If you're in any Professional Learning setting with me, you'll often hear me referencing (directly or indirectly) the SAMR model. Developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, "SAMR" is the acronym describing 4 stages of observing and understanding the use of technology in the classroom. I use it to help frame professional development in instructional technology.
THE SAMR MODEL
Here is an example:
A classroom teacher taught writing when the primary mode was using pencil and paper. Now this teacher has access to technology to change the way writing lessons are done.
Students use a word processor and can now easily edit and format their writing. Student work is now printed rather than handwritten. Students can save various drafts of their work and can produce multiple copies of the finished product without using a photocopier.
Students improve their writing through utilizing the tools in the word processor such as the spelling and grammar check, and the built-in thesaurus. Images and graphics are now easily incorporated into the overall document design. Students can choose easily from multiple page layouts and alternate page designs to enhance their product.
The focus of some of the class writing assignments are made to be collaborative. Students utilize online wikis to write in small groups, conduct peer editing and feedback, and to comment on each group's final products. Work on the projects can be done synchronously in class time, as well as asynchronously out of class. The final writing projects are shared electronically with the wider school community through the class website/blog.
Class collaborates with other classes locally or globally on a common issue or problem. Students research and share their findings in order to find a common solution. The project has grown to be cross-curricular and multidisciplinary, utilizing the strengths of the students in the different classes. Students use a variety of multimedia to collect, communicate and distribute their findings and conclusions. Various technologies are used to communicate and share information between the various school groups.
The idea behind the above examples is NOT that every lesson has to be in the TRANSFORMATION stage. Sometimes you need to substitute to teach basic skills, such as learning to use a word processing program. Instead, the idea is this: We can build our lessons up starting from SUBSTITUTION (or anywhere, really) and going all the way through to REDEFINITION before we move on. We can use each stage to spring into another stage, continuously moving to a more expansive way of using the technology. If you're familiar with using Bloom's Taxonomy to guide your practice, this model is a bit similar.