.d.). This occurs in the research space with new 2.0 Data Management technologies, for example Mendeley. This software like EndNote allows for reference management and citations. However, now references can be suggested to you and tagged. Further, it doubles as a researcher social network site. It helps find researchers with common interests, allows them to follow each other and collaborate on projects through public or private groups (Mendeley, 2014).


What would be the role of the educator? How would we teach?

Mellow, Scott and Woolis (2010) state that higher education will become increasing globalised, technology will result in teachers being commonly found outside of universities, and that increasingly businesses will dictate the way education is provided. Thus as Downs and Siemans suggest, it becomes important for educators to instil in students an understanding of where information resides and to encourage making connections by establishing Personal Knowledge Networks (Chatti, 2012).

In doing this, we would teach students digital literacy concepts, thus enabling them to access, critically evaluate information, create and then pass on new learning through a process of remixing and building upon older knowledge (Visser, 2012). As teachers, this would be accomplished by scaffolding students’ computer and internet literacies and their information literacies. In an era of NGL, teachers would incorporate use of computers, the internet and databases in daily practice and assessment to encourage students to identify nodes of information and make connections by accessing and evaluating them for their usefulness, and then by retrieving it. Of course storing information and finalling create and share new information is the end goal (Mellow et al., 2010).

What would be the role of the learner?

In response to teaching, the role of the learner is to become acquainted with the literacies offered, understand where nodes of information are located and reuse, create and share new information. However, more globally, Prior et al, (2015) states the role of the learner is to become self-efficient and in turn an independent and self-directed learner – he however, does mention that success in learning concepts depends upon the student’s enjoyment of the content taught. This wouId have impact what Nikki mentioned in her blog, that ultimately a student’s real success would be measured by what he/she “learns and uses beyond a course” and that this is “determined by the user him/herself”

How would wayfinding, self-directedness occur?

Nikki suggests the learner should be self-directed in exploring ideas, learning initiatives and making connections. However, I suggest self directness depends on the abilities of the student. This in turn is affected by their perceptions of their self-efficacy, which is affected by positive attitudes toward the course, and their ability to handle the technology involved (Mellow et al., 2010). I’ve come to realise I’m struggling with this course, not only because I wanted more scaffolding with technology throughout the whole program, but because I’m still trying to figure out the difference between a student and learner. Additionally, two weeks ago, I was still not sold on the usefulness of NGL for any student other than post graduates and working staff. Thus, if it wasn’t for Chris, I really wouldn’t have looked deeper and realised that the component parts of digital literacy taught across all universities are in fact the basics of NGL. Thus as I reluctantly admit to currently undergoing a transformational change (by accepting that NGL could provide tools to deal with immense changes yet to come) it is only because of Chris, and his ability to provide guidance and insight, that I am (still) slowly coming to the conclusion that NGL is something other than an utter waste of time. To round this off, using connectivist jargon, the course by utilising this blog, its readings (knowledge) and its teacher as an aggregation point (as defined by Downes, p. 2011) assists students who need structure. Indeed even more able students need this start point in order to have their initial thoughts directed into something more meaningful to them.

How would curriculum be created? Shared?

(Mellow et al., 2010, p. 314) suggest that the diffusion of knowledge outside of universities will mean that curricula will be “emergent and socially derived by dialogue among faculty, students and experts in the field”. Further, they suggest that NGOs that are closely associated with set fields such as education and philanthropy will have more input in setting educational standards (Mellow et al., 2010, p. 311)

How would research be conducted?

I think research would be conducted in an atmosphere of more collaboration. Siemens (2005) focus on information nodes and the requirement of people to make connections is exactly how researchers, especially early career researchers, try for more successful grant applications – early career researchers commonly collaborate with “research giants” to get grants and improve their visibility. Further, networks for collaboration and learning are now being seen through work-related networking sites like Linked-In, ResearchGate, Adacademia.edu. They are also being seen through second generation reference management software like Mendeley, which also have social networking sites within them.

What would be the role of the university in society?

The role of universities in networked global societies I feel is still developing. Mellow et al. (2010) suggest the dispersion of knowledge between companies and universities will result in cloud based colleges. Indeed, this opinion appears to be supported by Siemens (2008, p. 12) as he believes universities will extend “teaching and learning to the network, rather than retaining it under a classroom model”. However, this thinking may be counteracted by for-profit universities who offer cut price courses (which are still profitable to investors) which are content only and do not extend current knowledge boundaries through research and hence networks (Mellow et al., 2010).

What would education “look like”? How would we mark? Accredit?

