Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Connectivism + SAMR?

As a Tech Integrationist, I'm constantly on the lookout for new technologies - ideas, tools, shortcuts, techniques - you name it, I'm intrigued. The ideas of "repurposing" and "feeding forward" put forth by Stephen Downes as mentioned in the article, " ' Connectivism" and Connective Knowledge," reminds me that, as we grow in tech use and abilities, we do this more and more. It seems to me that Connectivism and the SAMR model of technology integration have much in common.

I think of it in this way, especially for people when they first learn a new technology: people are introduced to a program and they use it much like they are originally shown. Soon, they become comfortable with a tool ("Substitution") and they stretch their usage of it. They add elements ("Augmentation"), perhaps other tools, and later share their new creation. Perhaps their new creation is unlike anyone else's - because they added not only information gathered from elsewhere but they put their spin on it and showed it in an entirely different way - due to their perception and technology combinations. This feels to me like "repurposing" and of course, "feeding forward" but it also feels like they added in the transforming levels of the SAMR model: "Modification" and "Redefinition."


  1. That is why when I come across a new piece of technology I just like to explore it and see what is has to offer. I think sometimes teachers are afraid of using the new technology as they are not comfortable with it. We need to find ways to not just teach teachers about the technology but provide ways to have " hands on" explore time. Just think of the kinds of things we could do as schools if more time was left for us to explore and not always be forced into workshop type situations that just explain to us the value of doing something... I vote for more doing!

  2. I wish our students had more time to learn by trying stuff out- by seeing what works and what doesn't. It is unfortunate that our students are judged by how much they know about selected topics that there isn't time for anything else. Fear of failure is a problem too. Because of lack of time for trial and error, most assignments have some sort of pre-determined outcome. When assignments are open-ended many students feel lost and unsure because they aren't used to needing to figure things out and they are afraid they will get a bad grade if things don't work the first time. So this fear of failure and lack of time affects all of us- students as well as teachers.

  3. Sally - This makes me think of last year when we moved to Google Sites instead of school center. As of course you may recall, I was dismayed by this move. I was comfortable with the School Center process and was put into a place of disequilibrium when I had to try and shift to the new program. While I do learn best from trying things, and often just explore new programs, I could not get a feel for this new site builder. When we took Lucie's class I was able to get a basic sense of the program in order to get my footing but then moved beyond that through conversation and continued exploration on my own. This year - I have many new ideas (that I hope to get to soon...) in how I can expand the site that are beyond the normal scope of Google sites. So, I feel that I have gone through this process of change you discussed in your blog.