The SAMR Model

Later on in my life, when I teach, I want to make the classroom exciting and keep my students entertained. One of the most effective ways of doing so is to integrate technology into your teaching. This does not mean simply using that technology for yourself, either. Students should reap the rewards as well. Sometimes it can be difficult, though, to approach integrating technology in the classroom. When it comes to the classroom and technology integration, there is no better model than the SAMR model. What exactly is the SAMR Model? Well, I’ll explain it for you with this simple video that I’ve created. Did you click “simple video” yet? I promise it’s worth your while.

Well, I’ll go ahead and assume that you’ve watched the video. After all, if you’re reading this blog, you probably care enough to have done so. Now, if you should ever need to just glance at the SAMR Model in a simplified form, I highly recommend checking out this website.  As you can see, there is a nice info-graphic that you can glance at and appreciate at any time! SAMR is a wonderful tool, and as this website explains, “While one might argue over whether an activity can be defined as one level or another, the important concept to grasp here is the level of student engagement.” This is exactly right. This model is not to set guidelines for teachers, but rather to help a teacher engage their students.

When it comes to how I plan to teach, the SAMR Model has already greatly impacted me. As you saw in the video I politely forced you to watch, I was so inspired by the SAMR model that I created a stop-motion video about it! And boy, that took a heck of a long time. Believe me. In all seriousness, though, before seeing the SAMR Model I knew that I wanted to do fun things in my classroom, and I knew that I would be using some technology. But doesn’t every teacher want that? At least initially? One would hope so. Seeing and learning what the SAMR model is, though, has taught me that if I ever find my student’s engagement level lacking, it could be because I am not far up enough on that neat info-graphic I had you look at. Could you imagine having every one of your big projects for your classroom be on that Redefinition rung of that ladder? Because of working with the SAMR Model, I can, and I certainly hope to be at that level more often than not.


The Green Screen

So, I’m sure everyone at least knows what a green screen is, as I did when starting a green screen project in one of my classes (Educational Media Applications). For those who don’t, green screening is when you film yourself in front of a green background and, using a recording device or video editing tool, drop in any background you like. I’ve been having lots of fun with the project, but sometimes it was a tad frustrating.

So why am I telling you about the green screen? Green screens are being brought into classrooms! They are a fun way to do projects that may otherwise be boring. What would you rather do: act like you’re in Shakespeare’s time with the globe theater behind you, or create a power point? Yeah . . . that’s what I thought. They have many applications and show your students that you can keep up with technology.

Why should teachers care? Well, I should hope this is obvious. Green screens are just another tool that they can use in the classroom to breathe some life into a lesson or perhaps a final project. Regardless of the parameters, it is almost impossible not to have fun using a green screen. As a teacher, using a green screen would separate you from the crowd and perhaps even impress your superiors. At the very least, you’d have a wonderful time watching your students’ collaborations.

Some questions one may ask about a green screen:

Q. Where can I find the materials for a green screen, and how much will it cost?

A. Actually, a cheap and effective way to build a green screen is by finding an open space and taping or hooking a green shower curtain to the wall. One would also need, preferably, a tripod and a recording device such as an ipad or camcorder.

Q. What devices can use green screen technology?

A. Certain apple devices can download apps (for a small fee) that warp the green screen behind you as you record, but also most computers can change the green screen while editing the footage on imovie.

Q. Where can I find an awesome example of a green screen project?

A. Look no further. Keep in mind, this was done for a school project and used a minimal budget: perfect for teachers!