Based on the information thus far, education would still involve a transfer of content knowledge to students, plus scaffolding of that knowledge through a reliance on digital literacies. It would involve activities with meaningful real world applications which could rely on technology that assists students to experience new situations (for example with augmented realities), technologies that assist students to access data, or to record and analyse data for problem solving activities (for example with the River City and EcoMobile curriculum projects, (Voogt, Erstad, Dede, & Mishra, 2013).

As teachers we may mark students on their ability to demonstrate 21st century competencies. This includes subject knowledge plus the ability to collaborate, create, communicate, employ digital literacy skills, problem solve, critically think and be creative (Voogt et al., 2013, p. 404). Though it is directed at teachers in primary and high schools, the “Assessment and Teaching of 21st Century Skills” initiative suggests breaking assessment into component parts such as ICT vs information literacies (Voogt et al., 2013, p. 405). Still others suggest testing the competencies mentioned above in the environment that the learning is situation in, for example virtual environments (Voogt et al., 2013, p. 408)

Accreditation in a NGL would foreseeably occur through NGOs, philanthropic organisations and universities determining what standards need to be in place for students to successfully operate outside of institutions of learning (Mellow et al., 2010; Siemens, 2008)

Weekly questions posted to USQ Forum

The key this week is to explore the cultural social and historical context you are in and come from and aspire to?

What are the cultural differences between your immediate networks and what are the cultures that sit within your networks?

As you read this (i.e. Siemen’s 2008) consider how the assumptions, changes, models and future possibilities apply (or don’t) to your teaching context? What resonates? What confronts? What seems interesting? What might participatory pedagogies look like in your context? 

A combined answer:

I come from a science background, which has a culture of institutional expertise; the theories behind it are centuries old e.g. Darwin’s theory of evolution; theories and findings are backed by countless experiments and rely on expensive machines. The theory and information provided by these machines require discipline specific knowledge and analytical capabilities. The current culture I find myself in is Library Science. Historically and culturally, the field has supported Empirical Learning and strives to build on a culture of evidence based practice. So reading about Siemen’s (2008) Knowledge Fluidity and knowledge being created by “amateur knowledge producers” is confronting. We experience this daily by teaching students how to access credible resources.

Something interesting in Siemen’s (2008) article is the concept of competition. I have no problems with the concepts of Open Universities and Corporate Universities. The former allows better access to accredited universities for students who are disadvantaged for various reasons like distance or finances (Mellow et al., 2010); the latter sparks interest as they really aren’t accredited but they further the functioning of the parent company. Apple and Disney Universities for example offer courses that assist people to fulfil specific roles within them. As such though, perhaps they ought to be called colleges as most aren’t accredited. In fact my general opinion is that any university other than a traditional university (i.e. defined as one that expands current boundaries of knowledge through research) ought to be called a college.

Culturally, I would like to see myself being part of an extended network of  professionals with enough practical knowledge behind them to be considered an expert in their field… I also see myself in a network supported by technological conduits, especially the limitless dimensions of learning mentioned by Siemen (2008) i.e. the “long term trends influencing information creation, interaction and technological change” and … “c) the  multi-faceted dimension-less nature of learning”.  As a result, I see networks being facilitated by holograms provided through Microsoft and, by traditional email, web conferencing like Zoom. I think the nature of the systematic change afforded by Hololens technology will mean that the internet of things will finally make a transformational entry into our homes and become common place. Thus speaking to cousins or liaising with people in different countries will occur not only in real time, but in “real space”, with physical images of their bodies in front of us. Thus as JISC mentioned, changed spaces will result in changed practice.


Chatti, M. A. (2012). Knowledge management: a personal knowledge network perspective. Journal of Knowledge Management, 16(5), 829-844. doi: 10.1108/13673271211262835.

common sense media. (n.d.). Introduction to the SAMR Model.  Retrieved August 19, 2017 from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/introduction-to-the-samr-model

Downes, S. (May 25, 2011). ‘Connectivism’ and connective knowledge [Web log post] Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stephen-downes/connectivism-and-connecti_b_804653.html

Mellow, G. O., Scott, R. A., & Woolis, D. D. (2010). Teetering between eras: higher education in a global, knowledge networked world. On the Horizon, 18(4), 308-319. doi: 10.1108/10748121011082617.

Mendeley. (2014, April 3). Getting started with Mendeley [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv6_HuCYExM

Siemens, G. (2008). New structures and spaces of learning: The systemic impact of connective knowledge, connectivism, and networked learning.  Retrieved August 15, 2017 from http://elearnspace.org/Articles/systemic_impact.htm

Visser, M. (2012). Digital literacy definition. ALA Connect, Retrieved August 29, 2017 from http://connect.ala.org/node/181197

Voogt, J., Erstad, O., Dede, C., & Mishra, P. (2013). Challenges to learning and schooling in the digital networked world of the 21st century. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 29(5), 403-413. doi: 10.1111/jcal.12029.


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