Educators are the nicest people you will ever meet. That makes it extra tough, but at some point “trying #edtech” is not enough. By only trying educational technology educators are not investing enough in the power of the technology and are only doing their lessons different, but not better. It is a mistake to let this happen as the power of the technology is not only hidden, but might be dismissed entirely.


In my Curation of Content post, I talked about falling into this trap. I promoted something which was different and not better. That practice undermines credibility and the potential of technology.


SAMR Ladder per Lessonscreenshot-2016-11-22-19-29-48

The SAMR model identifies how technologies are used by students in the classroom on a per lesson basis. This model represents different depths which teachers can embed technology into lessons; the first two levels are grouped into Enhancement while the last two levels are grouped into Transformation. The ultimate goal of SAMR is to transform learning experiences to result in higher levels of student achievement. {how to use technology in classrooms}

Teachers who target higher-order cognitive skills while they introduce select {Type II} technologies as tools in lessons promote Transformational lessons. Lessons which combine the two factors are likely to have a significant impact on student outcomes (SAMR).

Never pressure a teacher to always teach “above the line,” it would exhaust them to try and is not necessary.

Who is Speaking Please?

Any #EdTech position (Instructional Technologist, eLearning, ICT) likely has primary training in education over technology. Typically technology is a passion tapped-into, but not one for which teachers receive formal training. So, an #EdTech specialist has an educator’s opinion and naturally s/he also has a technologist’s opinion. It is important to identify from which position you speak.

Reserve your educational opinion, but gently challenge the teacher to identify the educational objective and then suggest tools from the technologist’s point of view which can climb as high up the SAMR ladder as possible.

{Refer to Type I & Type II Technologies post}

Stop calling this #EdTech

At some point, educational leaders need to stop calling any use of educational technology “integration.” Leaders would be better advised to use specific terms from the SAMR model. Pure substitution does not result in increased student achievement. While augmentation provides improvements, neither substitution nor augmentation are worth the cost of the technology or the opportunity cost for the students. Just integration is not specific enough. Anything less than the Transformative levels do not produce any amplified results for students. But naming the levels of SAMR would show room for, or honor, growth in lesson planning integrating the beneficial levels of technology. The educational leader could better lead teachers toward increased student achievement.


Avoid the #EdTech trap of promoting different, but not better.