Moving from Substitution to Modification in SAMR

Moving from Substitution to Modification in SAMR

Previously posted on Monday, May 23, 2016, on Digital Learning Cohorts – CCSD Ed Tech

Today, Señora Stewart’s Spanish I students at West Ashley High School worked on their family naming project on iPads. Without technology it is usually a written project; however, Señora Stewart and I worked to move it from the substitution level of SAMR to modification by including audio recordings, too.

The usual project was to create a poster of their imaginary family tree with photos of their imaginary family members and Spanish naming to go with each one.  For example, a student might choose a picture of Johnny Depp as her father, and his picture would be labeled “Mi padre es Johnny Depp.”  Without technology, this poster project usually takes two 45 minute periods.

As a member of the CCSD Digital Learning Cohort, Señora Stewart shares a cart of iPads with another cohort member.  Wanting to digitize this project, Señora Stewart decided to use the iPads.  Using either Keynote or Google Slides, the students were given requirements to create their family tree with the same titles and pictures AND a 2 descriptive sentences in Spanish.  At this point, the project is purely substitution/augmentation on the SAMR chart, so Señora Stewart and I worked to add something new to the project.

Because foreign language standards require heavy duty communication activities, we wanted to work in a verbal recording of the presentation.  To solve this request, we decided the students could insert their slides into iMovie and then record the words on the slide for each slide.  Now, we are at modification in the SAMR model.

On the day of the project launch, I met with 1/3 of the class in a quiet space to teach them how to use iMovie.  It took approximately 25 minutes to go over how to personalize  a Google Slide show, take and insert a screen shot, add an audio recording, lengthen or shorten the picture to match the recording, add transitions, and more.

Once the training was complete, that first group became the “iMovie Geniuses” for the class.  Upon returning to the class, each Genius took on two trainees and trained them on iMovie.  The students were not told to stand and teach, but some chose to.

In the end, Señora Stewart’s class doubled its skills assessed because it included both written and spoken Spanish.  This type of active assessment moves students from a fun exercise to one that is more challenging because it uses 21st century skills and incorporates the 4 Cs.  I am curious to see how class achievements will change as Señora Stewart becomes more confident and comfortable with the iPads and as she progresses in the Digital Learning Cohort in her district.  It is time to start collecting data from the students about their interest levels and their skill levels when it comes to Spanish.  There is no guarantee that student learning is improving using digital devices, and it is our job to analyze the data and share the results.
If you are interested in collaborating about World Language learning using digital devices, please do not hesitate to contact me directly or leave a comment below.